15 APRIL 2016
The air has been thick with speculations about the seat allocations among the Pakatan Harapan parties. Whilst the negotiations at the Presidential Council level have not been finalised, we have received some indications that the negotiations had been steered in a direction that was against the mandate of the MPN Sarawak. It should be noted that we would have preferred to have carried on with negotiations at the local level but we acquiesced when DAP asked for talks to be moved to the national level. It must also be noted that MPN Sarawak had stipulated to our national leaders at the outset that should the talks be moved to the national level, we reserved our veto powers if the decisions made are not in keeping with our mandate.
We are appreciative of the efforts of several of our national leaders in negotiating on our behalf in Kuala Lumpur. Unfortunately what has been communicated to us at this stage pertaining to the allocation of seats is not in line with what had been decided at state level. For the sake of fairness to our local members, and in order to uphold the integrity of MPN Sarawak with regard to our duty and undertaking to our potential candidates, we have made the decision to exercise our veto powers reserved at the outset. We have indicated to our national leaders that we are unable to accept the decisions made at their level in so far as the allocation of seats is concerned. MPN Sarawak is henceforth taking back the mandate given and we will make the final decisions on the seats we are contesting based on our KPI results. Our decisions will be based purely on the winnability of our candidate, and not for any other reasons.
We believe that in taking this step, we are merely giving effect to the autonomy that has been acknowledged by our national leaders as being our right. We trust that they will accept our decision, as this would be a positive indicator of their stand vis a vis the autonomy of Sarawak within the Federation of Malaysia, and the position they will take when the opposition finally gets the mandate to govern the country.
Moreover, we have been very accommodating in our seat claims. This time, we have staked our claim on only 40 seats, as opposed to the 49 seats that we contested at the last elections. With the increase of 11 seats in Sarawak, our claims have not increased but in fact reduced, as we were always willing to share, and have indeed shared, more seats with our PH partners. We believe that we have been upfront and open with our partners at all times and we have always accorded the respect and honour due to our partners within the coalition.
It is regrettable that certain parties have seen fit to jeopardise the opposition coalition’s potential to increase our seats in the coming elections by their conduct these past few months whilst negotiations were taking place. For this reason, MPN Sarawak firmly believes that we must resume control of our destiny in this 11th Sarawak Elections. We are the people of Sarawak and we must do what is best for Sarawak.
Chairman, PKR Sarawak