Sarawak Senior Minister James Masing's objection to new parties in Sarawak had drawn the ire of PKR.
KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president James Masing, who is dead against new parties entering Sarawak’s political scene, seems oblivious to the basic principles of democracy, according to opposition PKR.
Masing had reportedly said that another six political parties, which are awaiting the final nod from the Home Ministry, would ‘overcrowd’ the Sarawak political arena.
He also believed that neither the Registrar of Societies nor the Home Minister would entertain these applications in view of the ‘overcrowd’.
Reacting to Masing’s comment, PKR vice chairman See Chee How said: “Masing obviously does not respect the constitutional rights of other people to form a political party.
“These rights are guaranteed by our federal constitution. It is fortunate that Masing does not hold any important portfolio in the federal government as he refuses to understand the basic principle of democracy and the rights of individuals.”
See, who is also Batu Lintang assemblyman, noted that of late Masing “appeared” to be dictatorial in his ways, especially after his ‘jangan lawan towkay’ (don’t fight the boss) comment which had caused a ruckus in Sarawak.
See challenged Masing to prove him wrong by attending the ‘Who is the Boss’ forum on April 15 in order to defend his golden rule of not fighting the boss.
“Prove to the people that you are not coward and defend your statement,” he said, pointing out that he has yet to receive any response from Masing.
Long wait for parties
Meanwhile, it is learnt that six political parties are waiting for the final nod of the Home Ministry for approval.
The parties are Sarawak Workers Party (SWP), Parti Ekonomi Rakyat Sarawak Bersatu (PEESB), Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK), Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDS Baru), People’s Alliance for Justice and Peace Party (Peace Party) and Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak Teras (Teras).
Many of these parties had submitted their applications for registration a few years ago.
PBDS Baru, for instance, had submitted their application three years ago in a bid to revive PBDS which was deregistered on Oct 24, 2004.
Those involved in trying to revive PBDS were the former members of the party who have remained partyless.
Registered in September 1983, PBDS had about 150,000 members before it was deregistered.
SWP is said to be linked to a former MP for Julau, Sng Chee Hua. Sng has already said that SWP was eyeing Julau, Selangau, Kanowit and Hulu Rajang seats in the coming election.
Currently, Sarawak has six political parties namely Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) – all in the BN coalition, and the opposition parties comprise State Reform party (STAR) and Sarawak National Party (SNAP).
Peninsula-based PKR, DAP and PAS have also each set up their Sarawak’s chapters.