A vote for Adenan is a vote for Najib

Speech by DAP National Political Education Director and MP for Kluang Liew Chin Tong on 27th April 2016 at a Skype Teleconferencing Call to DAP Ceramah in Sibu (released on 28th April 2016)

How I wish I am in Sibu with you tonight. I have been campaigning in Sibu in the past few elections. I was campaigning in Sibu and Bintulu in the 2006 Sarawak election. I stayed in Sibu for more than a month each during the Sibu by-election in May 2010 and Sarawak election in April 2011. Sibu has a special place in my heart.

When I arrived at the Sibu airport on 16th April 2016, I was banned from entering and was deported on the same flight.

This is a tough election battle for the DAP. Our hands and legs are tied. We can’t do this alone. We need each and everyone of you to come forward and to help us campaigning in the next week or so.

It has to be a ‘peer to peer’ people’s campaign. Let’s make this a ‘people versus Barisan Nasional campaign’.

What are we fighting for?

A vote for Adenan is a vote for Najib
When Chief Minister Adenan Satem first came into office two years ago, he was seen as distancing himself from the unpopular Najib Federal Government. In the past two months as the state election approaches, Adenan and Najib have been inseparable.

Adenan needed the resources from the “Cash is King” Prime Minister while Najib needed the Sarawak election to prove that he is still popular and deserves to continue as Prime Minister.

If Adenan wins less seats, Sarawak BN will be forced to rethink whether to support Najib. Sarawak BN has 25 parliamentary seats in the Federal Parliament. If Sarawak BN switches camp, Najib will fall.

The stakes are high. The people of Sarawak decide not just the future of Sarawak but Malaysia’s too.

Chief Minister Adenan no longer talks about autonomy. There was no mention of the agenda for autonomy in the Sarawak BN manifesto because the Federal Government doesn’t concede any ground on the subject.

Adenan should push for genuine autonomy which was proposed by the DAP in our manifesto as well as in the Bintulu Declaration in October 2014. That 50 percent of income tax collected in Sarawak should be handed to the State while the State should be given the authorities to run education, health, municipal policing and transport.

Autonomy should be for the benefit of the ordinary people.

A vote for Adenan is a vote for GST
Let this be the referandum for GST, which has been implemented since April 2015. GST and the depreciation of ringgit over the past year caused major difficulties in the lives of ordinary people.

The Federal Government collected RM 30 billion of GST revenue in 2015 and expects to collect RM39 billion in 2016. The GST collection is from the pockets of ordinary Malaysians and when ordinary people had their disposable income eroded by GST, they spend less. When they spend less, businesses suffer, the entire domestic economy suffers.

The Sarawak election is the first electoral opportunity for ordinary people to say no to GST, on behalf of other Malaysians.

Say ‘no’ to tycoon politics
The people of Sibu have an extra responsibility, that is to say no to tycoon politics.

When Adenan first came into office, he openly told the timber tycoons not to curry favour with him. But in the past week as election approaches, Adenan had visited all the six timber tycoons. Adenan also fielded members of the tycoon families to contest as “Team Adenan”. Indeed, Sibu has a few of them.

Let’s say no to tycoon politics.

Deny BN two-thirds majority in Sarawak
It’s absolutely hilarious to read the statement by BN Dudong candidate Tiong Thai King who claimed that the 1MDB scandal happened because the opposition failed in its roles of check-and-balance. According to his logic, the Government can commit all sorts of crime and the blame is on the opposition.

Sibu must reject Tiong Thai King.

Further, while this is a very difficult election for the DAP, let’s effect a people’s campaign to ensure that opposition can win 28 seats in total to deny BN’s two-thirds majority in the State Assembly.

It’s a tough battle but let’s do it together.

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