Thursday February 14, 2013
Three-way fight looms in Mas Gading Barisan candidate for the parliamentary seat expected to face-off with DAP and STAR
KUCHING: The fight for Mas Gading in the coming general election will be nothing short of a three-cornered fight as the State Reform Party (STAR) is joining the fray.
The party’s Mas Gading chairman Patrick Anek Uren announced the party’s decision to contest the seat in a press statement yesterday. “Our candidate will be announced at the appropriate time,” he said.
Mas Gading, which has more than 20,000 voters, has been at the centre of much attention since its MP Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe was among a group of elected representatives who had left or were sacked from SPDP because of a bitter squabble with the party president Tan Sri William Mawan.
Although Dr Tiki is now officially partyless, he remains confident that he would get to defend the seat for BN despite the recent declaration by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during a visit here that there would be no Barisan direct candidates in the general polls.
SPDP has nominated a new face, Anthony Nogeh, who is Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) deputy general manager, to be fielded as BN candidate for the seat.
The third contender is DAP’s Mordi Bimol, a personal assistant to state DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen. The Universiti Malaysia Sarawak graduate is relatively new to the political scene, coming to the fore only after Chong, who is also Bandar Kuching MP, made him his personal assistant several years ago.
Meanwhile, Anek said STAR’s participation in the polls in Sarawak would be limited and that the party’s main focus would be on Sabah.
He pointed out that the party’s struggle was based on its “Agenda Borneo” and this included a ‘re-visit’ to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the pre-Malaysia 18-point agreement for Sarawak and 20-point for Sabah.
“This is with the view of getting a better share for the people of Sarawak of the revenues derived from the state’s resources which include oil and gas, and other economic development.
“As our state is very much lagging behind Peninsular Malaysia in terms of infrastructure, the revenues derived from our resources should accrue more to the state,” he said.
Anek also said that the education policy seemed to be in conflict with the fact that English was an official language of Sarawak and while children in government schools were taught in Bahasa Malaysia, those who went to Chinese schools were taught in Chinese.
“The concern here is that such a policy is making obvious divide in our society, an unhealthy trend indeed. We should have a policy whereby all our children are taught the same subject in English and with emphasis for Bahasa Malaysia as a national language, and for English as an international language.”
Anek called for the setting up of an independent body to administer affirmative action policy as enshrined in Article 153 of the Federal Constitution. He also said a national foundation should be set up to implement that policy in Sarawak and Sabah where the situation was not the same as in the peninsula.
He said that included the policy on the use of native land to benefit the natives.
“The current practices are that no development on land can be funded by those agencies (Malaysian Palm Oil Board and Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority) unless they are issued with land titles.
“Such practices impede progress involving the Dayaks whose lands for the most part are without titles. We suggest that a win-win policy involving the natives and investors be brought about whenever land are given to big time investors so that natives of Sarawak could realise the benefit of independence via Malaysia,” he said.