Pakatan Rakyat’s so-called shadow cabinet has come under fire here with many declaring that it was a ‘reflection’ of how the peninsular-based opposition viewed the state’s importance.
Last week FMT columnist Selena Tay revealed, after speaking to a Pakatan MP who declined to be named, a list of people who formed Pakatan’s shadow cabinet.
Except for two posts – Deputy Prime Minister 3 and at Transport Minister – all positions were swept by peninsular-based Pakatan MPs from DAP, PAS and PKR.
Responding to comments to her disclosure, Tay wrote: “I never forget Sabah and Sarawak but as mentioned above, this list is from the previous GE when the Sabahans and Sarawakians only gave one or two miserable seats to the opposition.
“If they vote Pakatan more, then their representation will be increased.”
Her comment and list have shocked many in Sarawak and neighbouring Sabah, where Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has been busy wooing MPs and voters.
It has also put Anwar’s spin that Sabah and Sarawak will be dealt with fairly under question. The grapevines here are spewing skeptism over Pakatan’s ‘real’ intentions.
Anwar’s PKR is already facing an uphill battle in Sabah where there is prevailing questions about the party’s ‘genuineness’ and threats from a fast expanding State Reform Party lead by former PKR vice president Jeffrey Kitingan.
Said one Sabah businessman, who declined to be named: “This is not even the real list. It’s only a shadow cabinet and they did not nominate anyone from Sabah, imagine after the elections.
“PKR cannot win any seats in Sabah and DAP maybe get one.. so what will happen then. We will still have only one miserable seat unless they tie up with a local party.”
Pakatan ‘no different from BN’
In Sarawak, local folk are seething at the ‘arrogance of leadership’.
A civil servant in Sibu who declined to be named accused the KL opposition pact leaders of having a short memory.
“They have forgotten that DAP and PKR together won 15 seats in last April state election and the fact that DAP here has two MPs.
“The shadow list ignored them completely. This could eventually be the real list, you know.
“How can you trust people who say one thing and do another? They are no different from BN,” he said.
Meanwhile Sarawak PKR vice-chairman See Chee How whilst admitting that many had roundly criticised the list, said that “the list is not finalised yet”.
“There is no official confirmation on the list yet. But I am confident that eventually there will be a better representation of Sarawak and Sabah if Pakatan takes over,” he said.
He also added that the opposition coalition will “heed public opinions” in the event Sabah and Sarawak delivered on its seats in the 13th general election.
‘We are united’
Meanwhile state PKR chief Baru Bian, who was named Transport Minister in the shadow cabinet list, yesterday urged Sarawakians not to listen to news being spread by the media that Pakatan Rakyat in Sarawak and in the country is divided.
“We in PKR, PAS and DAP are solidly united having one vision and one fight, and our fight is against the Barisan Nasional.
“Our promise is that we will fight BN on a one-to-one in all the 31 parliamentary seats,” he said, pointing out that they did it in the last election.
Bian, who is the Ba’Kelalan assemblyman, said that during the last election the people in his constituency were told that development projects would be withdrawn or stopped if they voted for the opposition.
“They even told the people that their children would be stopped from going to school if they voted for the opposition, and they issued all sorts of threats.
“But after the election was over, the people realised that the projects went ahead until they were completed and the children continued to go to school.