Opposition must respect S’wakians in order to win polls

Opposition must respect S’wakians in order to win polls

PETALING JAYA: Tian Chua of PKR said today the Opposition failed to win the just concluded Sarawak state election because they neither respected nor understood the locals.

He also regretted that some Opposition supporters had stooped “so low as to call the locals stupid for not voting in the Opposition.”

He said the Opposition needed to respect the decision of the locals to vote for Barisan Nasional (BN) and strive to understand the complexity of the issues in Sarawak which were different from those in the peninsula.

“If they voted for BN, respect their wishes. If they had obtained monetary gains from BN, we should understand why they did that. We should not put them down for that,” he told FMT today.

The Sarawak election was held on May 7. BN won 72 seats and DAP, seven while PKR won in Krian, Ba’kelalan and Batu Lintang.

The PKR vice-president said the Sarawak war for votes was not about reaching out to voters via social media or ceramah held during the election period.

“Locals say if they vote for the Opposition, they will have to face the village heads and district officers. They say when they face intimidation for land acquisition and other matters, we are not there on behalf of them,” alleged Tian Chua.

“It is easier for Sarawakians to vote for the ruling party. They don’t mind any monetary gains and vote for BN because life is easier for them and their communities after the elections,” he added.

One of the ways to solve the issue was by appointing more local activists in Sarawak to fight local issues, said the Batu MP.

For instance, PKR did very well in one of the most remote areas in Sarawak, Ba’kelalan because the locals were aware their candidate Baru Bian, a lawyer, would be there for them.

He said PKR won Ba’kelalan despite BN’s promises to build churches and roads, which clearly showed that the locals wanted a candidate who would stand for their rights.

“Baru Bian is there for them. It gives them assurance. That is what they want.”

He said PKR would want to duplicate this example in the rest of Sarawak in their preparation for the next Sarawak state election.

He said they should not blame BN for having better facilities, such as helicopters to visit remote areas while the Opposition had to take boats or “literally crawl into very remote areas to meet voters. They need to know we will be there for them all the time and not only during the elections.”

Many Opposition grassroots from outside the state, who couldn’t fathom the loss, called Sarawakians “brainless voters” and “stupid sohai Sarawakians.”

Earlier today, Opposition leader Wan Azizah Wan Ismail gave her assurance that PKR would learn from its shortcomings in the Sarawak election to prepare for the next general election.

She said she had asked the leadership to identify weaknesses, to learn from their shortcomings and to take necessary steps to correct the party’s strategy and organisational capacity in time for the next big battle – GE14.

Pemimpin pembangkang dihalang masuk bangunan KDN

Pemimpin pembangkang dihalang masuk bangunan KDN

PUTRAJAYA: Kekecohan berlaku di perkarangan Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) petang ini apabila sekumpulan pemimpin pembangkang yang hadir untuk menyerahkan memorandum berkaitan pekerja asing dihalang memasuki bangunan itu.

Difahamkan mereka datang ke KDN untuk menyerahkan memorandum dan berbincang dengan pegawai kementerian bagi mendesak kerajaan mengekalkan moratorium terhadap pengambilan pekerja asing baru untuk dibawa masuk ke Malaysia.

Antara pemimpin pembangkang terbabit ialah Naib Presiden PKR Tian Chua, Ahli Parlimen Sungai Siput daripada Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) Dr Michael Jeyakumar, Pengarah Strategi AMANAH Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad serta beberapa pimpinan NGO.

Mereka tiba di perkarangan bangunan KDN kira-kira jam 2.50 petang namun dihalang pegawai dan pasukan RELA daripada memasuki bangunan.

Keadaan bertukar kecoh apabila rayuan mereka untuk cuba berjumpa dengan pegawai KDN ditolak.

Berang dengan tindakan itu, mereka mengadakan sidang media di depan bangunan KDN.

Dr Jeyakumar berkata mereka hadir bertujuan menyerahkan memorandum dan ingin mengadakan perbincangan secara baik dengan kementerian berhubung isu pekerja asing.

“Kenapa kami dihalang sampai nak ugut panggil polis. Kami bukan penjenayah, kedatangan kami untuk mendesak KDN mengekalkan moratorium pembawaan masuk pekerja asing ke negara kita.

“Seperti diketahui umum, setakat ini daripada 5.5 juta pekerja asing berada di negara kita, hanya 2.3 juta ada dokumen sah.

“Kehadiran 5.5 juta pekerja asing di negara kita menjejaskan ekonomi golongan B40 (bawah 40%) rakyat tempatan di mana mereka menghadapi masalah mencari kerja kerana majikan lebih suka mengupah pekerja asing.

“Ini kerana pekerja asing boleh dibuli, dinafikan bayaran lebih masa yang sah dan sebagainya. Inilah punca utama pengangguran di kalangan B40 kita,” katanya kepada pemberita.

Sementara itu, Dr Dzulkefly berkata mereka mahu pekerja asing ditempatkan kepada sektor pekerjaan 3D saja.

“Sekarang apa yang dapat dilihat ialah pekerja asing ada di pelbagai sektor dan keadaan itu sangat membimbangkan kerana ia akan menghalang rakyat tempatan memperoleh pekerjaan,” katanya.

Tian Chua berkata sepatutnya KDN memberi peluang kepada mereka untuk berbincang memandangkan isu pekerja asing ini penting kerana ia melibatkan ekonomi negara.

“Kita harus ingat dalam keadaan ekonomi parah sekarang kita harus uruskan pasaran buruh dengan baik, kita tidak boleh biarkan ini berterusan sehingga mengancam kehidupan rakyat.

“Kita juga khuatir dengan penambahan pekerja asing yang tidak terhad boleh mencetuskan masalah sosial,” katanya.

Bagaimanapun, selepas hampir sejam berada di perkarangan bangunan KDN dan gagal mencapai kata sepakat dengan KDN, kumpulan itu bersurai dan memaklumkan akan membawa isu berkenaan ke Parlimen.

PRN Sarawak: PKR kini saingan BN di luar bandar

PRN Sarawak: PKR kini saingan BN di luar bandarPETALING JAYA: Meskipun berdepan peratusan keluar mengundi yang rendah, jumlah undi yang diterima PKR dari kawasan luar bandar dan pedalaman menunjukkan peningkatan.

Naib Presiden PKR, Tian Chua berkata perkembangan itu menunjukkan tanda-tanda partinya bakal menjadi pesaing yang kuat kepada BN di kawasan-kawasan terbabit dalam pilihan raya negeri akan datang.

“Kalau lihat statistik, PKR melakukan dengan baik dan di kawasan luar bandar kita mampu memberikan saingan terutama di tempat yang sebelum ini kita sudah hilang deposit.

“Di tempat yang PKR banyak melaburkan usaha, terutama di kawasan pedalaman bagi kaum Iban dan Melanau telah menunjukkan peningkatan sokongan kepada kita.

“BN tidak boleh lagi memandang rendah kepada kita seperti PRN yang lalu iaitu di kawasan luar bandar dan pendalaman,” katanya ketika dihubungi FMT, hari ini.

PKR bertanding di 40 kerusi dalam pilihan raya kali ini.

Mengulas peratusan keluar undi yang rendah pada pilihan raya kali ini, Tian Chua menyifatkan perkembangan itu berpunca daripada protes senyap rakyat Sarawak terhadap Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“Rakyat Sarawak hanya mahu ‘cukup-cukup menang’. Mereka tidak mahu kemenangan BN Sarawak menaikkan imej Najib,” katanya lagi.

 

‘Bebaskan Anwar’ gathering: 25 being investigated

‘Bebaskan Anwar’ gathering: 25 being investigated

PETALING JAYA: PKR MPs Tian Chua and R Sivarasa, along with March to Freedom Secretary M Ganapathy, were called in for questioning regarding their involvement in the “Bebaskan Anwar” gathering last February.

Speaking to reporters outside the Petaling Jaya police headquarters today, PKR Vice-President Tian Chua said he was told by police officers that 22 other participants would also be called in for questioning.

“They didn’t give us any names but, including the three of us, 25 people are being investigated.”

He revealed that police had also questioned him regarding another “act of solidarity” on Dec 6 last year.

“They are obviously afraid of the efforts we have made in demanding the release of Anwar Ibrahim, who we consider as a political prisoner.

“The government should not waste public resources to stop people from expressing their political views and rights and should instead focus on combating real crime.”

Chua, Sivarasa and Ganapathy are being investigated under Section 9 of the Peaceful Assembly Act.

‘Bebaskan Anwar’ gathering: 25 being investigated

‘Bebaskan Anwar’ gathering: 25 being investigated

PETALING JAYA: PKR MPs Tian Chua and R Sivarasa, along with March to Freedom Secretary M Ganapathy, were called in for questioning regarding their involvement in the “Bebaskan Anwar” gathering last February.

Speaking to reporters outside the Petaling Jaya police headquarters today, PKR Vice-President Tian Chua said he was told by police officers that 22 other participants would also be called in for questioning.

“They didn’t give us any names but, including the three of us, 25 people are being investigated.”

He revealed that police had also questioned him regarding another “act of solidarity” on Dec 6 last year.

“They are obviously afraid of the efforts we have made in demanding the release of Anwar Ibrahim, who we consider as a political prisoner.

“The government should not waste public resources to stop people from expressing their political views and rights and should instead focus on combating real crime.”

Chua, Sivarasa and Ganapathy are being investigated under Section 9 of the Peaceful Assembly Act.

Tian Chua reminds Adenan why S’wak controls immigration

Tian Chua reminds Adenan why S’wak controls immigrationKUALA LUMPUR: Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem should be mindful of the original objective of Sarawak’s autonomous rights over immigration, says PKR lawmaker Tian Chua.

“The control of immigration was intended to protect job and business opportunities, as well as security and the quality of life of Sarawak citizens,” argued Tian Chua in a statement today.

“Such power should never be misused for political purposes.”

The Batu parliamentarian criticised Adenan’s “open bragging” about barring West Malaysian Opposition politicians, saying that this went against the chief minister’s belief in fairness and open-mindedness.

“While I fully respect and defend Sarawak’s autonomous rights over immigration as a legitimate entitlement under the Malaysian Agreement, enshrined in the Federal Constitution, Tan Sri Adenan should be mindful of its original objective and not allow the perception of abuses,” Tian Chua said.

The weeks leading up to the Sarawak election on May 7 has seen the number of Opposition politicians barred from entering the state increase.

Those denied entry included lawmakers Gobind Singh Deo, Khalid Samad, Hannah Yeoh, and Nurul Izzah, among others.

Adenan had said this barring was to protect the state from “unsavoury elements”, and that those refused entry now were free to enter after the state election was concluded.

GST has eroded Swak’s rights on taxation, says Tian Chua

GST has eroded Swak’s rights on taxation, says Tian ChuaKUALA LUMPUR: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) has eroded Sarawak’s autonomous rights over taxation, argues PKR lawmaker Tian Chua.

In responding to Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem promoting the Goods and Services Tax (GST) over the Sales & Service Tax (SST), Tian Chua said the question was not about choosing between the two, but whether the said taxes served Sarawak’s economic growth or not.

“The key issue is that the Sarawak government should enjoy the right to collect tax revenue from consumption and business activities within Sarawak,” Tian Chua said.

Adenan had previously repeated Prime Minister Najib Razak’s justification that the 6% GST was much lower than the SST used prior to April 1 of last year.

“We should remember however that prior to the introduction of the GST, the SST was collected by the state and used purely for the welfare of Sarawak citizens,” said Tian Chua.

“Tan Sri Adenan’s commitment to uphold Sarawak autonomy is indisputable. From his response towards PKR and DAP, I believe that Tan Sri Adenan Satem missed the points of our anti-GST stance.”

Tian Chua called for the Sarawak Government and its representatives in Parliament to “at the very least” insist GST revenue collected in the state be returned to the state government.

This, he said, would be similar to the arrangement scheduled in the Sarawak State Sales Tax Enactment 1998.

“In our view, the Sarawak MPs who voted in support of GST failed to defend the interests of Sarawak,” Tian Chua said.

GST has eroded Swak’s rights on taxation, says Tian Chua

GST has eroded Swak’s rights on taxation, says Tian ChuaKUALA LUMPUR: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) has eroded Sarawak’s autonomous rights over taxation, argues PKR lawmaker Tian Chua.

In responding to Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem promoting the Goods and Services Tax (GST) over the Sales & Service Tax (SST), Tian Chua said the question was not about choosing between the two, but whether the said taxes served Sarawak’s economic growth or not.

“The key issue is that the Sarawak government should enjoy the right to collect tax revenue from consumption and business activities within Sarawak,” Tian Chua said.

Adenan had previously repeated Prime Minister Najib Razak’s justification that the 6% GST was much lower than the SST used prior to April 1 of last year.

“We should remember however that prior to the introduction of the GST, the SST was collected by the state and used purely for the welfare of Sarawak citizens,” said Tian Chua.

“Tan Sri Adenan’s commitment to uphold Sarawak autonomy is indisputable. From his response towards PKR and DAP, I believe that Tan Sri Adenan Satem missed the points of our anti-GST stance.”

Tian Chua called for the Sarawak Government and its representatives in Parliament to “at the very least” insist GST revenue collected in the state be returned to the state government.

This, he said, would be similar to the arrangement scheduled in the Sarawak State Sales Tax Enactment 1998.

“In our view, the Sarawak MPs who voted in support of GST failed to defend the interests of Sarawak,” Tian Chua said.

Close shop if you can’t afford minimum wage, employers told

Close shop if you can’t afford minimum wage, employers told

PETALING JAYA: Parti Socialis Malaysia (PSM) Central Committee member Michael Jeyakumar has ticked off employers who oppose the enforcement of the Minimum Wage Order 2016 (MWO 2016), telling them to close shop if they can’t afford to keep their workers.

Reacting to a statement by Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Shamsuddin Bardan, Jeyakumar said he found it ludicrous for any corporation to say that it couldn’t pay the minimum wages specified in the order – RM1,000 in Peninsular Malaysia and RM920 in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.

Human Resources Minister Richard Riot announced on Monday that MWO 2016 would come into effect this July 1. Responding to the announcement, Shamsudin said the enforcement might result in the retrenchment of 30,000 workers, especially at the lower levels.

Speaking to FMT, Jeyakumar acknowledged that Malaysian companies might lose their competitiveness with counterparts in low-wage Asean countries like Vietnam and Thailand, but only if the minimum wages specified in MWO 2016 were too high.

“Raising the minimum wage to, let’s say RM2,000, would be a little too high, but if they can’t even afford RM1,000 and if they need to have sweatshop conditions and maintain a significant proportion of people in poverty, then they should just close shop,” he said.

He said he suspected that the MEF statement was merely an empty threat made in a last-ditch effort to keep costs down.

The Secretary-General of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress, N Gopal Kishnam, agreed with Jeyakumar. He said MEF was probably trying to pressure the government to delay the enforcement of MWO 2016.

“They’re just trying to threaten the government into not implementing the new minimum wage,” he said. “They are only concerned with their own profit margins.”

Klang MP Charles Santiago said corporations had been given ample time to prepare for MWO 2016.

“They can’t say that they are not prepared for MWO 2016,” he said. “It’s been delayed for so many months. There’s no reason they can give for retrenchment apart from the fact that what they really want to do is to maximise their profits.”

PKR Vice-President Tian Chua said his party would be asking federal lawmakers to review the difference in the minimum wages between the Peninsular and East Malaysia.

“The concept of minimum wage is that the basic livelihood for individuals is covered and that is a form of safety net,” he said. “It should not be less for East Malaysians.”

PKR kecewa kadar gaji minimum berbeza

PKR kecewa kadar gaji minimum berbezaPETALING JAYA: PKR kecewa dengan pelaksanaan dasar gaji minimum berbeza antara Semenanjung Malaysia, Sabah dan Sarawak.

Naib Presiden PKR, Tian Chua berkata, Sabah dan Sarawak adalah sebahagian daripada negara ini, jadi tiada keperluan untuk menurunkan nilai pekerja di mana-mana wilayah.

“Kami sangat kecewa Perdana Menteri membenarkan perbezaan antara gaji minimum yang diterima Sarawak lebih rendah daripada Semenanjung.

“Kami telah menuntut supaya tidak ada perbezaan atau jurang antara gaji minimum di Sarawak, Sabah dan Semenanjung,” katanya dalam sidang media bersama Naib Presiden PKR, Nurul Izzah Anwar di ibu pejabat parti itu hari ini.

Mengulas lanjut, Tian Chua yang juga Ahli Parlimen Batu berkata, pihaknya akan membawa isu itu ke sidang Parlimen akan datang kerana ia merupakan dasar negara.

“Jika kita bercakap pasal gaji setimpal, kenapa pekerja Sarawak hanya dapat RM920 dan Semenanjung dapat RM1,000 gaji minimum.

“Sehingga sekarang saya tak nampak sebarang justifikasi,” tegasnya.

Semalam, Menteri Sumber Manusia, Datuk Seri Richard Riot dalam satu kenyataan mengumumkan penguatkuasaan Perintah Gaji Minimum 2016 (PGM 2016) kepada semua majikan tanpa mengira bilangan pekerja, mulai 1 Julai ini.

PGM 2016 akan dilaksanakan terhadap semua pekerja di sektor swasta, kecuali perkhidmatan domestik seperti yang terkandung dalam PGM 2012.

Melalui PGM 2016, kadar gaji minimum bulanan ditetapkan RM1,000 atau RM4.81 sejam bagi Semenanjung Malaysia serta RM920 sebulan atau RM4.42 sejam bagi Sabah, Sarawak dan Labuan.