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Adenan Satem, Sarawak, Sarawak election

New Sarawak constituency seats to give rural folk a greater voice

I HAVE heard a lot of complaints from the opposition on the proposed new State seats. I won’t go into the details but let’s just say for parties claiming to be championing the needs of rural folk, they seem pretty adamant that there shouldn’t be more rural seats.

What am I talking about? Well many of the proposed new seats are in rural areas. If you look at the map of Sarawak, you’ll understand how YBs in rural seats such as those in Baram or Kapit have such a difficult task serving their constituents.

Our State’s unbelievably beautiful landscape is also incredibly inaccessible. Development has already transformed many areas, but we all know that it takes time and money to connect roads and basic amenities to the extremely Ulu areas.

Hence the idea of having more seats in rural areas makes complete sense. Those elected to fight for their constituents would be able to do so more effectively with a more manageable area to cover. They would be able to look closely into the issues that are at the core of what rural folk want and need.

Our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem put it perfectly when he said the 11 new seats are necessary in order to amplify the voices of rural folk.

“Like I’ve repeatedly reiterated, there is a lot of catching up to do in the rural areas, which have been left behind from overall development. Our focus is to close the social and economic gap between the rural and urban areas as much as possible,” he said during a live interview on TV3.

In signature Adenan Satem style, he dismissed accusations of gerrymandering by certain parties, stressing that his priority is to give people in rural areas a bigger voice.

“The first thought that came to mind when I think of Sarawak’s future is how can I help the poor and vulnerable groups get out from poverty.

“The issues between urban and rural areas are different, their concerns are different,” he said.

He also pointed out that there are a lot issues being manipulated by the opposition but that the State government believes the people, especially in rural areas, would not be influenced.

Indeed, it should be pretty obvious to everyone who the real champion of rural folk is don’t you think?

The story from The Borneo Post:

State election likely to be held early next year

KUCHING: The 11th state election would likely be held early next year.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem hinted on TV3’s ‘Question and Answer’ programme on Wednesday that there were several factors to be considered including the federal and state budget announcements at the end of the fiscal year and the rainy season in December.

“The State Legislative Assembly expires on June 20, 2016. It means that the election needs to be called within 60 days … so the state has until August,” he explained.

“Maybe in the early part of next year. I believe this hint of the date could be happy news for all.”

On the 11 new seats to be included in the state election, Adenan pointed out that the majority of the seats are in rural areas in order to amplify the voices of rural folk.

“Like I’ve repeatedly reiterated, there is a lot of catching up to do in the rural areas, which have been left behind from overall development. Our focus is to close the social and economic gap between the rural and urban areas as much as possible,” he said.

Having led Sarawak for 17 months now, Adenan said he was not bothered with the accusations of gerrymandering by certain parties, because his priority is to give people in rural areas a bigger voice.

“The first thought that came to mind when I think of Sarawak’s future is how can I help the poor and vulnerable groups get out from poverty.

“The issues between urban and rural areas are different, their concerns are different,” he said.

As such, Adenan reiterated that the government is committed and strives to serve the poor.

“Poverty in Sarawak is still high compared to other parts of Malaysia. There would be a bias to measure per capita income in rural Sarawak as there cannot be a single generalisation,” he said.

On whether Sarawak still remains a ‘safe deposit’ for BN, Adenan said he is optimistic of a big win for BN considering its track record.

“I believe the people still trust and have faith in the BN government even though things have been twisted a little. There may be a little chip here and there but not to be worried (about),” he said.

“Even the opposition also has the same problem. They are now in disarray without proper direction. There are a lot issues being manipulated by the opposition but we believe they will not influence the people, especially in rural areas.”

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