KUCHING: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) today slammed the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition for “using Sarawak at their own convenience” when the country was facing political turmoil last week.
“When they needed Sarawak, they conveniently used us and if things didn’t go their way, they started to blame us,” said SUPP president Dr Sim Kui Hian after the opening of a state-level interfaith harmony forum here today.
On Sunday, Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said his party was willing to make concessions and work together with Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to help preserve the PH government and prevent “extremists” from Umno and PAS from seizing power through “the back door”.
However, Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg said GPS leaders were not “stupid” to support DAP, especially when it had the intention of taking over the state.
Two blocs had tried to get GPS’ support amid the political turmoil in Putrajaya last week but the party eventually supported Muhyiddin Yassin to lead the country as prime minister.
Chong later criticised GPS’ decision to support the new national coalition, putting Umno and PAS into the federal government.
He claimed that Sarawakians had been betrayed by GPS’ decision to support the new federal government, which he described as a combination of “kleptocrats and religious bigots, although GPS had said it would stay out of the new coalition.
However, Sim said the PH coalition, particularly DAP and PKR, should look at themselves in the mirror before blaming anyone.
He said the political turmoil was initiated by the PH leaders themselves, particularly those from DAP and PKR.
“I believe the PH government would still exist today if the PKR and DAP leaders had not created issues with regard to the transition of power between Dr Mahathir Mohamad and PKR president Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister.
“All these were started by them. If no one opened the door, there would be no front or back door government. Someone from the inside must have opened the door,” he said.
He said he hoped Sarawakians would be able to see the “true colours” of these leaders.
Sim also asked what PH had done for Sarawak when it was in power for the last 22 months.
With the new federal government in place, he hoped Putrajaya would pay Sarawak its sales tax on petroleum products and return the state’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
“Besides autonomy in terms of health and education, we want a meaningful amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to restore the equal partners’ status to Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.