Hornbill Unleashed

May 4, 2013

Sarawak BN ‘poised for victory’, but is still desperate

Keruah Usit
“The construction work on this new school is still under way, but the project may be abandoned should the people choose not to vote for BN,” Telang Usan assemblyperson Dennis Ngau, of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), the dominant party in Sarawak BN, told local daily Borneo Post on April 30.
Dennis Ngau said this when was campaigning for Anyi Ngau, BN’s parliamentary candidate for Baram. These two Ngaus have no blood ties and the state seat of Telang Usan falls under the Baram constituency.According to the Borneo Post, a BN mouthpiece, development in the deprived Baram district may be “abandoned” if PKR wins Sunday’s general election.

Dennis was citing an example of a school being built in a small village, Long Panai, that would “ensure every child has access to quality education, even in the rural areas”.

Dennis’s message – that BN will stop building the school and will not baulk at depriving rural children of a “quality education” if Baram rejects the BN – appears somewhat desperate.

NONEBN has held this vast constituency since 1995, but faces defeat in Sunday’s election.

There have been angry protests against the BN government of the state for allocating native customary rights (NCR) land to politically influential companies for timber extraction, oil palm plantations and for a giant hydroelectric power plant.

Internal sabotage within BN is another handicap. The three-term Baram MP Jacob Dungau Sagan, vice-president of the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP), a junior partner in the state BN, was replaced with Anyi, who enjoys the favour of Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud’s all-powerful PBB.

This surprise was concealed well: Dennis publicly pledged support for Sagan as the “sole nominee” as recently as April 2.

Taib’s PBB is used to having its own way, but PKR will surely benefit from discontent among SPDP supporters.

Ministers play the race card

Another symptom of the panic on the part of Sarawak BN surfaced on April 27. Taib’s high-handed deputy at the resource planning ministry, Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, tried to play the ethnic politics card.

According to the front page of the Borneo Post, Awang Tengahdeclared that “if Pakatan Rakyat becomes the government, their policy would be to introduce the ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ concept, which abolishes the right to NCR ownership. Right now they are merely fanning NCR issues for political mileage.”

Sarawak DAP secretary Chong Chien Jen and the state’s PKR election director See Chee How promptly filed police reports against Awang Tengah, alleging “slanderous and seditious statements.” See condemned political polemic that incites hatred and threatens voters.

Hudud forum Baru BianBoth the DAP and the PKR have based their campaigns around the “twin terrors” of endemic corruption and land grabs from NCR communities.

“All this talk of us wanting to abolish (NCR) is nonsense,” retorted a furious Baru Bian (right), the Sarawak PKR leader.

“How can we be accused of such things when for so many years we have been fighting for NCR? Let me state clearly that one of Pakatan’s promises is to set up a Land Commission to investigate NCR land claims to right the wrongs done to the people by those in authority.”

Baru’s law firm represents natives in more than 100 NCR court cases against the BN administration.

NCR land is protected under the constitution and state law, but the Taib government has shown little regard for court rulings in favour of native communities.

Following the police reports, Awang Tengah performed a sheepish U-turn. Two days later, he said that he had been misquoted.

“I never said the opposition Pakatan Rakyat would abolish NCR if it forms the government but posed a question on what would happen to NCR rights in Sarawak.

NONE“The right to NCR lands is a privilege to only bumiputeras, as DAP’s ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ goes against any special privileges, and that is a question on the minds of all Bumiputeras in Sarawak,” Awang Tengah said.

James Masing (right), Sarawak’s land minister, did not appear to have been adequately briefed on the U-turn. The Borneo Post, had himparroting Awang Tengah on April 28: “PKR said they are fighting for NCR. But what is there to look after when there is no more NCR if a ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ is implemented?”

Baru Bian responded calmly, with a call to Awang Tengah and James Masing to declare their personal assets, and those of their families. Both ministers enjoy luxurious lifestyles.

Desperate BN campaign tactics

“Threats of deprivation of services and rights are a form of political violence in Sabah and Sarawak,” Bersih’s Irene Fernandez warnedon May 1.

But these threats appear to be part of the fabric of everyday life for Sarawak’s rural voters.

The venom of the two ministers’ attacks on Pakatan might be considered incongruous, since neither is standing for election to Parliament. Both were elected as assemblymen in Sarawak’s separate state elections in 2011.

The intensity of the campaigning, and the amount of money BN has thrown at voters, also appears at odds with Sarawak’s projected election results.

BN has conceded it will lose four to eight out of the 31 parliamentary seats in Sarawak. Pakatan’s modest prediction is it will win only 11 to 13 seats. BN therefore expects a resounding victory in Sarawak.

Even so, the stakes could not be higher for Taib’s state cabinet. The mammoth urban Pakatan political rallies, or ‘mega ceramah’, suggest a swing away from BN in the south of the peninsula.

If Pakatan somehow wins a simple majority, against all odds, Taib and his ministers will face an inquisition from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission – the kid gloves will finally come off.

After 25 years of being in complete command, and of winning comfortable majorities in every election, BN ministers realise their fate is, for once, out of their own hands.

BN will win a handsome majority in Sarawak, but clear signs of desperation have emerged. The world outside Sarawak is changing.

KERUAH USIT is a human rights activist – ‘anak Sarawak, bangsa Malaysia’. This weekly column is an effort to provide a voice for marginalised Malaysians. Keruah Usit can be contacted at keruah_usit@yahoo.com



  1. Anwar is prepared to sing a song to Mahatir


    Predicted Parliament final score: PR 123 seats , BN 87, Independent/Other party 2

    PR Johor+Sabah+Sarawak score= 10+10+10

    Comment by New Malaysia Johor New Hope — May 5, 2013 @ 3:39 AM | Reply

  2. Right, hand in hand with Jesus to the polling station. Let us, each and everyone of us pray to Almighty God and Lord Jesus to lead and guide us with his Holy Spirit to touch every body to wake up and vote for change to a new incorruptible good government.
    God bless Malaysian.

    Comment by Lo Bobby — May 5, 2013 @ 12:56 AM | Reply

  3. Borneo Post =Bull Shit Post

    Comment by rcc — May 4, 2013 @ 7:36 PM | Reply

    • i thought it stands for Bullshit Post? lol.

      Comment by nainai — May 4, 2013 @ 9:07 PM | Reply

    • Porn and Shit Post

      Comment by tigeryk — May 5, 2013 @ 11:02 AM | Reply

  4. The Christian community in East Malaysia shall put their feet down and tell UMNO led BN that we want a just, clean and corrupt free government effective May 6 2013.

    Comment by Bidayuh Headmaster — May 4, 2013 @ 5:46 PM | Reply

  5. Thank you Richard for dispelling the poison spell from The Star ! ! !… though I have ALWAYS been smart enough to differenciate the false and the truth all along – see, God gave me a thinking mind ! ! !…And you know what ALWAYS come to mind when any state in Malaysia is depicted as backward as is mentioned according to The Star – and the thinking mind ASKS ; why do they always paint Kelantan NEGATIVELY as if ALL the negative activities of society happens ONLY in Kelantan ?…IF that IS so, it actually REFLECTS the INCOMPETENCY of the ruling government , that is umno for their sheer lack of being their ‘brother’s keeper’ .

    Umno says they have 3/ Three MILLION Members…What about the rest of the Malaysians…aren’t we , THE MAJORITY of MORE than 3 million NOT Malaysians ? Think about it ! So to ALL Malaysians, wherever YOU are ; North , South , East and West – COME OUT EARLY TO vote for a BETTER Malaysia – one that REFLECTS ALL MALAYSIANS and not the current ARROGANT BN leaders . ( remember we LOST our WORLD’s BEST EDUCATION because of BN – YOU want them to continue ? – wonder if the 3 million speaks ANY OTHER languages besides bahasa Melayu ! ! !

    Comment by sainteres — May 4, 2013 @ 5:07 PM | Reply

  6. God and Tua Pek Kong will form an alliance to protect voters … vote for PR

    Comment by tigeryk — May 4, 2013 @ 1:56 PM | Reply

  7. Let us pray today for tommorrow…………amen

    Comment by cucu brooke — May 4, 2013 @ 1:22 PM | Reply

    • Do not just pray for peace and harmony and vote the corrupted again. Make sure to pray for real change and vote against corruption, racism, bigotry and cronyism.

      Comment by Josephine Kueh — May 4, 2013 @ 5:39 PM | Reply

  8. What reactions if you saw the Land Code being flawed to create denial claims in order to squeeze out the innocent indigenous groups that have an absolute customary rights over their ancestry land. No doubt many us natives are inherited with a limited small land acreage BUT should we be overly jealous of others who have actual rights of claim over a bigger occupied land area?

    Hinting the oppositions to abolish the NCR is also like telling themselves to first suck and lick on the smelly fingers of the one who holds the coveted authority over the land ministry. MoMok! Why there are so many scrupulous land issues nowadays and not as previously when the Land Code took its original policing course. The snail pace result in land surveys and the issuance of land documents also indicate their delaying factor a tactic to cover up their grave wrongs.

    Bye Bye BN Bye Bye. We have enough of those Daylight Robberies..

    Comment by miaOwkia — May 4, 2013 @ 12:18 PM | Reply

  9. Dennis infact didn’t get the majority votes in the last State elections. His two opponents got more votes then him combined which means he was not the choice of majority of the people.

    He is just a toy boy for PBB and he has to say what he is instructed to say by his handlers in PBB. He has no mind of his own otherwise he wouldn’t have said stupid thing like that! I’m sure he knows that the funds for building schools does not belong to BN but he has to act stupid and be stupid so as not to offend taib,tanah and numpang! Hope he doesn’t remain stupid for his own good!

    Comment by brian — May 4, 2013 @ 12:09 PM | Reply

  10. Please would the Chinese Associations in Sarawak stay out of Politic ! We know many of you top guns in all these Associations are Dato, Penghulu etc etc and all have obligations to BN but then, please don’t give comments which does not reflect the views of all your members. Look at the the nonsence BN/UMNO is creating with many unanswered issues on the electoral roll and many other issues. Sarawakians should be proud to be above all these and not dirty our hands in all those shits.

    Comment by gagojackman — May 4, 2013 @ 8:52 AM | Reply

    • The president and committee members of the Chinese and Dayak Associations and Chamber of Commerce are cronies of BN politicians. Their members will not be beholden to these crooks who used the association platform to lobby for private business and state land from Taib Mahmud.

      They are just stooges of BN.

      Comment by Ngu Chee Seng — May 4, 2013 @ 10:36 AM | Reply

  11. Subject: What the Chinese view in PAS Kelantan -very few know the actual situation
    Let’s hear it from the Chinese

    In Kelantan’s politics, one name towers above all, Nik Abd Aziz Nik Mat, affectionately known as Tok Guru Nik Aziz. What is the secret to this man’s almost cult-like appeal to Kelantan folks? Let’s hear it from the Chinese
    in Kelantan.

    Kelantan’s political history is as enigmatic as itself. Having had the distinction of being the first state to be won by an opposition party in 1959 when Malaya was still in

    euphoria over Merdeka, PAS ruled it from 1959 to 1977. PAS’s tenure in Kelantan was briefly interrupted by BN’s political scheming in 1977 through an emergency that lead to a 12-year BN interregnum.

    In the 1990 general elections, BN suffered its most devastating electoral defeat in history when PAS & its erstwhile ally, Semangat 46 swept all the parliamentary & state seats in the state. And PAS has ruled the state since then.

    Having run Kelantan for 40 years, especially since 1990, PAS under the leadership of its spiritual leader & MB Nik Aziz, has consolidated its grip in the state. Nik Aziz’s popularity with Kelantan folks is due in no small part to his clean & upright leadership & willingness to live out his religious convictions.

    In his 1990 inauguration as the Kelantan MB, his first acts
    were to reduce his official salary by 40%, cut down
    on state official entertainment expenses & eschewed
    staying in his official MB residence for his own house. With
    his humble & modest lifestyle, he has won over many
    Kelantan folks’ respect & admiration.

    Unlike UMNO leaders’ willingness to manipulate religion to
    divide & rule the people, Nik Aziz lives out his religious
    convictions while not abusing religion. In his world view
    which is coloured heavily by Islam, racialism is not
    acceptable as he believes everyone originates from a same
    forebear & hence deserves to be treated equally.

    Equal treatment for everyone – is that not a dream for all

    Why PAS is winning hearts

    Kelantan has treated its minorities fairly through monetary
    support for their religious places. Has Kelantan under PAS
    being so Islamised that non-Muslims fear living there?
    Kelantan Chinese Assembly Hall (KCAH) chairman Oie
    Poh Choon has this to share.

    “Once, I attended an official event where Nik Aziz was
    the guest of honour. The attendees included mostly Malays,
    Chinese & 10 Thai monks. The Thai monks started to recite
    Buddhist chants after having the meals. Not only did Nik Aziz
    not stop them, he even asked for microphones be provided for
    them & sat through the sessions, in full view of 1000 plus
    Muslims. He has a favourite phrase: ‘If PAS has ever forced
    Anyone to convert to Islam, please show me the proof’.”

    Contrary to the mainstream media’s demonization,
    Kelantan’s other religions get equal treatment &
    development opportunities. According to the PAS
    supporters’ club (DHPP) chairman, Hu Pang Chaw, KB has
    many non-Muslim religious places such as churches &
    Chinese temples. Among these places are a 450-yr old
    temple, a temple that houses a 108-ft Guan Yin statue &
    a Buddhist temple that houses a 100-ft sleeping Buddha statue.

    Some of these temples are even built on Malay reserve land.
    Some temples also received annual grants from the state govt. In
    Kelantan, the churches & temples are not subjected to the
    policy restriction of having buildings taller than mosques
    like in some west coast states.

    Minority perspective

    KCAH chairman Oie Poh Choon opined that the Chinese lead a
    happy tranquil & peaceful life there thanks to the state
    govt’s fair treatment & righteous governance.

    “Unlike what the mainstream media’s lop-sided portrayal
    of us being side-lined, we lead a happy & pleasant life
    here. We have an exemplary MB. Our living condition here is
    good, which is why we have chosen to remain here. Kelantan
    is a good place to reside in.”

    He believes that the Kelantan govt is like many other
    govts in the world, who takes care of its minorities.
    Besides the many policies that promote fairness, it has
    additional policies that also take care of the minorities.

    “Kelantan state govt is the first in the country to
    implement the ‘land sustains school’ policy which was
    followed by the Perak PR state govt in 2008. Kelantan’s
    only independent Chinese secondary school, Chung Hua
    Independent Secondary School, was allocated 1000 acres
    of land by the state govt for its usage in 2000. Now the
    school earns around RM 300,000 annually from the land rentals.”

    In addition the school is allocated a RM 20,000 grant
    annually. The Chinese vernacular primary schools are also
    well supported, even by the Malay community.

    DHPP’s Hu explained that of the Kelantan’s 15
    Chinese vernacular primary schools, only 2 are wholly
    Chinese populated. The rest have between 20-50%
    Malay student population. In Kelantan, many Malays take
    pride in learning Chinese.

    In my visit to MB Nik Aziz’s residence, I met his grand
    children. 5 of them could speak Mandarin fluently. Nik
    Aziz even praised them for being able to converse in
    Mandarin & lamented of his inability to do so!

    Systematic Allocations

    KCAH chairman Oie Poh Choon has praises for the state
    govt’s fair treatment of the Chinese. According to Oie,
    every year the state govt will allocate RM 1.7 million for
    the Chinese community here. “If we are short of funds,
    the Chinese state exco, Dato Annuar Tan will ask for more
    from the treasury. Nik Aziz will usually approve it.”

    “RM 1.7 million is not much. However we know that the
    state govt has limited revenue. Yet it is able to
    provide funding regularly to the Chinese community. We
    recognise their earnestness, unlike some parties who often
    promised much but don’t deliver. With PAS, when the amount
    is announced, the cheque is already prepared.”

    As for KCAH’s youth wing advisor Lau Chit Fang, the
    Kelantan Chinese community doesn’t doubt the state
    govt’s sincerity in taking care of the minorities as
    the non-Malays can’t decide Kelantan’s political fate.

    “The Chinese voters are only present significantly in a
    few state seats; we are not politically influential. We
    don’t doubt about the state govt’s sincerity or honesty
    in treating us fairly.”

    “On the other hand it is UMNO who seems bent on
    wrecking the people’s relationship with the state
    govt. They go around telling the Malays that PAS is
    selling out to the non-Malays.”

    Comment by Richard Lee — May 4, 2013 @ 7:39 AM | Reply


      Comment by VINCENT AK PAUL — May 4, 2013 @ 10:00 AM | Reply

    • Only idiots in MCA and SUPP think the Chinese and non Muslims are stupid.

      Comment by Ngu Chee Seng — May 4, 2013 @ 10:49 AM | Reply

  12. With all blessing, BN Sarawak is heading to lost 12-15 seats ( SUPP=7(or6), PBB=2, SPDP=3(or2), PRS=3) – 7233 or 2733 you can bet on your 4Ds today. but do not bet on voting

    Sabah BN losing 10 seats, Johor BN losing 10 seats, so the rest of Semenanjong you can count for youselves. Despite undi-hantu and undi-tipu, young and new voters are the real king maker to Malaysia Parliament & Putrajaya

    Comment by Good Morning New Malaysia — May 4, 2013 @ 7:19 AM | Reply

  13. May all rural church services forward their Sunday mass to Saturday (today) so that all the Christians and rural voters will not miss out on voting. May they also carry the cross in their hearts and walk let Jesus with us to the poll. Let the church bell rings every hour to remind all rural Christians to vote.

    Comment by Irene Kana — May 4, 2013 @ 7:08 AM | Reply

    • correction…let Jesus walks with us…

      Comment by Irene Kana — May 4, 2013 @ 7:11 AM | Reply

      • We put Jesus Cross in our hearts, we also put it on the ballot papers correctly to choose a government of hope. We pray His Light shines like thunder across the dark night that all deceitful things done in the darkness by the evil are to be exposed. We pray for HIs devine intervention and guidiance through the day of the voting and ballot counting, and His blessing rest upon all who are designated to their respective duties to ensure a fair and clean election.

        Comment by Good Morning New Malaysia — May 4, 2013 @ 7:26 AM | Reply

  14. Ahhh, as expected, the good, old tried and true scare tactics. In the rural areas, this sort of scare tactic would work like a charm.

    Comment by kenyalang — May 4, 2013 @ 7:07 AM | Reply

  15. Dennis is doing fear-mongering because he has a lot to lose if Roland Engan wins. His dedication to his master Taib has made him rich. Lihan Jok too. By the way, Long Panai has had a primary school since the late 1950’s, and the one that is being built is just a new building. PKR is not going to stop its construction if it wins!

    Comment by Save Sarawak — May 4, 2013 @ 2:10 AM | Reply

  16. The natives of Sarawak who had been kept poor and mentally enslaved so as to continuously beg for development in exchange for voting BN will soon be master of their own destiny. The dirty Dayak Ybs led by the thief minister Taib Mahmud will be investigated thoroughly for power abuse and corruption when Pakatan Rakyat takes over Putrajaya.

    On this Sunday, the Churches throughout East Malaysia shall bless and guide all Christians to vote with a clear conscience and without fear. Poverty is no longer an option and an excuse under the newly formed Pakatan Rakyat government after May 5 2013..

    God saves Malaysia and all Malaysians.

    Comment by Sabestian Jacob — May 4, 2013 @ 12:32 AM | Reply

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