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Media Statement by Chong Chieng Jen, DAP National Vice Chairman, DAP Sarawak State Secretary, MP for Bandar Kuching, Adun for Kota Sentosa, and Sibu By-Election Campaign Director on Saturday, 8th May 2010 at Sibu:

Robert Lau should remain as a local councillor if he’s unwilling to speak up on serious national issues in Parliament

DAP’s Sibu by-election campaign chairman, Chong Chieng Jen has expressed profound shock over the remarks made by the by-election candidate Robert Lau during an interview which was reported in online portal Malaysian Insider today.

In the interview (Malaysian Insider), Lau’s response took everyone by surprise when he said that national issues such as the ban on the word “Allah” should not be used as an election issue. He further said that the election campaign should only highlight local issues.

Chong lambasted Lau for forgetting that he is a candidate for Parliament, and not a candidate for a local city council. His remarks in the interview proved that Lau’s mentality is reflective of someone who is not ready or capable to speak up for the interests of the people of Sibu at the national level.

“The scope of responsibilities of an elected Member of Parliament does not only include raising important constituency issues, but he/she has to be concerned with the nation’s political and economic development in order to defend the welfare and constitutional rights of the people,” added Chong.

Chong challenged Lau to state his stand on the following issues, if he is elected as an MP:

The 20% oil royalty fees that were not returned to Sarawak by the federal government;

The federal government’s decision to implement the Goods & Service Tax (GST) in the near future, which will invariably burden the people;

The impending cancellation of petrol subsidies that will result in an increase in petrol price;

The poor education standards under the federal government that has forced most parents to send their children to private/international schools – which is something that Lau’s family can relate to;

The failure of the police force under the federal government to reduce the crime index, which has caused widespread fear and concern among Malaysian; and

The decision by the federal government to ban East Malaysian Christians from using the word “Allah” in Bahasa Malaysia.

“It’s obvious that SUPP’s role in Parliament is solely to be a ‘yes-man’. Under the control of BN, SUPP leaders will never have the courage to question the government and its policies! The SUPP leader who represents Sibu will have to abide by BN’s orders, which in turn deprives the people of their voices to be heard in Parliament.”

“If Lau feels that national issues that are debated in Parliament are not important, then he should immediately stop all efforts to be elected as the MP for Sibu, and start applying to be a local councillor instead!” concluded Chong.

* Chong Chieng Jen DAP National Vice Chairman, DAP Sarawak State Secretary, MP for Bandar Kuching, Adun for Kota Sentosa, and Sibu By-Election Campaign Director



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