KUCHING: Sarawak DAP has claimed that the manifesto of Sarawak Barisan Nasional merely repeated promises made in the past which were never fulfilled.
“Those unfulfilled promises were simply just re-packaged in different words”, said Kelvin Yii, who is expected to be nominated as DAP candidate for Bandar Kuching in the general election.
Yii is political secretary to Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen.
The BN manifesto was launched a week ago by state BN chairman Abang Johari Openg.
Yii said the manifesto merely listed 13 administrative delegation of powers to the state and left out “the core desire of the people of Sarawak” for equal standing with Malaya and Sabah as founding partners of the federation.
He said the BN had little to show for their efforts at defending Sarawak’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement of 1963, “even after the highly publicised, and publicly-funded trip to London” by a team of lawyers headed by an assistant minister to seek out documents relating to the Malaysia Agreement of 1963.
Besides that the manifesto also missed out a demand for 20% oil royalty, spelt out in a motion unanimously adopted in the state assembly in 2014.
“Our oil royalty remains a meagre 5%”, Yii said, despite the hyped setting-up of Petros, the state-owned petroleum company..
He said the BN showed no intention of any fiscal devolution and returning the power of taxation to the state. “If we do not have the power over taxation, we will forever be at the mercy of the federal government,” he said.
Yii also said that in the national BN Manifesto, Barisan Nasional chairman Najib Razak had made it clear that the return of states’ rights would only be realised by consensus, “which means that all states in Malaya would have to agree as well”.
He questioned Najib’s sincerity about “giving us back what is rightfully ours”.
Yii said Pakatan Harapan has clearly recognised the territorial status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners in the federation.
“We have also pledged ( to give Sarawak) 20% oil royalty and 50% of all taxes collected in the state, full autonomy in education and healthcare.
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