7 JANUARY 2015
I am disappointed but not surprised at the outburst from Stephen Rundi and the honourable representative for Nangka and at their puerile logic for accusing me of being ‘not sincere’ to my people. I would invite them to get over their shock and recall the oath taken by ADUNs to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the State of Sarawak and the Federal Constitution. Our Constitution sets out and guarantees the rights of all Malaysians and I am ever mindful that we are entrusted to speak up for all citizens of Malaysia irrespective of race, religion, origin or whether they are of the urban or rural populace. Nowhere in that oath did I swear to focus on the rights of the people of Ba’ Kelalan to the exclusion of the rights of all other Malaysian citizens. Perhaps Stephen Rundi and Annuar Rapaee took a different oath, in which case I should be most grateful to have the privilege of their disclosure.
My statement on Monday was clear. I welcome the creation of new seats in the rural areas where it is warranted but at the same time, justice must be served in the urban areas. Gerrymandering and malapportionment are devices used by the BN government to manipulate the electoral system in their favour and we must fight for the rights of all Malaysians to fair representation and a government of their choice. Our electoral system must move closer towards parliamentary democracy and the ‘one person one vote’ ideal with each seat delineation exercise, instead of regressing or remaining stagnant. I stand by what I said about the urban seats having around 30,000 voters: the value of each vote is far lesser than each rural vote, and the Elections Commission chairman has not deigned to address his mind towards correcting this glaring malapportionment that is shouting out for some attention. In fact, with this proposed delineation, in the parliamentary seat of Bandar Kuching, the value of each vote will be further diluted with the switch of Batu Lintang into that constituency.
The statements by Stephen Rundi and Annuar Rapaee only serve to show that the BN politicians’ way of thinking and their brand of politics is to divide the people according to race in their bid to hold on to power. This is what is wrong with Malaysia today, polarization and the politics of fear and distrust. We need to move away from racial and communal politics if we are to truly progress as a nation. In modern Malaysia I do not expect the new breed of people’s representatives to be so parochial and to care only about their individual constituencies. The rakyat are more well-informed than ever about their rights and the abuses of the system by those in power. Change will come, sooner or later.
ADUN N70 BA’ KELALAN/
CHAIRMAN, PKR SARAWAK