Wednesday, June 19, 2013

PKR slams threat to withhold grants

Joseph Tawie

June 19, 2013
Sarawak PKR has advised opposition supporters not to cower to intimidation and threats by Barisan Nasional elected representatives.
KUCHING: Sarawak PKR is disturbed that elected Barisan Nasional representatives are holding opposition supporters to ransom and threatening to with-hold government grants and funds.
Citing the latest incident in which Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) vice-president Gines Ruwia’s called for the resignation of community leaders who supported independent Dr Tiki Lafe in the recent parliamentary elections, PKR state chief Baru Bian said it showed that  Ruwia has “no understanding of democracy”.
“Gines Ruwia has also threatened to withhold a government grant for his own church, whose members were alleged to have supported Dr Tiki.
“Gines (Ruwia) obviously does not understand the concept of democracy, which is that the people in a community are free to support the party or people of their choice without any coercion or threats from anyone.
“Furthermore, Gines (Ruwia) does not seem to realize that the grants allocated to churches and the allowances of community leaders are paid from the funds of the people, and not from SPDP’s or the BN’s pockets,” he said.
Bian described Ruwia’s action as ‘abhorrent” adding that Ruwia was “holding the community leaders and churches to ransom.”
“His abhorrent act should be roundly condemned by all right-minded citizens.
“The attempt to turn the honoured and respected community leaders into mere minions of the BN government is a shameful and a pathetic act. SPDP should be embarrassed.
“Community leaders, just as any other individual, have their human rights and constitutional rights to freedom of choice and freedom of association.
Ruwia is trying to bully them into submission,” said Bian.
Condemning Ruwia for threatening his church members, Bian said: “Threatening to return the allocation promised to the church and telling the church that they do not deserve it is high-handed behavior akin to persecution of the church.
“As a Christian and a member of the church committee, Gines should understand that the church teaches her members to vote for justice and fairness according to their conscience and it is not for him or anyone else to be judge and executioner of the church for how her members voted.
“The church must not be cowed by such threats. The same applies to any temples or mosques whose members may be coming under similar intimidation tactics,” said Bian who is Ba Kelalan assemblyman.
He urged SPDP president William Mawan to intervene and reassure  the community headmen and the church that they will not be victimized for exercising their democratic rights.
~ Free Malaysia Today

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