Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders in Sarawak received a rapping from opposition PKR for its condescending manner and insulting digs.
State PKR chairman Baru Bian said BN’s branding of the opposition supporters as ‘Judas’ and waging politics of fear among voters was ‘extremely disturbing’.
Bian was responding to remarks made by Lawas MP Henry Sum Agong, who demanded that his constituents in Lun Bawang and neighbouring Lawas, state their stand on Barisan Nasional.
Sum Agong had reportedly told the Lun Bawang community “not to act as Judas” of BN which had contributed to their wellbeing.
His words drew ire from deeply religious Bian who said: “Branding opposition supporters, as ‘Judas’ is extremely insulting and most unbecoming of an incumbent politician.
“In doing so, he (Sum Agong) has implied that the BN has been like a saviour to the Lun Bawang, in the sense that Jesus was, to the Christians.
“I find that ludicrous, if not blasphemous. If, as he says, the BN government has done so much for the Lun Bawang community, he has not one thing to worry about.”
Word is that Sum Agong has been under tremendous pressure following BN’s loss of its traditional rural stronghold – the Ba’Kelalan constituency – to the opposition in last April’s state election.
Ba’ Kelalan and Lawas was formerly under the Bukit Mas constituency, hence Sum Agong’s heightened concern.
Bian beat BN-partner Sarawak Progressive Democratic party (SPDP) candidate Willie Lau to wrest the seat which had been with BN since 1996.
Rural seats BN’s strength
It was a significant loss for BN because it meant that the opposition had made inroads into the coalition’s ‘fixed deposit’.
PKR also took the rural Krian seat and Batu Lintang in the April 16 state election while DAP went on to wrest 12 out of the 15 seats it contested. At least three of these seats were fringe seats.
The unprecedented 15 assembly seat victory by the opposition in the state polls rattled the top leadership.
Sarawak BN chief Taib Mahmud has since made it clear that the coalition will retain the state’s fixed deposit seats, including Limbang and Lawas, which are under serious threat from the opposition.
Said Bian: “Our people are sensible and discerning enough to know how much exactly the BN government has actually done for them.
“They should be allowed to choose their next MP freely, without any threats and intimidations from those who have vested interests in holding on to their positions.”
He reminded politicians that they are chosen to serve the rakyat, and that the rakyat do not owe them anything.
His words alluded to a BN senior minister James Masing’s warning to voters “not to challenge their boss (elected representatives)”
“If anything, the BN politicians should be grateful to have been given the chance to hold on to their positions for so long,” Bian said.
He added that he had full “trust in the supremacy and wisdom of the rakyat” and that “God’s will, will be done in Malaysia” come the 13th general elections.