KUCHING: Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen opines that holding the Sarawak state election and parliamentary election concurrently would do no good to Sarawakians.
The Stampin MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman asserts that having separate elections is good for the people “because it keeps the ruling parties on their toes all the time”.
“For the past decades, Sarawak has been holding separate state elections from general elections — approximately every two years, there is an election.
“This helps to make the ministers and elected representatives, be it state ministers or federal ministers accountable to the people to a certain degree constantly,” he told The Borneo Post here today.
He was prompted for comments on Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice president Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah’s recent view that the state polls and the 15th general election (GE15) should be held concurrently.
According to Chong, although state and federal governments, theoretically, have different jurisdictions and responsibilities, the people see the political parties as a whole and the responsibilities of the MPs and state assembly persons are not mutually exclusive.
As such, he felt that Sarawakians were fortunate to have separate state and general elections.
“Every two years, there will be some form of ‘stock take’ and an overview of the performance of the parties and the government of the day.
“The elected representatives have to constantly work hard to serve. If the MP does not do his or her work, it will affect the result of the state assembly persons in the area and vice versa,” he pointed out.
Because of this, Chong stressed that not having state and general elections concurrently would be good for the people of Sarawak.
On Thursday, Abdul Karim said the state election would be likely held by the end of this year, adding that GE15 should be held concurrently with the state polls.
Malaysia has 222 parliamentary seats with the Perikatan Nasional government holding 113, and the opposition, 109.
The 12th Sarawak state election must be called within 60 days upon the dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) which current term expires on June 7 next year.