Native groups against BN parties joining Pakatan

MIRI: Eleven native groups in Sarawak are opposed to any move by Pakatan Harapan Federal Government to admit Sarawak Barisan Nasional parties into the coalition.

The Coalition of Civil Societies and Organisations Sarawak issued a joint statement protesting any move by Pakatan and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to consider admitting Sarawak Barisan parties.

“We represent a big number of Sarawakians who voted for Pakatan during the general election to change the government.

“For PH to even consider negotiating with Sarawak Barisan or any component party will be a betrayal of our votes.

“We protest any such negotiations at state or federal levels,” said the statement.

The 11 signatories were Save Sarawak Rivers, Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia, Sarawak Dayak Iban Association, Persatuan Dayak Sarawak, Jaringan Tanah Hak Adat Bangsa Asal Sarawak, Borneo Resources Institute, Gerakan Anak Sarawak, Sarawak Indigenous Lawyers Association, Persatuan Masyarakat Tering Miri, Association for Building Indigenous Heritage and Rise of Sarawak Effort.

Save Sarawak Rivers chairman Peter Kallang when contacted said the groups were united in their opposition.

“There is no way PH should consider any move to even negotiate with Sarawak Barisan that the voters (in 12 parliament seats) rejected.

“Civil society groups have been struggling against unjust Barisan policies on land and native rights for decades.

“We showed our unhappiness via the ballot box. This will mean nothing if PH now admits these Barisan parties into the new Government,” he said.

The groups will forward their decision to the Pakatan federal leadership in Putrajaya, he added.

Sarawak Barisan lost 12 out of 31 parliament seats in the May 9 polls.

They included six rural and semi-rural seats that Sarawak Barisan had never lost before in Saratok, Lubok Antu, Mas Gading, Puncak Borneo, Selangau and Julau.