Tuesday, 3 September 2013

SWP compelled to join opposition – Sec-gen

KUCHING: The decision by Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) to align itself with the opposition front is natural, says its secretary-general Dr Ong Lak Sai.

He explained though the party started off as Barisan Nasional-friendly party, it had to change its stance due to attacks from BN leaders and reaction from the people on the ground.

“We started off as BN-friendly because traditionally we were BN supporters. But after seeing the reaction from people on the ground and BN leaders’ position against us, it is only natural for us to align with the opposition front.

“When we were BN-friendly, how friendly was BN towards us, and did they open their doors and welcome us with open arms?” he said in a statement yesterday.

It was issued most probably in response to recent comments made by certain BN leaders against SWP’s recent stand that it was willing to work together with the state Democratic Action Party (DAP), a party under Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

Dr Ong said SWP was formed after supporters of a faction in Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), who were clearly marginalised and forced out of the party, needed another platform to further their political struggle.

As such, he said it came as no surprise that today the party is being attacked by BN for aligning itself with PR.

“As far as we are concerned, we have not compromised our principles but will continue serving our people with the best of abilities,” he said.

SWP president Larry Sng reportedly said they and DAP were in consensus on the need to work together to maximise their strength in numbers.

State DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen even said a few informal meetings had been held between them and SWP after the May 5 general election for a possible cooperation.

State BN leaders including secretary-general Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi Utom had said recently that SWP’s decision to align itself with DAP was an act of desperation in its political survival.

PRS deputy president Datuk Joseph Entulu said the willingness of SWP to work with DAP revealed its true colours, and it will not affect BN’s chances of winning in the next state election.

SWP contested in six parliamentary seats held by PRS, a BN component, in the May 5 general election. All the candidates including Sng lost. - theborneopost

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