Hornbill Unleashed

April 2, 2009

An open letter to James Masing

By SKY (Sim Kwang Yang) Kenyalang578@hotmail.com)

Dear James,

You have been reported by the Borneo Post online (31.3.2009) as blaming Jawa Garang for the lack of development in Batang Ai, because Jawa did not lobby for projects during his five terms as MP.

This sort of political narrative from a personal friend of 25 years astonishes me.  Surely a person with such academic credential and long record in politics like you can say something more inspiring?

Development projects are a right to be enjoyed by tax payers, and not candies to be dangled by the ruling parties in any election to fish for votes. 

Ibans are tax-payers too

The poor Ibans in Batang Ai may not pay much in income tax, because they are so poor in cash income.  But for everything they buy, such as daily necessities, farm tools, fertilizers, fuel, machinery, construction materials, food, clothing, seeds, and everything they need, they pay the excise tax, sales tax, and the import tax already hidden in the retail price.

The only tax-free things they enjoy are the air they breathe. As tax-paying citizens, they have the basic human right to development in basic infrastructure.

Social Contract

Then there is the social contract.  I do not mean the silly social contract that UMNO refers to.  I mean the one proposed by Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, whom you must have read in your pursuit of a Ph. D.

That contract is a theoretical construct, but its does offer the ground for the legitimacy of government.

There, a government is legitimate morally as long as it looks after the personal security, the prosperity, and the natural rights of citizens.  When that government fails in its duty to the governed, then the people have the right to change the government – by a revolution even according to Locke.

Therefore, it is the duty of the federal and state government to provide basic development to the people of Batang Ai, even without the MP lobbying for it!  That is what a government for the people, by the people, and of the people is supposed to do.

No money?

You may offer the lame excuse that Sarawak is too vast, with over 5000 villagers spread in isolation.  It is too expensive to provide basic infrastructure to all poor Sarawakians in the rural area. 

How about the money generated from the timber wealth?  How can they be channelled to the people rather than a few connected individuals?  How about the profit generated by land use for plantation purposes?  These are within the jurisdiction of the Sarawak state government after all.

How about the fantastic wealth generated by Sarawak’s indigenous oil and gas?  Since you and your state government are so good at lobbying, why have you not lobbied for 20% royalty from the black gold beneath our feet?

Look at the West 

In West Malaysia, electricity supply has reached 95% of the population.  I think clean water and road access are about that figure.  I do not like UMNO, but let’s give them credit for making some real change in rural Malaya.  In the Klang Valley, the per capita income is something like RM 5000 per month!  Lim Guan Eng has just announced that there are no longer cases of hard-core poverty in Penang State.  Somehow, some of the money used in developing Malaya must have come from revenue from Sarawak oil and gas?

In contrast, 80% of the Ibans probably make less than RM 1000 per year.

Since you and your colleagues in the Sarawak BN are such effective lobbyists, can you please get some more funds from UMNO to eradicate poverty in Sarawak? 

You and Sarawak BN have a powerful bargaining chip.  You can threaten to withdraw support for the BN at the federal level, and help Pakatan Rakyat form the next federal government.  After all, UMNO now depends on you guys to hold on to power in Putrajaya!

Many years ago, you told me in a private conversation that the Dayaks cannot be in the opposition.  When I started in politics in 1978 in Bandar Kuching, many Chinese voters told me the same thing too.   

This is where we disagree.  The Dayaks can be in an opposition that can take power to become the government for the sake, not only of the Dayaks, but also for justice for all Sarawakians and all Malaysians.

I am now a private citizen and a pensioner.  The Borneo Post would probably not print my letter.  So I have to print it here, in cyberspace.  I hope one of the readers will send it directly to you

If you choose to reply, please send it to my email below.  I promise you it will be published here in full and without censorship.  Then we can have a frank debate between two fellow Anak Sarawak, just as we did about two decades ago in the media on the Bakun Dam.

Good health to you and your family,


Yours truly,


Sim Kwang Yang



  1. […] personal security, the prosperity, and the natural rights of citizens,” Sim wrote in 2009, in an open letter to […]

    Pingback by Masing: If we tell you to walk backwards, do it « Hornbill Unleashed — March 29, 2012 @ 12:02 AM | Reply

  2. I thought he was a good pilitician when he was at PBDS but lastly he turn into Big Anaconda. Never even struggle towards the fate of his own people. I can say, BN in Federal level might be good but our own people, I mean leader like JJM and a group whose voice might be heard in Sarawak never bother what happen to orang kita yang sememangnya behak hidup di tanah sendiri. Tolong meh kita ke begelar YB perunding ka nasib bangsa diri ka maioh di peda aku, bangsa ke tau dikumbai agi merinsa ke lebih agi tudah di diau di menoa ulu ke bepangai pengidup ari tanah. Nadai ga kami tu enggai ka pemansang enti ia nya amat tau meri penguntung ka rakyat. We hasve to accept the fact the our people still need piece of land to continue their living. With NCR land given by British Government until 31.12.1958 would not be enoughed as communitiesare growing bigger. Mana cukup tanah untuk cari makan. Fikirlah, YB mintak tambah ka sempadan NCR ari 1958.

    Comment by Justine — July 29, 2011 @ 4:09 PM | Reply

  3. Hey Kawan2….

    James Jemut anak Masing from Sg. Mujong, Balleh, Kapit was once a good politician (during PBDS time) but sorry to say that he was badly ( politically ) brought up to what he has grown up to be what he is today.

    The rot starts with Munggie anak Irok…..what’s everybody’s take on this

    Comment by ballehkapit — March 7, 2011 @ 1:59 PM | Reply

  4. I am a voters and strong supporters of pakatan rakyat,i have just come across your commend regarding jjm.I agree with you and will 100% vote for pakatan in the next election.

    Comment by robin prang — March 8, 2010 @ 9:52 AM | Reply

  5. Corruption in Malaysia reflecting the basic human traits – Greedy, hypocrite & selfish. We have long way to fight for a clean & transparency governmnt but in return some may have to sacrifice in the ways of being arrested for relaying TRUE NEWS or instigating anti-corrution campaign likes road show.
    Writing blog may not help much as majority of the visitors knows what is going on in the country. BN shall thanks to opposition parties for preventing them becoming dictators! After all, Malaysia is still less corruption practice than those in Indonesia, Philipine, India etc.

    Comment by Tom Long — May 5, 2009 @ 3:36 PM | Reply

  6. Bro SKY thank you very much for your open letter to JJM. I bet he will not respond to your letter because he know what you say is right. I pray to God that he repent from his sin. He has no right to claim that he is a christian and should remove his christian name JAMES and return to JEMUT MASING only. Perhaps then he know that he is an Iban and help his own community instead of being used by the white Rajah to “kill” the dayaks.

    Comment by Mohamad — April 25, 2009 @ 5:58 PM | Reply

  7. […] An open letter to James Masing By SKY (Sim Kwang Yang) ( Kenyalang578@hotmail.com) […]

    Pingback by Top Posts « WordPress.com — April 4, 2009 @ 8:23 AM | Reply


    Comment by orang ulu — April 4, 2009 @ 3:03 AM | Reply

  9. Beautiful post. I link earlier, but failed. Later I paste.

    Comment by tunabdulrazak — April 3, 2009 @ 6:09 PM | Reply

  10. SIGN UP… Please..

    PM Bersih

    Comment by PM Bersih — April 3, 2009 @ 2:28 AM | Reply

  11. phd? more like permanent head damage.

    ya, you lobby hard, you get the goodies.

    what about the poor? do they have to lobby hard just to survive?

    what sort of christian is he?

    if i am jesus, I will spit him out.

    Comment by aca — April 2, 2009 @ 10:41 PM | Reply

  12. YB Datuk Afraid Dun hell,please dont quarrel with jam masin over poster,instead of serving rakyat,you people busy quarrelling each other over poster heads,gai malukah?

    Comment by alfred dunhill — April 2, 2009 @ 10:14 PM | Reply

  13. It is very sad to see this talented and inteligent methodist school student turn to be a bad politician,a traitor to dayak comunities,shame on you james

    Comment by anak dayak — April 2, 2009 @ 9:55 PM | Reply

  14. James Jemut Masing was once a school mate of mine back in the 1960s at the Methodist secondary school in Sibu. He was one of the students from the upper Rajang much favoured by the headmaster for his talents and intelligence. Unfortunately, he turns up to be such a unqualified politician as addressed by SKY. A couple of years ago, I met our former headmaster, in his late 70s now, he smiled when I mentioned about Jemut’s anti-people’s politics. Still active in local politic as a green party member in Bristol UK, I do not know how would he respond when he read SKY’s letter I am sending.

    Comment by MC Wong — April 2, 2009 @ 5:50 PM | Reply

  15. James Masing is just a political eunuch like Samy Vellu and Ong Tee Keat. They are all (politically) castrated to serve their emperor (Umno)to keep their communities in line for huge personal rewards.

    Comment by Kenny — April 2, 2009 @ 4:54 PM | Reply

  16. Heh heh. Datuk Afraid Jabu says bloggers are “specialist in sabong” (see malaysiakini article today by Joseph Tawie). Hope the manok will reply to the open letter. The manok’s white hair master is sharpening Datuk Afraid Jabu’s knife to fight cyberwar!

    Comment by pak bui — April 2, 2009 @ 3:51 PM | Reply

  17. Good letter and straight to the point. I hope what you have written gets to his head. The hard-core poor, especially those Ibans and Dayaks do not deserve what they are today. Sarawak is a state rich with many natural resources, where has all the wealth gone ? I just wonder how did some of these Ibans survive until today if they make just $1,000 a year.

    God, please help them !!!

    Comment by William Chin — April 2, 2009 @ 2:31 PM | Reply

  18. JJM is another parrot of CM. What do you all expect?!!!

    Comment by Jubur Hang Seedaap!! — April 2, 2009 @ 2:03 PM | Reply

  19. James Masing. Wake up from your langkau induced sleep. Dayaks need to get together and kick out people like Taib & Jabu. You of all people should know better. Wakey wakey all Dayaks. Time to get out and vote for PKR kick out Beee End.

    Comment by Lawa Wan — April 2, 2009 @ 1:44 PM | Reply

  20. masing and his group are stooge and the slaves of UMNO. UMNO promises them wealth, security and power. you think masing cares for his people? he is the kinda jaga sendiri dan masing-masing.

    i pray that many good leaders from sarawak continue to reach out to the indigenious people to explain to them how many years their leaders have sold them to the master UMNO. tat’s why they are still living in poverty whereby masing-masing and can’t remember which taib living like king in sarawak. buying up rhb bank using the money of tax payers and raped the bank to the max.

    i feel for the dayak people in sabah and sarawak ……. and let’s join hands to kick the masing-masing team out from administering the state. only the people can do it.

    Comment by jebat's fren — April 2, 2009 @ 1:05 PM | Reply

  21. Great Job guys!!!!

    These days the Borneo Post is so one sided that sometimes you’re surprised it is printed on both sides!!!!

    Nonetheless congratulations & many thanks for giving the less gullible an alternative source of news & a balance viewpoint of goings on.

    Comment by desmond — April 2, 2009 @ 12:42 PM | Reply

  22. Lack of development in Batang Ai is not because Jawah WAS the MP. It was because of BN as whole.

    Comment by Malaysia Digest — April 2, 2009 @ 11:55 AM | Reply

  23. Germ Masin tu mensia ti ulih dibeli enggau duit nadai principle idup..kubur kata mari duit kata peegi lagi dia kejar duit..BN fikir kitai tu semua dadak baka sida ba..My father died as an honest politician(and feared God)we were not rich neither poor..13 years after his death thank God we are blessed and under God’s grace..and after 13 years I have seen all of those corrupted politicians(who are still alive and super rich)-their lives, families are sort of being ‘cursed'(haywire)..who am I to judge.?.but God is JUST..I believe so..We have seen it in the recent death of one of the so called rich man and politician( rumah ke bedau tembu)..many more are are going in the same path..Fear God anang kelalu jai enggau rakyat by denying their right and rob of what belong to them.

    Comment by Ak Sarawak — April 2, 2009 @ 11:55 AM | Reply

  24. Please explain this to the rural Dayak, Iban and the rest, as we know kampong people can easily be blinded with project maggi mee at time like this– this is pure bribebry, make them understand

    Comment by borneorainbow — April 2, 2009 @ 11:32 AM | Reply

  25. This bloody Jem masin is telling the world that he is just plain stupid. Stupidity at its lowest. This bloody masin is telling the world that he got zero commonsense. Dayaks pay tax too. Development should come even without lobby. Hey stupid, you are monster of Land belotment not Minister of Land development.

    Comment by tsunami — April 2, 2009 @ 11:22 AM | Reply

  26. Bro SKY, don’t expect anything from the like of JJM. He don’t even deserve to be jaguh kampong. Good at denying facts only.

    Comment by skumang — April 2, 2009 @ 11:16 AM | Reply

  27. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

    Comment by matt — April 2, 2009 @ 9:31 AM | Reply

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