‘S’wak parties now mere decorations in BN’


KUCHING: Sarawak DAP today said smaller BN components have been reduced to irrelevancy after the dominant Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) increased the number of state seats it controls from 40 to 45.

There are a total of 82 state seats.

On Tuesday, Chief Minister Adenan Satem announced the party had accepted the application of former members from PBB and Teras, an offshoot of Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP).

Chong said the move went against the tradition of the Sarawak BN, that came into form in 1974, under which it was agreed that no single party would have the absolute majority.

“Previously, the component parties were absolutely obedient to the PBB chairman, but at least there was still some sense of power-sharing.”

He said they were now reduced to being there in BN merely as decorations.

“Their existence can be dispensed with due to (PBB’s ability) to form the government, given that PBB has more than 50% of all the state representatives. PRS, SPDP and SUPP are formally dispensable now.”

Chong was speaking after the launch of the state party’s Mandarin-language bulletin.

Early this year, Adenan introduced the concept of BN direct candidates for the state elections. These candidates were drawn from various state parties and applied to join PBB after the state polls.

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) President Dr James Jemut Masing and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) President Tiong King Sing had said earlier that PBB should hold on to an unwritten agreement that it would not control more than half the state seats.

Masing, who was appointed deputy chief minister after the recently concluded state election, had said BN direct candidates, who were either from PBB or from splinter parties, should not be recruited into PBB.

Masing, Tiong and Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) President Dr Sim Kui Hian have yet to comment on the PBB’s recruitment of the leaders.

Chong said the chief minister had promised, prior to the May 7 state elections, that PBB would maintain the number of seats.

“It is only three months after the election and he has already gone against his own word.

“What is even more sad to note is that none of the Sarawak BN component parties, especially SUPP, dare to make noises, despite this blatant broken promise and disregard of the whole Sarawak BN tradition,” Chong said.

“The message is clear. If they don’t even dare to speak up for themselves, how can they be expected to speak up for the rakyat?”