Hornbill Unleashed

December 10, 2013

My request to two Sarawak ministers: Stand up and be counted

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
Tags: , , ,

Francis Paul Siah

Datuk Abang Johari Tun Openg is not known to be a petty type of person. He is considered a veteran now having been in politics for more than three decades, a good part of it as a minister in the Sarawak cabinet.

In fact, I quite like him as a political worker because he is one who prefers to do his work quietly without much fanfare. Neither is he a controversial figure. I consider the Sarawak minister of tourism a friend although we have not communicated on a personal level for years.

In 2011, before the Sarawak state elections, I had even stated publicly that he should be the successor to Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud as Sarawak chief minister, declaring that he was the most acceptable among PBB leaders to take over.

To sum it up, I just have a little more respect for Abang Johari than other PBB leaders because I think he’s more moderate, more disciplined and less corrupt.

That’s why I was quite taken aback when he suddenly became embroiled in a trivial episode in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly last week which unnecessarily caused the indefinite suspension of state opposition leader Chong Chieng Jen.

At one stage of his speech in the august house, Chong retorted that Abang Johari has the demeanour of an Umno politician, as seen in his words and action.

Honestly, I find nothing wrong in Chong’s remark. What is so wrong about likening Abang Johari to an Umno politician? Isn’t it true that Umno and PBB are like sworn brothers in the BN? Why did the minister take exception to that or did he? I’m sure that if Abang Johari were to tell the Sarawak DAP chairman that “he talks like Mao Tse Tung”, Chong would just have a good chuckle over it.

But did Abang Johari really create a fuss over Chong’s statement? It’s unlike him to be so petty. I’m not sure that he did.

The surprising twist to the charade in the assembly was when the Speaker, Datuk Asfia Awang Nasar, signalled to the four ministers present to propose and second a motion to suspend the DAP member.

According to a version, there was a few seconds of confusion following the Speaker’s directive for someone to put forward the motion. Eventually, poor Tan Sri Adenan Satem had to do the “dirty” job to propose while Datuk Wong Soon Koh seconded.

Abang Johari, who was present, did not have the guts to say anything even if he thought that such a motion was unnecessary.

Apparently, Asfia must have received prior instructions from his boss (you know who lah) that the topic or mention of Umno in the assembly is objectionable. When given instructions by his master, the Speaker is known as a very, very obedient servant.

Of the four players in this episode which led to the unjustified suspension of Chong, in my opinion at least, I’m most disappointed with Abang Johari.

He should have the courage to oppose the Speaker’s directive to suspend the opposition leader if he felt there was no necessity to do so. I’m disappointed in you, Abang Jo!

 an experienced political leader and a long-serving minister, you were expected to do more. If ever you become the chief minister one day, you have to rise above such petty issues.

I don’t care if Umno is a taboo subject in Sarawak today. I don’t care if it has become a bad word. Neither do I care who in PBB love Umno and who do not. What I care about is what I can safely assume the majority of Sarawakians are worried about – we don’t want Umno in Sarawak. Period!

Another statement last week from a Sarawakian minister which I took exception to was the one from Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

The deputy home minister has warned politicians to stop politicising the Malaysia Agreement as it was agreed upon 50 years ago and should not be brought up again. Wan Junaidi has expressed concern that any debate on the issue will create ill-will and disrupt unity among Malaysians. He also said that it would be seditious to talk about it.

Firstly, as a Sarawakian himself Wan Junaidi should be ashamed for not having the guts to do something for what is right for his home state. He should know that the voices from Sarawak are growing louder by the day for a review of the Malaysia Agreement.

Wan Junaidi, you didn’t dare speak up for your fellow Sarawakians, yet you requested that they shut up. In case you are not aware, you have lost a lot of respect at home.

Why did you behave like a wimp, sir? Was it your minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who directed you to issue the warning? If so, then I find it most appropriate to repeat what Chong had said of Abang Johari. You talk like an Umno politician, Datuk Wan Junaidi.

I recall that Wan Junaidi was very vocal over many issues when he was a backbencher in parliament. I used to pay attention to him whenever he stood up to say something in parliament in the 90s. Oh yes, he had courage then. It’s true what they say – people change once they are elevated to an important government post.

It’s worse when you are appointed a deputy to a known Umno goon who was widely reported to have “manhandled” a journalist and chased newsmen out of the hall in the midst of a function.

No, Wan Junaidi, you don’t have to kow-tow to Umno people, boss or not. Being a former police officer and a trained lawyer, surely you can do better than that. Rise above your personal and political ambitions. Put the interests of your home state first.

A review of the Malaysia Agreement is important to your fellow Sarawakians. Umno is certainly not!


  1. Abg Joe doesnot have the calibre to be the CM. He is more like Pak lah. UMNO maybe contemplating of putting him to the job when they come in ( of course when The White Hair is no more there). Or may be they (UMNO) find him more palatable than the others. I think many in the PBB are more scared of UMNO than those in PRS or SPDP ! Better watch out who in PBB are aiming for the post. Post Taib Mahmud UMNO will sure be coming to Sarawak. Chong really shook them up.

    Comment by Awang Semaun — December 12, 2013 @ 11:54 AM | Reply

  2. Many people think Abang Jo should be the next CM. This will not happen because his brother Karim will be TYT leaving him the impossible CM candidate.

    Comment by i knowit all — December 12, 2013 @ 8:51 AM | Reply

  3. These two ministers and a number of others have sold Sarawak and its people, including their own souls. They have reduced a resource rich state to a beggar state depending on handouts. Selfish or self centered leaders only care for their own interests, pockets and bank accounts. They are indeed traitors of their own home state. Don’t expect anything much they will do for the people of Sarawak except being errand boys and stooges of EVIL umno.

    Comment by Sharpshooter — December 10, 2013 @ 8:19 PM | Reply

  4. Guilty conscience

    Comment by tigerykey — December 10, 2013 @ 4:41 AM | Reply

    • LOL…$$$ can camoflauge aLL Sins, including your own race, just like kacang lupa kuliy.

      Comment by tiuniamah — December 10, 2013 @ 10:42 AM | Reply

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