Chong Chieng Jen

KUCHING: Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) is not buying the idea of holding the state election and general election at the same time.

Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen said separate election was good for voters because it would keep the ruling coalition on their toes at all times.

“This helps to make the ministers and elected representatives, be they state ministers or federal ministers, accountable to the people to a certain degree constantly.

“Though theoretically, state and federal governments have different jurisdictions and responsibilities.

“However as the people see, the parties as a whole and the responsibilities of the MPs and the assemblyman are not mutually exclusive,” he said on Thursday (Sept 10).

He was responding to a statement from Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu vice-president Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who predicted that the state election would be called by the end of the year.

Abdul Karim also viewed that a snap general election should be called at the same time to resolve the current political instability in the nation’s capital.

“That’s why Sarawakians are 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,” he said.

The Kota Sentosa assemblyman said due to this, elected representatives have to work hard to serve the people.

“If the MP doesn’t do his or her work, it will affect the result of the assemblymen in the area and vice versa.

“Therefore, for me, I do not think that having state and parliament elections simultaneously is good for the people of Sarawak.”