Polling Day for Sarawak: It’s all about Taib Mahmud

April 16, 2011

Just a matter of Taib Mahmud for Sarawak Polls

by Shannon Teoh@http://www.themalaysianinsider.com

ANALYSIS: Up to a million Sarawakians go to the polls today in what has become a referendum on Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud’s 30 years as chief minister of Malaysia’s largest state.

As the country’s longest-serving head of government, the 74-year-old has been accused of being a corrupt nepotist and lauded for developing a state once covered with the world’s oldest rainforest.

Results from what Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has called the stiffest contest in Sarawak’s history will tell us which narrative the Sarawak public really believes.

Seemingly, every issue — whether land grabs or corruption — that has been played up by the opposition over the 10-day campaign finds its final source in the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) president.

Even the seizure of Malay-language bibles is seen through the frame of an increasing racial divide between the Malay-Melanau Muslims that Taib’s administration is accused of favouring and the mostly Christian Dayak and Chinese population.

It has forced the man Sarawakians call “Pek Moh (white hair)” to label the federal government’s move to mark Malay-language bibles as “stupid”.

This is not the only clash between the federal and Sarawak BN. BN chairman Najib, sensing the growing disaffection towards Taib, pleaded with Sarawakians to “believe him” that the chief minister would step down after the polls.

But Taib said almost immediately he would only step down in a few years and refused to set a timeline for his long-awaited retirement.

This was not lost on veteran politician Lim Kit Siang, whose DAP is the oldest Pakatan Rakyat (PR) party in Sarawak.

“It is not that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is not aware of Sarawak Barisan Nasional’s Achilles heel but even he is impotent as far as getting Taib to step down as chief minister,” the DAP parliamentary leader said.

Najib clearly sees Taib as a liability in this election. Ironically, while he is expected to use today’s vote as a barometer for when to call federal polls, he has been forced to shelve his duties as prime minister to beef up BN’s campaign in Sarawak.

Camping out in the state, he has twice postponed new announcements for his much-hyped Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) that aims to double Malaysia’s per capita income by 2020, a key pillar of his strategy to hold onto Putrajaya.

In effect, the UMNO president has put his own credibility and his 1 Malaysia concept on the line.He has himself gone to meet church leaders to smooth out the Alkitab row, promising in his capacity as prime minister that no bibles would ever be seized by his administration.

As P. Ramakrishnan, president of civil rights group Aliran said yesterday, the federal government itself is campaigning in Sarawak.

Najib’s approval rating at the end of last year was still riding high at 69 per cent. The question is whether this can gloss over the anti-Taib sentiment on the ground.

If Taib falls — or even fails to retain two-thirds majority — then so too does Najib’s 1 Malaysia.

Any PR gains will likely see the Chinese backing the opposition while the Malay-Melanaus stick with BN.

Such a result would bring to the surface the kind of racial politics that already consumes the peninsula, a clear backward step for 1 Malaysia that Najib has promoted since taking office in 2009.

20 thoughts on “Polling Day for Sarawak: It’s all about Taib Mahmud

  1. But flaccidity controls everything, Kit. This includes the denial of boats, 4WD, camels and other forms of transportation. Postal shenanigans and Petronas employees who can’t take a day off to vote too.
    Mud politics and wrestling at it’s best.
    How’s the weather in the Big Apple, Bean?

  2. Bean,
    In Sngapore, Singaporeans always associated ahem ahem with the Singapore national anthem…..Hahaha

    Mari kita…….ahem ahem

    Enjoy Carry on shows! I love the part when teh governor asked the capatin to line the soldiers up and ahem ahem…….Hahahaha

  3. Good one rightways.
    Saw those some time ago. Kit and son won’t go peaceably, unlike some who sell their soul for a few ringgit, wine and song.

  4. Din: It’s all about Taib Mahmud. Bravo Lim Kit Siang.

    Raja Petra: As far as the Opposition is concerned, anyone who criticised Najib, former PM Mahathir, Government leaders was a hero and a patriot.

    “Anyone who even mildly criticises the Opposition or its leaders is a Traitor, a Turncoat, has been bought, has sold out, is doing for the money…This is typical Opposition mentality.

    “They accuse the Government of not allowing freedom of speech. “They mean, of course freedom to criticise the Government. “But when you criticise the Opposition that is not freedom of speech. You are a Judas,”

    Pakatan: RPK is a loose cannon, a Judas, a traitor, a has-been bought, a psy-war wakaka…..a zero now.

  5. You are obviously new, frivolous and can’t follow the threads posted.
    We have been whacking PR too, but certainly not as much as BN. Why is that, kiasu?
    If and when PR forms the next Gomen, we will concentrate on them and leave BN to die an ignoble death.
    But we are no force and unknowns like us are just that, nothing but a voice of conscience for the down-trodden and disenfranchised.

    Do you need smut to keep you going? What a pity.

  6. “We have been whacking PR too, but certainly not as much as BN. Why is that, kiasu?

    Sudah tuntu maa. If DAP has been running and robbing the country for 50 years, sudah tentu we would have whacked DAP much more than BN too. Because its always easy to whack the gomen than the opposition. But ikan bilis corrupt like DAP Ronnie Liu also cannot be whacked, what more when these ikan bilis kind turns into ikan paus after they become gomen. sure cant open mouth. Why is that maa? Tell yourself.

  7. RPK: Malaysians always and only think about money. So they try to read into everything you say or do as being about money. If I praise Anwar and the opposition, it is not about money. It is about the struggle, the cause, ideals, and so on.

    Why don’t they also say that you were paid by Anwar to support the opposition? Only when you criticise the opposition and/or Anwar is it about money.

    When a person is a thief, he imagines everyone else also as thieves. So when people only think about money, they always think that what you are doing must be about money. It can’t be for other reasons.

  8. kiasu,
    it sounds like you have a grudge against DAP. if you have evidence against DAP on corruption and whatelse, put it on the internet for us to see and get wiser.
    and we will whack them left and right. presently we hear a lot of blah-blah from all sides;
    we are wary of hearsay, please substantiate your claims.

  9. Sudah pukul 5……Now, we will have to stand still…..

    Meanwhile enjoy the music.

    Village People music is for the ladies…..Okay……For guys, listen to Dirty Old Man by 3 degrees

  10. “kiasu,
    You are blind!
    Look at DAP’s achievements for Penang”

    Yes, yes I am blind allright. Yeah, forget to mentioned just one of DAP’s achievements in first 2 years in Penang below:-

    44 out of 66 of contracts worth RM68 million awarded were given to Malay contractors. Bravo! Oops, 1 out of 1 contract worth RM74juta awarded direct nego (no tender) to 1 Chinese contratctor and not disclosed by DAP Lim Guan Eng (you wary of hearsay maa, check fact: ECK SDN BHD owned by Khor Ing Choon awarded RM74 million maa).

    And the 44 Malays have to share 68mil with 22 non-malays. What a racist distribution, not counting hundreds other projects awarded to Chinese contractors. Bravo DAP, you are so fair to all.

    Oh latest achievement by DAP, awarded chinese company REDZONE Penang Wifi project at FREE cost!!!!!But quietly will pay 8.45 millions on 2nd year. Also direct award, no tender.

    Bravo3 you are right, kiasu is blind, but how could you expect a blind to look at those links you paste maa???? are you s….id, go check the links yourself maa

  11. “kiasu,
    You are blind!
    Look at DAP’s achievements for Penang”

    Yeah, just heard DAP-lead Pakatan will sapu Sarawak with 2/3 majority, all credit to DAP’s achievements for Penang. right? right?

    or all Sarawakians blind too???

  12. “Substantiate with facts, no hearsay please, kiasu”

    ahahaha….since when DAP is asking for facts before accusing others of murder? Altuntuya, TBH, Anwar China Doll(oops, got video, twitter and omega),….since when DAP stop believing hearsay from hero to zero RPK?

    hellooo, RM68 million & RM74 million are facts, not plucked from rambutan tree maa. ECK Sdn Bhd is not company based in moon maa. Detail? haiya, you not blind like me, go do own search maa, or ask Tuan LGE who made the statement. If don’t want to believe or choose not to, no problem maa, this is free country free media maa. right all the way maa?

    BTW, hearsay Pakatan is forming new Sarawak govt because Penang success, and TM lost deposit? haiya, fact or hearsay?

  13. thanks for the information, kiasu!

    chinese, are not malaysians?
    malays, are not malaysians?
    you forgot the indians, the mamaks et etc.

    when are you people going to stop discriminating each other. is it not logical to do some ethnic cleansing? wipe em out until only one race remains. the super race!

    you can’t live with them
    and also you can’t live without them

    malaysians are one BIG family. how true!

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