Hornbill Unleashed

March 9, 2011

Polls a test of Taib’s political journey

 Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud (third from left) and Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam (fourth from left) expect to win the next state polls hands down. Taib urged BN parties to stick together at the Sarawak BN convention in Kuching on Saturday. — Bernama picture NST- ZUBAIDAH ABU BAKAR 

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud (third from left) and Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam (fourth from left) expect to win the next state polls hands down. Taib urged BN parties to stick together at the Sarawak BN convention in Kuching on Saturday. — Bernama picture

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud beams with confidence as he leads Barisan Nasional into the next state polls,

ALL eyes were on the silver Rolls-Royce as it came to a stop at the swanky Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, the venue of the Sarawak Barisan Nasional convention, on Saturday.

The BN faithful, who were anxious to hear what Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud had to say about the imminent state election, strained their necks to get a look at him as he got out of the car with his wife, Puan Sri Ragad Kurdi Taib.
Onlookers looked at his face, the colour of his inner shirt and his ring for clues. What they saw, instead, was a confident and seasoned politician ready to lead the BN charge against an ambitious opposition in the next state polls.

Taib, dressed in BN signature blue, appears ready to seek a new mandate in the state he has helmed for close to 30 years.

He was in high spirits and combative mood as he called on some 5,300 members of the four-party Sarawak BN coalition to “fight all out” against the opposition for the right to form the state government again.
His hour-long speech, mostly in Sarawak Malay dialect and English, sought to ignite the fighting spirit of those present.

The opposition, made up of a loose arrangement between DAP, Parti Keadilan Rakyat and Sarawak National Party, is also reaching out to the state’s 980,000 voters.

Taib reads situations well. He comprehends a real threat, given how fickle voter sentiment can be amid opposition propaganda.
At the convention, he urged BN partners — his party, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Sarawak (PBB), Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) — to stick together as a fighting unit.

BN has not been riven by splits, but complaints can be heard behind closed doors. A revealing statement about “vulture politics” was made by PRS chief Datuk Seri Dr James Jemut Masing at the convention.

Masing described “vulture politics” as “when the strong BN component parties take advantage of weaker ones”. He said “if any member of a component party has problems, we must come and check out how best we can help”.

SUPP needs help from its allies to win over Chinese voters.

The Chinese-based party is fighting for its survival. It lost eight of the 19 seats it contested in the 2006 state election and lost the Sibu parliamentary by-election last year.

The party, however, gained one seat when independent Engkilili state assemblyman Dr Johnicol Rayong joined it.

The Chinese are prey to opposition allegations of corruption and abuse of power in the Taib administration.

In 2006, BN obtained less than 50 per cent support from the Chinese in areas with high percentages of Chinese voters. Since then, SUPP seats in urban areas have become shakier.

Taib and his team want to ensure that voters in rural areas and the interior are not swayed by the opposition’s promises, mainly on unresolved native customary rights.

The natives are also fed opposition propaganda in cyberspace, leading SPDP chief Datuk Seri William Mawam Ikom to press component members to prepare for an online battle as the state election draws near.

Taib, in his speeches of late, asked the people to judge for themselves the development and progress brought about by the BN government and not be misled by promises from parties without track records.

Developing Sarawak is Taib’s political journey. For him, the years of struggle to develop the state and meet the needs and aspirations of its people are far from over.

One major project coming to Sarawak, branded as the second wave of development, that Taib is passionate about is Score, or the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy.

Score, with a RM93 million allocation under the federal 2011 Budget, promises social and economic benefits for the people of Sarawak through the next generation.

The state plans to use the sum to improve infrastructure. It will use another RM1.2 billion allocated for rural development in the Budget to improve roads and water and electricity supplies for longhouses and rural settlements.

In an interview with the magazine Malaysian Corridor, Taib said the opposition was more concerned about petty issues and shouting slogans than offering plans to the people.

“They are looking for potholes in roads while we are doing bigger things like building roads.”

There are 71 seats in the state assembly, of which 56 are Bumiputera-majority and 13 Chinese-majority. BN holds 63 seats.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is concerned that Sarawak, since its last state election, has become highly politicised.

The opposition set its sights on winning control of the state assembly or denying BN its two-thirds majority.

Many have come to view BN’s nine-seat loss in 2006 as a precursor of the reversals in the 2008 general election.

How Sarawak BN performs in the state election can signify what is in store for BN in the next general election.

Najib and federal ministers have visited Sarawak and travelled to the interior. Najib and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin chose the state to kick-start their pre-election nationwide tour.

In Sarawak, the Najib factor will play a major role in winning seats for BN, much as it did in the peninsula’s recent by-elections.

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8 Comments »

  1. What development? One line of MRT in the Klang valley is going to cost the taxpayer more than RM50 billion which is about 10 years of rural development allocation for Sarawak. We are not fools.

    Comment by Abang Kassim — March 10, 2011 @ 6:44 AM | Reply

  2. Look what they wore. Are they not high and behold aping the Barat code of wear? Worst they are bounded tightly by their Barat rules and conditions. What is that Hishamudin’s sharing on the peninsula-based opposition politics all about? Is he a Barat or a Sarawakian? What kind of politics is he trying to bullshit? Isn’t his preaching can be even more treacherous than what BN could actually think of in all what’s Sarawak PR politics. PR is constantly and have had already skimmed all The Good The Bad and The Ugly of Malaysians politics in order to blend well with all our Sarawakians. Don’t you think his presence in our soil should have triggered Sarawakian the opportuned outcries for what have been happening to all the seized Holy Bibles now. Is it that sort of treatment the Barats continue to feed the people in this The Fair Land Sarawak.

    Whom shall thee call Kettle or Pot?

    Comment by miaowkia — March 9, 2011 @ 11:03 PM | Reply

  3. Time has come to change.!

    Comment by Rentap — March 9, 2011 @ 8:47 PM | Reply

  4. Isn’t development of a state or country the job of a ruling party? It is the rampant robbery of land, corruption, cronism that the population cannot stand and do not expect them to remain silent forever. Look what happens to Tunisia and Egypt. So, continue with your dreams of staying in power, BN! The rakyat will determine who is the boss this time around!

    Comment by KickBNout! — March 9, 2011 @ 8:52 AM | Reply

  5. Hello Barisan Najis people…

    Previously: “There are 71 seats in the state assembly, of which 56 are Bumiputera-majority and 13 Chinese-majority. BN holds 63 seats”.

    BUT…

    Coming soon: “There are 71 seats in the state assembly, of which 56 are Bumiputera-majority and 13 Chinese-majority. Pakatan holds 63 seats”.

    Can you BN guys live with that? Be prepare for the new generation of voters…!!!

    Comment by Pusu, Belachan & Tempoyak Goreng — March 9, 2011 @ 2:25 AM | Reply

  6. When I look at that line up of BN coalition leaders in Sarawak, I see a bunch of old men. Not one of them is under 60 years old, and no women is in sight. This is sad. These people have controlled Sarawak politics and resources for 30+ years and they have basically sideline people of my generation (and I am 40+) and the even younger generation by their monopoly of everything Sarawak, and I am not even mentioning the abuse and corruption yet. If you look at other countries like the US and Great Britain,and even Thailand, their top politicians are in the prime of their lives (in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s) such as Obama, Sarah Palin, Cameron, etc. But in Sarawak we have dinosaurs with their extinct species mentality.

    Comment by TU Empowered — March 9, 2011 @ 1:48 AM | Reply

    • Too bad you’re in the minority, although you are honest and pragmatic with your observations. The obstacle is to reverse the mentality of those (mostly malays and dayaks) who vote BN time and time again, regardless of the consequences. They seem contended with what goes on in Sarawak and are not prepared, just yet, to look at alternatives. Afterall …. their CM is a “hard-to-find gem!”

      Comment by canadian — March 9, 2011 @ 4:53 AM | Reply

      • And Canadians are helping to strangle the system to deny these people a fair system, open and accountable !

        Comment by Mounty-fag — March 9, 2011 @ 1:23 PM | Reply


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