KUCHING: The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Backbenchers Club has slammed opposition parties for trying to create a perception that the GPS was not giving the youth the opportunity to exercise their democratic rights.
It was responding to a statement by Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) secretariat and Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak leaders that continued to harp on the Undi18 issue, and alleging that the Sarawak government was rushing the state polls to avoid Undi18’s implementation.
“We like to point out that GPS has continued to be sensitive and concerned about the aspirations of the youth and, throughout its various policies, has ensured that the youth are not left out from benefitting from the initiatives of the Sarawak government,” it said on Monday (Oct 18).
The Club said it was disappointing to see that whenever the state election nears, the opposition parties were back to their old strategy of inciting anger among the youth similar to what happened during the 14th General Election in 2018.
“This approach of throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks can be interpreted as a sign of desperation from the opposition, especially PH, whose political capital dried up after their massive blunder when helming the federal administration.”
“As for PSB, what have they done for the youth since its formation and what are their contributions?
“For the Sarawak government, it has come up with the incentive to pay 30 per cent of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan to eligible borrowers.
“It has also created the Graduan Pulang Sarawak (iGPS) initiative for Sarawak students studying at higher learning institutions in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Labuan.”
Prior to Covid-19 and when mass gatherings were allowed, the Club said constant engagements with the youth were held by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and the Sarawak Youth and Sports Minister.
This contributed to the setting-up of several initiatives to help the youth and empower them, grooming them to be leaders, the Club added.
“We call on the opposition parties to not mislead the youth any further just for the sake of scoring brownie points.
“The youth can see and evaluate for themselves the contributions of the state government and how its policies have benefitted them.
“No amount of slander and baseless allegations can change that.”