Hornbill Unleashed

December 21, 2010

Blind loyalty is dangerous in high places

Filed under: Corruption,Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:01 AM
Tags: , , ,

Pak Bui

The recent Radio Free Sarawak interview with Abdul Karim Hamzah, chief political secretary to Sarawak’s chief minister Taib Mahmud, elicited countless disparaging remarks about Abdul Karim’s intelligence and competence.

Abdul Karim himself might be the first to admit he had a thankless task, trying to defend the indefensible. He had a duty to perform, and he tried his best, but he was bound to fail.

Still, his performance, befitting a pantomime, was stilted and unconvincing, and frankly embarrassing. The chief political secretary succeeded only in training the spotlight more persistently on his chief.

The long line of sycophants trotted out by Taib to speak out to defend his ‘honour’ – Abdul Karim, Abang Johari, Alfred Jabu, James Masing, Stephen Rundi Utom et al – remind me of Lewis Carroll’s comic poem, The Walrus and the Carpenter.

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,

“To talk of many things:

Of shoes and ships – and sealing-wax –

Of cabbages – and kings –

And why the sea is boiling hot –

And whether pigs have wings.”

Sarawakians dying from neglect

Abdul Karim is state assembly representative for Asajaya, one of the poorest Malay areas in the entire country.

Anyone who has visited Asajaya will know the Malays face chronic inadequacies in income, employment opportunities and infrastructure. They have been neglected by the authorities for 47 years of ‘independence’, even though Taib Mahmud himself was the local parliamentarian and the state assembly representative, until he withdrew and decamped to Mukah.

Early last month, Bernama and the New Straits Times reported that 47 villages in Asajaya and Sadong Jaya had been afflicted by an outbreak of water-borne infection, caused by piped water contaminated by dangerous bacteria.

The spate of “gastroenteritis” caused the deaths of 3 villagers from severe dehydration. A total of 476 cases had been reported by October 25, with 22 admitted to hospital. There must have many more cases of diarrhoea and suffering among the poor Malay villagers there, that did not find their way into the official statistics.

What was the cause of the outbreak?

Assistant state minister for public health Stephen Rundi Utom told Abdul Karim Hamzah and Wan Abdul Wahab bin Wan Sanusi (BN representative for neighbouring Sadong Jaya), in the state assembly, that the authorities had taken samples of the piped water in the area for analysis.

Tests showed that “81 per cent had almost zero chlorine, at 0.02ppm (parts per million) to 0.08 ppm, while the water culture was positive for E. coli and coliform organisms”.

Leaks in the water pipes and the “near zero” chlorine levels, he said, had encouraged the growth of the bacteria in the water supply. Stephen Rundi, Abdul Karim, and Wan Sanusi failed to explain why the chlorine levels had been so low. The figures given by the assistant minister indicate the chlorine levels were an astonishing 1% of the desired level.

The assistant minister said the Public Works Department (Jabatan Kerja Raya or JKR) was tasked to flush the water pipes weekly, plug the leaks and ensure the chlorine levels were between 2 and 5 ppm.

Blind, deaf and dumb loyalty

Could this have happened because of a systems failure of the water treatment facility? Who was responsible?

The villagers may have complained of a foul-smelling water supply, since E.Coli is known to be found in faeces. Was any report made by the poor villagers, and if there was, what was the response?

The authorities are responsible for monitoring the safety of drinking water. How long had the contamination been going on? Was monitoring adequate? If not, what can be done to prevent this from causing more suffering in Asajaya and Sadong Jaya, and other parts of Sarawak?

How long will the JKR continue to flush the pipes in Asajaya and Sadong Jaya? What long term solution is necessary?

How many more Sarawakians remain at risk of this suffering? After all, even a chief political secretary must know how debilitating it feels to have a bout of diarrhoea. He ought to be able, at least from personal experience, to understand the suffering of his constituents, as well as the hardship of all the poor rural people throughout the state living without clean, treated water.

According to a paper published this year by Suhakam, the national commission for human rights, 41.7% of rural Sarawakians do not have access to treated water.  These figures were provided to Suhakam by the authorities. So there is no objective way of knowing whether those rural areas with “treated water” have safe water, as demonstrated by the 47 communities in Asajaya and Sadong Jaya who went through hell recently.

The questions listed above would have been posed by any competent elected representative.

Abdul Karim might provide a better service for his constituents by agitating for a full and transparent investigation of the deaths of three poor villagers, followed by the prosecution of anyone found negligent. He might consider using his legal training for the benefit of villagers.

He might try to be forthright regarding why the funds so badly needed for infrastructure development in Asajaya have not reached people at the grassroots level.

Instead, he has been trying to defend Taib for being rich.

Abdul Karim is an elected representative who has failed to ensure the provision of the most basic services to his constituents. He ought to search his conscience, and resign.

He, and all the BN representatives, serve only Taib, and not Sarawakians, even though we Sarawakians pay their salaries. These representatives are deaf and dumb when it comes to corruption and poverty in Sarawak.

They are blindly loyal servants of Taib, a man who sleeps in mansions (all over the world), while other Sarawakians are forced to drink water contaminated by faecal bacteria.

When Abdul Karim insists on defending his master Taib, he is, in effect, telling all of us Sarawakians: go ahead and eat shit.



  1. If PKR or any opposition are totally damn good, why you and your damn opposition people did not anything to about this problem. Why do you have to wait for the govern to take the lead. Opposition never cares about this issue. All the thing that you know is complain, argue and point a finger to others. you know everything that happen, but you just know how to complain in this blog..What for..??It same goes to you…!!!!

    Comment by Miscelines — December 27, 2010 @ 1:44 PM | Reply


      Comment by babai — December 27, 2010 @ 7:04 PM | Reply

  2. Comment by Sunny — December 23, 2010 @ 4:03 PM | Reply


    Watcha – Your observation is very close to the original denunciation by the Sarawak independence movement that “Independence in Malaysia” is phony and just a neo-colonial creation to perpetuate colonial rule.

    Malaysia is very much a phony country since it was cobbled together by “joining” Sabah and Sarawak to Malaya. How could we be “independent” when we end up being ruled by another foreign ruler? Try not to defy logic.

    Somehow the actors in UMNO/Bn seem to confirm this by their comical and crude attempts to enhance the artificiality of “Malaysia” with their artificial self promoting social-economic programmes. This is real and not phony or funny.

    Comment by Abang — December 22, 2010 @ 11:13 PM | Reply

    • It’s and old Indian trick but can have enormous detrimental effects. Granted you can intimidate 2 generations of people, a few will go crazy or really mad and turn society upside down.

      But, humbly, we should have faith. That the human ecology can overcome these little bad episodes and bring us back on the right path again. It’s when, as now, it’s time to change that we can convince enough people to savor this cognitive value and make things better!

      Over time, our ancestors must have learnt this dimensional value of Goodness and Satan. There are enough scripts written in the DNA to subvert things and equally enough to fight it.

      Hey, Merry Xmas, Man!

      Comment by watcha — December 23, 2010 @ 2:20 PM | Reply


    I am glad someone has also visited “Animal Farm” and seen how closely it resembles our political situation.

    Compatriots, our anti-colonial struggle for national independence has experienced some 50 years of the types of political ups and downs starkly highlighted in Animal Farm.

    As in Animal farm the overthrow of the farmer was followed by the struggle against a new set of oppressors who are in turn overthrown.

    In Sarawak this stage of the struggle is not yet completed. The anti-colonial movement beginning with the anti-cession movement in 1946 gave way to the Brunei (Revolutionary) Uprising 1962 and overlapped the armed struggle by the underground communist movement of the 50s and 60s through to the 1990s. However, that this part of the struggle has ceased does not mean our independence struggle is over.

    On top of all this is the people’s ongoing struggle against the crushing impact of the new colonialism under Kuala Lumpur spearheaded by the oppressed ulu Dayak people.

    The movement for Sarawak Independence continues to exist in a more than an abstract sense. It is seen in the overall daily struggle for survival of its oppressed peoples. In fact this is manifested in so many different facets of our bondage under Malayan colonial rule.

    What needs be said in context of Animal Farm as a political commentary is that our movement for independence as in most other countries was split into 2 parts. The genuine independence movement and the neo-colonial “independence” movement created by the British.

    The British invented the “Malaysia concept” to counter the genuine independence movement which possibly could have seen the creation of a new independent of “North Kalimantan” comprising Brunei Sabah and Sarawak if the Brunei Uprising had been better prepared and succeeded.

    We all know (if not agree) that “Malaysia” was imposed on us with only the most willing participation of a extremely small political grouping. This was made up of the unholy alliance of Tunku Abdul Rahman Malayan Government (installed in place of the Malayan Independence movement) and with Sarawak’s (and Sabah’s) local compliant participants like A R Yakub and Taib Mahmud and the small comprador (traitor) counter-revolutionary class of Chinese entrepreneurs led by Ling Beng Siew and the group of rather reluctant and sceptic Dayak leaders to set up political parties and were awarded the prize of “independence”.

    The spoils of “independence” were divided as folows.

    Kuala Lumpur immediately at the outset reserved for itself the right to plunder our oil and gas which were even more valuable resources in the new phase of colonial plunder.

    The small puppet ruling elite class comprising the leaders and cronies of Yakub/Mahmud PBB, SUPP and SNAP and later other parties, directly enjoyed the fruits of “independence”.

    The main reward was the licence to self enrichment by the wholesale seizure and plunder of native land effected through their rampant corruption and abuse of power. Under the pretext of their “economic development plans” the new regime changed the Land Code- (the people’s Land Rights Charter) enabling them to seized directly and indirectly and to clear fell the virgin forests. This criminal activity gave way to palm oil plantations and or industrial estates which were complemented by major “infrastructure projects” to service them. All the “development” was channeled through the companies of Taib and his cronies. This class which was more equal then all other Sarawakians has enrich itself beyond belief by re-inventing and re-cyling the ways to generate wealth at the people and country’s expense with their “development schemes”.

    The Dayak leaders by and large did not benefit from this outrageous pillaging to the extent of the Chinese and PBB BN gangster elites. Many Dayak leaders were sidelined quickly when they began to be restive as they realised “Malaysia” was not in the prophetic words of Tun Jugah a “sweet sugar cane”. “Malaysia” was their sugar coated poison pill which has seen them become the object of rape and plunder of their rich resources through their being dispossessed of the rich lands. They are the masters who have become and servants and slaves in their own country.

    We must however not be carried away by the present confusing political situation where many political parties offer their solutions. They can offer temporary relief with the “voting out” of PBB BN but they cannot transform the system more than what they are doing in Penang, Selangor etc, offering tit bits to the people. These are just small sniffers of the real change.

    The real change can be discussed in more detail elsewhere.

    In the current situation the movement of independence has reached its lowest ebb and a slow rise of consciousness has flowed into the political thinking of people. The awakening process has begun.

    More and more of the people especially Dayak people are questioning the meaning of “independence in Malaysia”. This is nowhere more evident than in the web sites with a myriad of views from calls for “genuine independence” to using the treat of “secession” as a bargaining chip.

    The question is do we want real independence or just continue to be dependent on Kuala Lumpur/Putrid Jaya’s small mercies- forever bargaining with the neo-colonial ruler for scraps while it enjoys our oil wealth?

    The PKR recognises and acknowledges the up-swell of cries for genuine independence and recently even promised to Sarawakians “full autonomy”!

    “Autonomy” will not change our dependent new colonial situation for on top of the local elites sits the Kuala Lumpur colonial elite which will dictate the rules of the game. They are at the head of the table in Animal Farm.

    This is our ANIMAL FARM situation. The novel predicts that the masses will rise to overthrow the evil doers i.e. the people in power in grew rich on the oppression and sufferings of the people. When this day comes, a new system must be installed whereby all the people can take back their country and grow rich together.

    Comment by Orang2bangkit — December 22, 2010 @ 10:21 PM | Reply

    • Orang2bangkit,

      Independent : Sarawakian can define their political struggle for liberty within Pakatan by seeking a right to conduct a referendum – if Pakatan wrest control of the Federal Government, since no referendum was conducted before Sarawak was set adrift into the Federation by the British. The point is, you don’t have to just wish for the ANIMAL FARM prophesy to come through, but to take the first concrete step.

      If Pakatan refuse to bulge, then either abandon Pakatan, or abandon the political struggle for “independence”. BN being true to UMNO wishes would never ever grant Sarawakian the liberty to seek the truth, by way of a modern day referendum.

      Comment by MERAMAT TAJAK — December 24, 2010 @ 12:53 AM | Reply


        Ah we are beginning to get somewhere with this one! Do not lose hope!

        This is what is happening in Southern Sudan. The people here fought the North for years and now they have reached the climax.

        The crux of the problem – the North plundering the OIL belonging to the South.

        Sounds rather familiar!

        “Southern Sudan will hold an a referendum on whether or not it should remain as a part of Sudan on 9 January 2011.[1][2] This is part of the 2005 Naivasha Agreement between the Khartoum central government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M). A simultaneous referendum will be held in Abyei on whether to become part of Southern Sudan”


        Observers and key players fear violence ahead of the South Sudan referendum because of a variety of reasons. Firstly a fight for limited resources, primarily oil, exists. “The North will likely resist the South splitting away, for fear that it will lose territory and oil, most of which will lie — as far as the North is concerned — on the wrong side of any new border that’s created.” [17]The majority of armed fighters are not the ones whose pockets are lined by oil revenue. For these individuals, boosting the nation’s economy is no motivation to stop the violence. According to a December 3rd article published by the London-based magazine Al-Majalla, “Warring groups might respond to the urging of their political leader. In support of the economic rationale for peace, a report co-launched by the Institute for International Security explains that if both sides attain and sustain peace, it will bring in more profits for the country and encourage investors.” [18]But if Sudan falls into further civil warring, it could cost $100 billion, a price Sudan cannot afford and the international community doesn’t want to pay.[19]

        Given the oil disputes, groups advocating for pro-unity between North and South fear that a split between the two regions will ignite a civil war. A staggering 80% of the identified oil reserves are located in the South of the country. Oil has been behind the country’s strong recent growth. According to the International Monetary Fund, Sudan’s gross domestic product has nearly tripled since Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir took power in 1989. Oil exports over the past decade have propelled the nation’s “longest and strongest growth episode since independence” in 1956, a World Bank report said. The north has grown dependent on the oil from the south and if the south secedes, the north stands to lose billions of dollars yearly. [20] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described tensions in Sudan between the North and the South as a “ticking time bomb of enormous consequence.” [21]

        Comment by Abang — December 24, 2010 @ 4:09 AM | Reply

      • I have no problem with your suggestion- after all we have gone through 47 years and more people have to wake up before we can progress with our aim for real independence.

        I am not against going along with the Pakatan promise. The question is to what extent can it stretch this “full autonomy” without UMNO BN interfering and trying to oust Pakatan if it does gain power?

        UMNO has the army in its pockets (maybe not the Dayak Rangers) and can well react nastily if Pakatan carried out its promise.

        We should ask Pakatan to chisel its promise in stone.

        Comment by Orang2bangkit — December 24, 2010 @ 4:20 AM | Reply

  5. […] also said this which is REAL,”“I have never spoken to Radio Free Sarawak before. (The radio station) is […]

    Pingback by Pakatan/BN “Know the Truth Part 2..” « Audie61′s Weblog — December 21, 2010 @ 9:03 PM | Reply

    • Sigh … our friend just repeated the same line for Karim again and again.

      Didn’t anybody tell him that it is not important whether Karim was talking to RFS? The important thing is what came out from his stupid mouth.

      So what, if RFS called with somebody from Bernama and thought it better to be aired to let the whole world know what a trash this Thief Minister’s chief secretary is?

      Comment by Adrian Ng — December 21, 2010 @ 10:05 PM | Reply

  6. Buckled up Sarawakian! Let KICK OUT this Taib and his cronies(PBB/BN) once and for all!

    Comment by babai — December 21, 2010 @ 6:35 PM | Reply

  7. Sarawakians have to blow their minds away and erase all that crap.

    Look at this — Indonesians ! What can you say of descendents of the Java Man! 😉

    Comment by ctzen — December 21, 2010 @ 4:42 PM | Reply

  8. Malaysia under the UMNO/BN has almost become a phony country.

    The bare materialism has anaesthesized the senses. You need to be noticed you roll out phony Proton cars off the workshop lines.

    You need innovative kids you churn them out from the dud school and university systems.

    We have had some “improvement” on the doctor patient ratio where formerly it was something like 1 doctor to 7.5 thousand patients.

    Now, its getting to be under 2,000 to 1 doctor. Dont’ send your kid for circumsion to a Malaysian doctor! Liow lor!

    But wait, we have a lot of UMNO Imams, minted from some reality dummy show. Maybe they need dummy Imams fast, to arrest Shia Malaysians ! 😦

    Comment by watcha — December 21, 2010 @ 3:56 PM | Reply

  9. The question for Malaysians, all good Malaysians, whether East or West Malaysians; should no longer be why the current UMNO/BN regime is doing this,that or not doing this and that. Such questions and their relevance is passe.After 5 or so decades of the same means that the answer does not lie with the UMNO/BN regime.

    For in reality, the answer can be with any other political party other than the UMNO/BN regime.And the real answer is when will Malaysians wake up to this reality?

    Comment by mycuntree — December 21, 2010 @ 2:29 PM | Reply

  10. Poor sarawakians.

    Comment by amoker — December 21, 2010 @ 2:16 PM | Reply

  11. The latest city gossip says Abdullah Chek was sent to Kuching Water Board, away from LCDA!

    Oh My Great Lemambang! Bugger won’t think twice peeing in our water! 😦

    Comment by ctzen — December 21, 2010 @ 9:55 AM | Reply

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