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Thursday, April 28, 2016

PKR-DAP feud deepens as parties release separate Sarawak Election Manifestos

The last time the Opposition coalition campaigned in Sarawak in 2011 they did so under a joint manifesto but five years on, the coalition is in disarray as both parties have just launched separate manifestos.

DAP Sarawak launched its 10-point manifesto at a press conference yesterday, focusing on policy reform to ensure wealth sharing.

The 10 points are free public bus services, equitable sharing of forest resources, sharing of land by all, jobs creation, enhancement of Internet coverage, improvement of security, transparency in governance, multi-racial civil service, taxation autonomy and education autonomy, DAP Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen told reporters at the party headquarters in Kuching, Borneo Post reports.

Earlier, PKR vice-president Dr Xavier Jeyakumar had announced the party's five election promises and 18-point roadmap on Tuesday.

Among the promises include reducing the cost of living by abolishing the Goods and Services Tax (GST), building infrastructure on par with the Peninsula, restoring the native customary rights (NCR) land and Sarawak’s autonomy rights, to fight for 20 per cent oil royalty, and bring changes like what had been done in Penang and Selangor, New Straits Times reports

Surprisingly, the familiar visage of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim which is ever present in all PKR publicity materials is missing from the PKR Sarawak booklet.

Instead the booklet contains the image of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his quotes.

The fraying ties is further highlighted by Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) deputy president Salahuddin Ayub announcing that his party would not release their own manifesto as they were only contesting in 13 seats, a local online portal quoted him as stating.

Pakatan Harapan was hastily launched last September comprising breakaway PAS together with PKR and DAP in an attempt to capitalize on the BN leadership crisis and the impending Sarawak election but it looks like Pakatan's fragile coalition is the one that is crumbling at present.

A contributor had commented on the imploding Pakatan coalition with sadness in an opinion piece posted on Aliran Monthly's online portal.

"Lim Kit Siang said the bad blood between the DAP and the PKR in Sarawak is the saddest moment in his political career. I don’t think he was being melodramatic," the commentator observed in what could be an obituary for the coalition's partnership in the 11th Sarawak state elections.

- mD

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