Hornbill Unleashed

January 1, 2017

The road to greater things

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 6:23 AM

Image result for happy sarawakAS a big Sarawakian family, we have walked and worked together, we have moments of challenges and successes as well as of sadness, joys and laughter.

I am thankful we have all lived and shared 2016 together and look forward to living and sharing 2017 and beyond together as well.

My dear father had passed on in 2016 but he is forever beaming his habitually gentle and approving smile whenever I think of him. I lost a dear brother Bill Kayong in the same year but it is heartening his colleagues, comrades and those inspired by him are continuing his bravery, persevering and furthering the cause.

The apex court dealt a crashing blow to the legal crusade for native customary land rights by declaring that pemakai menoa and pulau galau are recognised indigenous customs to demarcate and identify ancestral land but they have “no force of law”.

The Sarawakian political arena, distinct from the doom and gloom national scene, was buzzing with the new occupant of the Sarawak Office No. 1 and the Chief Minister turned his remarkable popularity into a commanding electoral mandate.

IImage result for sarawak election 2016t was a feat for Batu Lintang and some of my Pakatan colleagues to withstand the blitz of Team Adenan, but we must continue to work harder.

Beefing up our team, we have added three full-time workhorses, two lawyers and a law student to the force to meet the growing challenges to better serve the people and country.

The legal workhorses are good and will attend to the public and double up to safeguarding rights, ensuring justice, preserving and enlarging freedom. The law is a powerful and useful tool to effect the changes we wish to see.

I digress to a delightful discovery. I have learnt the many terms used to describe a group of horses: the farmer has a “harras”, a billionaire may own a “stud” and the CM may engage a “ranch”. Mine is a happy and spirited “team”, working together for a common cause.

2017 will be an exciting year. The team must spearhead the political and legal vocation for Sarawak’s constitutional rights and privileges; administrative integrity, fairness and justice to safeguard and advance the interests of the commons. And Sarawak must take the lead in transforming the country into a better place for all living and the future generations to come.

We reflect on what we have achieved – what and how we could have done right, and what lies ahead in the new year, strengthening the affiliation and camaraderie and motivating the enthusiasm for all to work and walk together in the coming year.

Even the Disney channel has been airing its flashback for 2016 with sneak previews of shows and movies slated for 2017, thrilling and captivating the young and old for 15 seconds before it ends with the customary Disney fireworks and the promises of a “Fabulous 2017” and “2017 will be awesome” ringing in everyone’s ear.

The children will be with them, even some adults too, eager to follow the exciting shows and touching movies. With those determined eyes fixed on the heavy traffic zooming on the highway, I am certainly interested in finding out “How does Mickey cross the road?”

From crossing the road to staying on the road, I read the State CEO’s Christmas message that we are on the road to greater things.

The CEO was in Melbourne, Australia, posing with his beloved half in front of a giant Christmas tree. With the same picture published prominently in all Sarawakian papers, it appears that the CEO is standing in front of an enthusiastic Sarawakian audience, patiently listening to his Christmas and New Year message.

Image result for adenan satem xmasIt is the CM’s way of delivering his New Year message – on the Eve of Christmas. I like the presentation of last year’s message more. It had created more excitement when the ‘Christmas 2015 and New Year 2016’ video was posted in the official website of the CM’s Office. It was a short message but the ‘face-to-face’ engagement with Sarawakians had kept the message more real.

But, of course, as the CEO of the state administration, the citizenry has an expectation to hear or read the message, not that the CEO thought he should deliver the message as he had done over the years, merely going through the motions.

As the New Year message of a television channel had shown, it expressed appreciation to its viewers, reinforced their sense of belonging and outline their expectations to create the excitement for the year to come.

Was it a good year for the CEO? It certainly is. An approval rating of almost 90 per cent was the highest ever achieved by any CEO in any year so far. Maybe a “thank you” was in order? The ordinary citizen and the people who have worked for you in the year will be proud to receive an expression of gratitude from the CEO.

Outline the key achievements and challenges weathered through, particularly the ones that all the ordinary citizens were involved in, to strengthen their resolve and collective commitment to scale more challenges.

If I were the CEO, I would certainly admit they were rough patches: we have not secured the financial support from the Big Brother to fund our rural transformation initiatives and we have to renege on the motion to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution, to mention a few in passing.

By doing that, we acknowledged that certain strategies may have failed to yield results but we will meet those challenges with different strategies and achieve the results in the new year.

Indeed, the CEO must be upbeat to give his followers hope, outline his vision to inspire and cheer them to be positive and believe that we will overcome the challenges in the New Year.

“We are on the road to greater things.”

But What? When? How?

Sarawakians have shown they have faith in the CEO, at least until the conclusion of the state election or the last quarter of the year.

The CEO reiterated the state’s stand on English, exhorted Sarawakians to safeguard unity and protect the environment. What about Sarawak’s autonomy, devolution of powers, our petroleum and forest resources?

Somehow, we have no idea what are the missions and the visions have left for the new year.

The CEO had opted for negotiation than confrontation but the strategy did not seem to bear fruit in the year. Should we revise and improve on our strategies?

The biggest flaw lies in the fact that people have no part to play in the quest to accomplish the vision for Sarawak.

What can Sarawakians do to contribute to the CEO’s “vision” for a better Sarawak?

Are there really greater things awaiting us if Sarawakians instinctively stay on the road? Or should Sarawakians cross the road?

Thanks you, everyone. Let us continue to walk and work together for a better future for Sarawak.

See Chee How, Batu Lintang assemblyman (writing for Column “How I See It” in Sunday Post, published on 1 January 2017.)

Making his writing debut, he said, “Former Kuching MP Sim Kwang Yang (SKY) is the inspiration. He has always believed and taught me that partisan politics should take a back seat, public interests and the good and progress of humankind is of utmost importance. And public interests and the good and progress of humankind can be best served through social awareness building and learning, the less partisan politics the better.

“Therefore, I will write more as a lawyer, an activist and a non-partisan political worker.”



  1. 1MDB brings us road to devalued Ringgit.

    Comment by Fazli — January 3, 2017 @ 2:46 PM | Reply

    • RM4.50 now for 1 USD.

      Comment by sakri — January 4, 2017 @ 6:38 PM | Reply

  2. BN sold 36 times more land and yet received less money than the present state government, this is the change from the CAT administration that benefited Penangites!

    Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 2.1.2017.

    Penang Would Have Recorded RM1,074 Million In Accumulated Surplus Since 2008 If RM500 Million Had Not Been Allocated For The Public & Affordable Housing Fund Out Of The RM658 Million In Land Sales.
    Penang would have recorded RM1,074 million in accumulated surplus since 2008 if RM500 million had not been allocated for the Public & Affordable Housing Fund. This RM500 million Public & Affordable Housing Fund was taken out of the RM658 million in land sales by the state government, clearly showing that land sales was not the reason for the annual surpluses of the state government, which amounted to RM574 million since 2008.
    The Penang state government is proud of its sterling achievement of recording annual surpluses consistently and at the same time reduced its state debts by 90% since 2008. This singular success of annual budget surpluses coupled with low debt is a result of upholding CAT governance of competency, accountability and transparency.
    These annual budget surpluses is the reason why the state government is able to afford and repeats our offer to lend the Federal government RM50 million to help them keep their 2016 promise to give RM50 million for Chinese primary schools. Is the Federal government so “poor” that for the second year running, it can not even find RM50 million development funds promised for Chinese primary schools last year. Something is very wrong and shameful if the Federal government cannot even find RM50 million or 0.02% out of the entire RM261 billion 2017 budget.
    Since 2008, Penang has recorded accumulated budget surpluses of RM574 million over the last 8 years, which is more than what BN achieved over the last 50 years they ruled Penang from 1957-2007 of RM373 million. Whilst our political opponents do not deny that we performed better in 8 years than they did in 50 years, they claimed that these surpluses are achieved by land sales.
    The Penang state government received a total revenue of RM4,947 million since 2008. Land sales revenue since 2008 amounted to RM658 million or 13% of the total revenue of RM4,947 million. Out of the land sales revenue of RM658 million, the state government had allocated RM500 million for the Public and Affordable Housing Fund to build low cost, low-medium cost and houses below RM300,000/-.
    In other words, since 2008 only RM158 million was available as contribution towards accumulated surplus of RM574 million, and towards establishing a welfare state where over RM400 million has been paid out as cash payments to 1.6 million Penangites and schools. Or hundreds of millions of ringgit for development purposes to build public infrastructure.
    The previous government had also conducted land sales on a much larger scale selling 3,661 acres compared to only 106.1 acres under the present state government. And yet the present state government brought in a higher sum of RM1.1102 billion from the sale of 106.1 acres of land due to our open competitive tender system.
    Compared to the different system of selling 3,661 acres by the previous BN state government that only obtained a lesser amount of RM1.0586 billion, such as the sale of reclaimed land in Tanjung Pinang at only RM1 per square feet. BN sold 36 times more land and yet received less money than the present state government, this is the change from the CAT administration that benefited Penangites!

    Comment by jk han — January 3, 2017 @ 12:06 PM | Reply

  3. It was announced the entire ECRL project will be financed by a ‘soft loan’ from China at 2% interest with an intial 7 year ‘holiday’ from repayments, thereby getting Najib off the hook over 1MDB’s missing billions entirely and leaving all the problems of repayment to his sucessors.

    The deal has apparently been guaranteed by unspecified ‘land assets’ promised to the Chinese and cemented by pledges of a new strategic balance towards the nearby super-power, which is already starting to assert its naval presence in the ultra-sensitive Malacca straits and also in Malaysian waters in the South China Sea, where China has been eying fishing and oil reserves and doubtless also the lands and wealth of North East Borneo (East Malaysia).

    In short, Najib has sold out his country to China in his attempt to cover up the massive thefts from 1MDB, billions of which ended up in his own accounts or were frittered away in the gargantuan spendthrift extravagances and investments by Jho Low.

    Comment by Kamsari — January 1, 2017 @ 1:31 PM | Reply

  4. What greater things Sarawakians can hope for (BR1M dedak?) when the majority offered themselves as fixed deposits to Najib in the last state election? Sigh!

    Comment by sakri — January 1, 2017 @ 12:26 PM | Reply

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