S'WAK POLLS - DAP Lim Kit Siang is puzzled why Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak rejected Sarawak's request for 20 percent oil royalty for the state on the eve of the state election.
He said this is nothing short of an "open slap-in-the-face" for Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem.
"Why couldn't Najib wait until after the election results on May 7 to deliver such bad news to the people of Sarawak?" he asked in a statement.
He said this might be because issues in the state are not decided by "Adenan's Team and in Adenan's Way" but rather in "Najib's Team and Najib's Way".
Lim also refuted the reason given for the rejection by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as "too patronising and an insult to the intelligence of Sarawakians".
Zahid defended Najib's rejection of the oil royalty request after the cabinet meeting in Kuching yesterday, when the PM said this was not the suitable time to consider the matter.
The DPM said the total RM20 billion in allocations handed to Sarawak by the federal government was more than the 20 percent oil royalty for the state.
Lim also took a dig at Zahid's claim that the relocation of the cabinet weekly meeting from Putrajaya to Kuching was to showcase the ministers’ support for Adenan.
"This a very strange and funny way for the cabinet to support Adenan's chief ministership, as the cabinet should have approved Adenan's request for 20 percent oil royalty.
"Instead, the cabinet meeting in Kuching decided to reject Adenan's 20 percent oil royalty request and claimed this is to support Adenan's chief ministership! How can this be taken as a way to support Adenan's chief ministership?" he asked.
He also claimed this is not the first time that BN federal and state leaders insulted the intelligence of Sarawakians by making "dumb statements and claims".
One such example, he noted, was Najib urging voters in Simanggang not to "sell" their rights for money, when the ruling party is the one throwing allocations around to garner votes from the electorate.
However, Lim said, voters should pocket whatever is offered to them, but vote for change for the sake of their future generations.
Meanwhile, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the fact that Adenan is taking the royalty rejection quietly might be his quid pro quo to the PM for appointing him.
"BN’s claim that voting for 'Team Adenan' is to defend Sarawak rights and autonomy is clearly a myth following Multimedia And Communications Minister Salleh Said Keruak’s admission that Adenan was appointed by Najib.
"If that is the case, then Adenan is beholden to the PM more than to anyone," Guan Eng said.
He said it is no wonder the PM is going all out to ensure a landslide victory for "Team Adenan", because "Team Adenan" is actually "Team Najib”.
"Sarawakians cannot trust this Siamese twins of 'Team Najib/Adenan' with absolute victory that would lead to absolute power," he added.