Sunday, August 29, 2010

War of words between DAP and Kuching council escalates

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By Joseph Tawie

KUCHING: The war of words between Kuching DAP and the Kuching south city council escalted between Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen and the Mayor James Chan. The latest incident occurred last Sunday at the Kuching city festival when a group of councillors and law enforcement officers tried to stop a DAP voter registration exercise headed by Chong.

There were heated arguments over whether the party had applied for a permit to carry out a voter registration exercise. Chong demanded the officers show them a provision in the council prohibiting a party from registering voters in the council's jurisdiction.

At a press conference yesterday, Chan slammed the DAP for carrying out a programme during the Kuching festival at Dewan Masyarakat.

He said that the festival which is an iconic event for the city, should not be used by any political party for political activities.

“The event which is meant to mark the commemoration of Kuching as a city has always been a place for families to have fun and for traders to earn extra income.

“It should not be used as a political stage, and it would be better off for the venue to remain that way instead of being used by others not associated with the festival,” Chan said.

He called on all political parties to respect the Kuching festival as a community event and hoped that it would remain that way.

He hoped in future political parties would seek permission first from the council and apply for a police permit if they wanted to hold a public gathering.\

Chan added that DAP should be professional about the matter and not to create a public nuisance at events such as the Kuching festival.

The council, he said, has its own by-laws, and anyone who contravenes its regulations would have to face the consequences.

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