MIRI – For the coming Sarawak state election, endorsement and support is promised for electoral candidates and political parties who embrace the manifesto on substantive issues crucial to the life of ordinary Sarawakians and to the environment.
Aiming at dealing with practical issues crucial to the life of ordinary Sarawakians and to the environment, a coalition of Sarawak’s civil society organisations (CSO), community based organisations (CBO) and indigenous people’s organisations (IPO) plan to engage all electoral candidates and all competing political parties in the State Election. Endorsement and support is promised for electoral candidates and political parties who embrace the manifesto.
The group has compiled a document which is named the Peoples’ Manifesto for the coming Sarawak state election which is due by June this year. The three page paper is addressed to all political parties from the two divides and their electoral candidates. In order to get the support of the community based organisations, the politicians’ declaration of commitment and support for the manifesto must be made public. They are required to commit themselves to the policy issues in order to improve the quality of life, the environment and to strengthen democracy in the state.
On their part the coalition of CSO, CBO & IPO give their commitment to urge all voters to support and to VOTE for electoral candidates that publicly commit themselves fully to this manifesto. The group will also urge the Sarawak electorate to REJECT all electoral candidates that refuse to endorse the manifesto.
The document, available in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Iban and Chinese, will be presented to the competing political parties, candidates and voters. In promoting the manifesto, the coalition plan to use their contacts at the grassroots and public forums at various locations in Sarawak.
The manifesto focuses on three classified issues: 1. Cost of living & Quality of Life issues. With a listing of ten items; 2. Dams, Native Land & Environment issues. With a listing of fourteen items; 3. Democracy and Human Right issues. With a listing of five items.
Ms. Ann Teo, the team leader of the NGO, Rise of Sarawak Efforts (ROSE), commenting on the manifesto and emphasised the importance of grass-root organisation and civil society in Sarawak to participate in the process of accountability and good governance. She added, “I believe that no fundamental social change happens with just politicians or government acting. CSOs are stakeholder in this process.”