Hornbill Unleashed

June 7, 2009

SKY Counters George Chan – on a lazy Malaysian Sunday!

By Sim Kwang Yang

George Chan Hong NamThe public political conversation in Sarawak can only be described as primitive at best.  How I know it!  I was engaged in frontline politics for nearly 20 years in Bandar Kuching, trying to elevate the level of political narrative in my home state.  It was near impossible, because the media was all closed, and the weight of the Internet had yet to be felt.

Thanks to the Internet, I can read the Borneo Post online everyday these days.  Living in Cheras on the edge of Kuala Lumpur as I do, it is my way of touching base with my home state, so to speak.

On June 5, in a story headlined Pakatan Rakyat cannot bring progress, this is what I read about what George Chan has to say.

“Sarawakians should not disappoint themselves by believing that the so-called Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government, which has been pre-occupied with internal squabbles, can bring about progress to the nation.

“In giving this advice yesterday, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan stressed that the state needed stability and a peaceful environment for development and progress.

“It is evident that in Peninsular Malaysia, we have seen many incidents where Pakatan Rakyat is too occupied with its political gimmicks and demonstrations to gain political mileage.’

This is the sort of mindless mind-numbing monologic harangue from Sarawak top politicians one reads on the Borneo Post daily.  The sad thing is that there are actually mindless voters who believe in this sort of inane rhetoric.

logo_45_2Sarawak has been ruled by the BN since 1963.  We are the state with the richest natural resources, in land, minerals, timber, oil and gas.  We have great political stability in that the state government has never changed hands and the opposition is still weak 46 years after independence.

But the last time I checked, Sarawak is still one of the poorest states in Malaysia, ranked 12th I think, ahead of Kelantan in terms of per capita income.  Meanwhile, we know how rich the political top dogs in Sarawak are.  What is the value of that kind of political stability in our state?

In contrast, the per capita income in Selangor is in the region of RM50,000 per annum.  In Penang, the Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has just announced that poverty has been completely eradicated in the state; he just gave monthly government assistance to the last few hundred Penang residents who live below the poverty line.

I live in the state of Selangor.  Nothing much has changed since the Pakatan Rakyat took over the government in 2008.  It has barely been one year, and the new state government is still learning the art of governance.  But the water bill in my Cheras home has been slashed to about RM5 a month.

Already, the people of Selangor are seeing unprecedented change.  The income of each State Executive Councilors has been made public.  Under a committee headed by Eli Wong, they are now preparing a Freedom of Information Bill.

I would like to see a declaration of the personal wealth of our Sarawak top politicians, including that of George Chan.  I would like to see the enactment of Freedom of Information in the Sarawak DUN, so that I can have a list of all the timber concessionaires in the state.

As for the PR component parties caught in internal squabbles, we see BN parties washing dirty linens in public, both in East and West Malaysia, especially within SUPP.

I think what George Chan is trying to say is this,”Look at Perak.  The PR state government there is so caught in a political crisis that they cannot provide the stability to rule the state.  Likewise, all PKR state governments including a future Sarawak PR state government cannot rule the state.

What are the facts?  In Selangor, Penang, Kedah, and Kelantan, they enjoy political stability and economic development under their PR state governments.  The problem in Perak is the product of the scheming, machination, sabotage, and dirty politics of UMNO, specifically that of the prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.  It is BN that is the source of the constitutional and political crisis in Perak.

The only way out is for a state general election to be held now in Perak.  That is what BN will not allow to happen, because BN will lose big.  Even Dr. M has said so!

In another BP story headlined PKR’s act demeaning for Sarawakians, the reporters Raymond Mering and Lim How Ping wrote these three leading paragraphs:

“Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is sending all the wrong signals with its decision to appoint Perak-born Mustaffa Kamil Ayub to lead the party in Sarawak.

“PKR is probably the first peninsula-based party to actually appoint a Peninsular Malaysian to directly head its branch in Sarawak and it has become a questionable precedence.

“Sarawak’s Barisan Nasional (BN) senior leaders found it all somewhat demeaning for Sarawakians.”

The first two paragraphs are instances of bad journalism, because the two reporters have confused opinions with facts.  They put down their own opinions or the opinions of other people without quoting the identity of the sources to make the statement sound as if it is a fact.

This is the cardinal sin of journalism, but it has gone on for as long as I can remember in Sarawak.  Perhaps some Sarawakians have come to accept this bad practice as standard and good!

Again, the PKR appointment in Sarawak has been described by George Chan as “crazy”

Then again, we have to recall that in West Malaysia at least, it is common for component parties of Barisan national to appoint a national leader from out of the state to be the head of the party of any state.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is a Pahang UMNO man, and yet he has appointed himself Perak UMNO chief.  So George Chan has just called Najib “crazy”, demeaning the people of Perak!

At the end of the day, George Chan’s public statements on those two occasions have nothing to do with the welfare of the people of Sarawak.  They were illogical, ill thought out, and plainly simplistic.  His purpose was just to use his monopoly in the Sarawak newspapers to put down and demonise his political opponents, without regard for the Truth.  It is called sophistry.

The SUPP used to be a great political party, very close to the grass-root in these hey days in the early 1960s, when I was growing up as a primary school student at the KMC flats at Jalan Ban Hock.  They used to draw huge crowds at the Song Keng Hai grounds with Mr. Chan Siaw Hee as their firebrand speaker.  They really enjoyed the support of the working people.

Then they joined the Sarawak Alliance government in 1970 under the leadership of Tun Rahman Yakub.  They sang a different tune.  In 1978, I joined the DAP to fight them.  It was a tough fight, partly because of the charismatic leadership of Dr. Wong Soon Kai who gave the SUPP a kind of Renaissance.

Now SUPP is under the questionable leadership of George Chan and fast becoming the party of tycoon towkays.  He had offered to step down after disastrous defeats at the hands of unknown young upstart candidates from the DAP in Kuching in 2006.  Then he changed his mind.  What good fortune for the DAP in future elections indeed!

(SKY can be reached at kenyalang578@hotmail.com )



  1. I for one support you on this. Just ignore this senile Dr. Strangebedfellow Chan. Good for nothing Taib yesman.

    Comment by bainyamba — July 15, 2010 @ 8:39 PM | Reply

  2. People in Nornbill Country are now awakening because of all the fore-runners’ sacrifices, Sky for one has been a lone fighter and he should be given credit for his bravery inspite of all odds. Now we have just seen the twilight and may we all give a hand to bring daylight to Sarawak.

    Comment by keminliu — July 15, 2010 @ 5:40 PM | Reply

  3. Lee Kuan Yew is a great man.Whatever he did whether it is right or wrong in the eye of critics he made Singapore a great country.
    Tunku Abdul Rahman and Dr.M contributed greatly to the development of Malaysia.
    Let us observe the present leaders.There many many Laws in the country that can put a “unwanted man” in jail. eg ISA,emergency ordinance,sedition act etc.
    But are those unlucky souls the enemies of the country or the enemies of the ruling class?
    Anwar went to jail for anal sex.There are many pontans selling anal sex to customers every night and day.Why are they still free.????The federal constitution says that everybody is equal before the law????

    Tiong King Sing plundered the country of RM 12.5 billion.Why is he not taken in under ISA? Is it because it is tied up with his ” MPS to Taiwan agriculture trip ” It is a good trip.The village rubber tapping boy upgraded himself to Taiwan standards.

    Our country is facing a trade deficient.

    One former President of Philippines was sentence to death for plundering the country’s coffers,

    The Malaysian Parliament should pass a bill to make this offense a death by hanging sentence.

    Comment by hong meow — June 27, 2009 @ 12:43 PM | Reply

  4. Sometimes,really why we want to waste our time taking about them.They are junks,they are not even qualified to be called politicians.The whole lots,Alfrey,Georgie,Jamie.Now you know many of us in this forum wont even dare to thread in Sarawak politics,fearing the bad influence and being with them ,make me sick.My dogs have better behaviour.

    My ideal sunday afternnon,a sip of beer in a park or beach somewhere.Hold up your favourite books,written by your favourite Russians writers like Leo Tolstoy,Chekov,Turgenev or Gramhan Greene,George Orwell,Camus.All make good readings and replenish your soul in this soulless place.perhaps attend an sunday evening mass in church and dinner with family and listen to Chopin ,leonard Cohen,Bob Dylan and neil young will wrap up a Sunday nicely.

    Or if you are licking your wounds after a week corporate battle,then you can sleep and sleep,such a gentle thing.

    Comment by La Kia — June 10, 2009 @ 11:15 AM | Reply

  5. I believe Shafie Afdal must be crazy also lool
    Being a sabahan he appointed as Ketua Umno Kedah hahaha GC must be kidding!!

    Comment by selukai — June 8, 2009 @ 11:25 AM | Reply

  6. SKY this article you wrote arouses a plateform with 7 responses so far all endorsing the line of your thoughts. This is what I would like to say(complementary as well not only condeming what Sarawak has arrived to this present scenario but in a more neutral and subjective manner).

    First of all we need to look at the population spread and their political education and awareness. The large part of our populace are not like us(urban Sarawakians with good education up bringing), having enough education to look at the bigger picture and make our own decision from different perspectives. One cannot deny that up to now the BN’s tactic of giving carrots where situation needs which serve to their purpose has been always successful, simply because our people from the ulu/undeveloped areas are more concern with their day to day life requirement, especially when they are politically naive because of their lack of education and exposure to the more advance urban society. I do not agree that Sarawal people are blind as what has been commented. Sarawakians are by nature mild and always give chance whenever they are unhappy and given an explanation that the situation will improve, coupled with carrots attached of course. I think the most important objective of successfully correcting to a society as visioned by most bloggers including you and RPK and the rest would be to organise teams of voluntary people to travel to the ulu areas to instigate political awareness of what they can do with their voting rights thereby creating a chance of toppling the present set up and do good for the people of Sarawak. The present set up will not fall even if all urban seats are all won by opposition. This is a hard cold fact.

    Forget about George Chan and SUPP. There are actually many bright and positively minded SUPP young and aspiring people inside but the party set up of the old guns not willing to give the young a chance has created an image that all SUPP people are bad. As what SKY has mentioned, SUPP leadership has deviated so much from its early days that it has deteriorated all the support it used to enjoy in the 60s. The older generation which used to always give whole hearted support has waivered, even the members themselves. He knows this and I think it would be stupid of him to come out for another election at the expense of likely to loose, the chance of which is getting more and more transparent. He just wants to enjoy the privileges he used to until he comes to a situation when he knows he will have to go.

    Homeboy is quite right. If we keep having the mind set that Sarawakians are for Sarawakians, even if the Sarawakian is not qualified, it is similar to Muslims/Bumiputras are Muslims/Bumiputras and we are still living inside the shell of selfishness. Any organisation should be run by those capable and qualified with no self interests. It should be the final objective that we want and not who should sit in that position simply because he is the ‘son of the native soil’ with no due regards whether he can run the show. Our final objective should be Malaysia for all Malaysians. All the poors are looked after and the rich pays willingly what they should for the sake of a greater nation of Malaysia. Ancestral linkage should never be considered. After all, if we do, are we all not natives to Malaysia? Even the Sakais and Ibans are from outside. The Bumiputras are simply Bumiputras because they are in Malaysia earlier than others and that they are so regarded because of situation at that point in time.

    As I mentioned, education is the best tool and the process will not be immediate. It may take more than a generation, but if no one cares to do this, it will even take longer. I rest my case.

    Comment by Hope — June 8, 2009 @ 10:53 AM | Reply

  7. Guys,
    Any chance of linking me to Sarawak 2006 state election results complete with racial composition? Need to do some studies

    Comment by looes74 — June 7, 2009 @ 8:09 PM | Reply

  8. George is the present DUN for Miri constituency. Let the voters in Miri decide. Well, if they are happy with George, do they sell out Sarawak to the Barisan? We shall wait and see how those voters in Miri handle the situation come the next GE. Have they the balls and guts to throw out his Party SUPP like what those in Kuching did the last GE?

    Comment by malsia1206 — June 7, 2009 @ 5:42 PM | Reply

  9. Sarawakian do not use their brain and blind too. Just hear what Sarawak’s leaders talk, they talk nonsense, half truth and twist the ideas. SUPP recently just said DAP did not built school. Hey, SUPP is a component of the state government, it is SUPP’s responsibility. SUPP are only good at licking or carrying balls. I hope sarawakian will kick out BN in the next election. Just give your vote to any party except BN. BN rule for 46 years, our state still poor (in fact getting worst by the day). Please go for change, sarawakian. That is the only way out.

    Comment by hiong — June 7, 2009 @ 3:05 PM | Reply

  10. You poor Sarawakians, being lead by some selfish Pig headed leader like George Chan, come next Election please do yourself a Big favour, enlist the
    help from PR to help kick all those Self Serving Politicians that have been screwing all you good Sarawakians, stand up to them useless Leeches, get
    rid of them, they have been plundering the State’s Wealth for their own pockets. They are now desperately clinging on to Power, bash their fingers and salvage your State from these Slimeballs.

    Comment by Ziggy — June 7, 2009 @ 1:22 PM | Reply

  11. West Malaysian in charge at PKR Sarawak. George is getting his’”knickers in a twist” and kicking up a fuss, over the opposition not having a Sarawakian to man the helm.

    I ask you George, Why the fuss?, Why the fuss when you consider that every other person you meet these days in Kuching is a Non Sarawakian, Why the fuss when the top positions at SESCO, Trienekens, CMS, etc etc are occupied by Non Sarawakians? Why the fuss when you and the rest of your mates continue to occupy the top posts?, Why the frigging fuss when you have been tacitly telling us that there are No Suitable Sarawakians over and over again.

    I will tell you why George.. Its because of people like me, People who find great pride in being Sarawakian. So proud that I cannot decide whether I am Sarawakian first and then Malaysian or vice versa. The fuss you kicked up appeals to me as a proud Sarawakian. That unreasonable pride has caused ordinary Sarawakians to be exploited over and over again as we continue our downward plunge into poverty.

    But you know what George? I cannot agree with you anymore. Sarawak was an equal partner in the formation of Malaysia 45 years ago. Sarawak formed Malaysia under the conditions laid out in the 20 point agreement, the set of conditions that spelt out the rights of Sarawakians. Today it is unspoken of anymore because the substance and spirit of that agreement has been sacrificed and laid out on the altar of Nationhood. Sacrificed by you and me alike, by you because you have never spoke of it when the hegemony set in and by me because I kept voting for you. (figuratively speaking, as a member of society I am bound by the collective decision but personally No. I never voted you or any of your SUPP cronies).

    Today Sarawak is a part of Malaysia, and is inextricably so to the point where extraction can no longer be painless. And to continue to harp on these issues reveal a base understanding and a reasoning unschooled.

    Therefore what do we do as sinners who have been damned by the sins of our fathers? Lee Kuan Yew once said “to live life as we found it””, we can do no less and if we as Sarawakians care, to focus on the right issues, to deal with basic issues of poverty, of job creation, of transparency in government,

    Therefore if we have people from the outside who want to help, we must embrace that help. It is help we need to deal with issues like , Digging ourselves from the no.12th position of the poverty list. (as pointed out by SKY) ,To create Jobs, not only to stem the rural-urban migration, but to stem our locals from having to seek jobs elsewhere. Only then can we start to take pride in ourselves as Sarawakians again.

    But then again Why the fuss George?, because you and I know, that before all of the above can take place, we need their help to get rid of YOU!

    Comment by homeboy — June 7, 2009 @ 11:39 AM | Reply

    • A comment very much after my own heart.

      Comment by sky — June 7, 2009 @ 4:41 PM | Reply

  12. There seems to be a problem in Sarawak BN: the leaders have overstayed their welcome and they have become a liability to their parties.

    Taib, Alfred Jabu, George Chan, Wong Soon Koh, Peter Nansian, James Masing, Joseph Entulu … these are campaigners for the oppositions. PR certainly stands a better chance if they are still around comes the next state election.

    As if Najib and UMNO are not enough to doom the BN Sarawak…

    Comment by Harry J — June 7, 2009 @ 11:30 AM | Reply

  13. SUPP is no longer the party it used to be. It’s top leaders are selfish senile old men who still hang on to their positions and depriving the younger leaders from taking over. They first priority is to serve Taib and his family, then themselves. The people who elected them can go to hell for all they care. People just don’t believe the craps coming out of George Chan and his majong gang anymore. His recent speeches are nothing but self-serving statements like those made but other BN leaders. Look at the way they praise Taib. Don’t they know they are an embarassement unto themselves? They have lost their sense of decency and blinded by greed and power. I’d like to remind them that they cannot take all with them when they go. And the ill gotten wealth will bring a curse to their family.

    Comment by Fed up voter — June 7, 2009 @ 9:50 AM | Reply

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