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DAP candidate for the Batu Kawah seat Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen speaks to Malay Mail during an interview in Kuching December 8, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
DAP candidate for the Batu Kawah seat Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen speaks to Malay Mail during an interview in Kuching December 8, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUCHING, Dec 10 — DAP’s Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen has called for strong governance in Sarawak to ensure that the multi-cultural tolerance in the state remains untouched, amid ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak’s (GPS) alliance with federal parties PAS, Umno and Perikatan Nasional.

Bandar Kuching MP Dr Yii, who is his party’s shock candidate for the Batu Kawah seat, claimed voters here are worried about what they see as “extremism” endorsed by Islamist PAS and Malay nationalist Umno, among others.

“I think there is a desire to change, growing dissatisfaction on top of other extreme sentiments that is brought in by parties like PAS, right-wing of Umno, that is a threat to the multicultural fabric that Sarawak always enjoys,” he told Malay Mail in a recent interview.

Despite admitting his slim chances, Dr Yii pointed to the need for a “strong opposition” to offer check-and-balance and with that ensure accountability among the state government.

“For that to happen we need a strong opposition. And I’m not just talking about any opposition, I’m talking about credible, proven opposition that has its track record and that ‘we are in it for the long haul’.

“At the end of the day, if a state or a country or a region does not have a strong check and balance system, we are in for troubled times,” he added.

Dr Yii will face incumbent Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian from GPS, Chai Kueh Khun (Parti Bumi Kenyalang) and Fong Pau Teck (Parti Aspirasi Rakyat Sarawak).

Peninsular Malaysia has been rocked recently by bans against number forecast outlets and alcohol sale in certain areas in PAS-led Kedah.

The Perikatan Nasional had also enforced limitations and new regulations on coffee shops selling alcohol, by compelling owners to apply for a licence specifically to sell beer from January 1 onwards, based on a previously unenforced provision under the Excise Regulations 1977.

In response, Dr Sim who is also SUPP president said the requirement for coffee shops to obtain a licence to sell beer from next year does not apply to Sarawak.

MCA president and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong then announced that the Customs Department will cease enforcement of liquor licences for sales of alcoholic beverages in retail outlets following orders from the Ministry of Finance.

In the 2016 Sarawak state election, Dr Sim defeated DAP’s then incumbent assemblyman Christina Liew with a 2,085 majority.

Polling is scheduled for December 18, with 20,681 voters in Batu Kawah, a suburban area in the southwest of Kuching.

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