KUCHING: What about giving all Sarawakians over the age of 18 a monthly gift of RM100 from the government?

If the word “gift” is deemed cheesy, it can be called government-mandated “contribution” or “handout”. And since it would be from the government coffers, what about calling it “welfare assistance”? That would make it look more “official”, wouldn’t it?

But wait! Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Youth chief, Michael Tiang, had expressed his opposition to such payments. He characterised that manner of distributing taxpayers’ money inappropriate. As for whoever gives away such money, he pronounced them irresponsible. Take that, Parti Sedar Rakyat Sarawak (Sedar)!

Michael Tiang

The reason why Tiang is rather worked up about the idea is, Sedar appears to be trying to “reel in” voters by promising to give cash to them.

There’s one condition to this “generosity”.

Sedar president, Datuk Othman Abdillah, said the payments would be made if the party captured all 82 state seats in the next state election.

And that’s not all! Othman also promised that the amount would be increased to RM300 or RM500 in due time under an initiative that he called Sarawak People’s Rights Fund.

Tiang, of course, rejects the “socialist nonsense”. He told the New Sarawak Tribune that it was not right for any political party aiming to become the next government to talk about sharing and distributing the state’s wealth by putting cash in the people’s hands.

“Although Sarawak has abundant natural resources, it is crucial for the state to have a government with good wealth investment and management skills,” he said.

He has little or no respect for a government which is only good at talking about giving freebies to cloud the minds of potential voters.

For him, any government of the day should have a pragmatic economic action plan to create prosperity.

Tiang said that if Sedar was serious in their political struggle, they should lay down their version of economic development roadmap and visions for Sarawak.

“We believe in educating our people to be successful entrepreneurs and elites so that we all become wealth builders for Sarawak,” he said.

“Sarawakians are facing a very challenging and competitive world while striving to ensure that their state become prosperous so that they all could enjoy their share.”