PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has directed Sarawak party chief Baru Bian to select candidates with high integrity for the upcoming state elections.
In a wide-ranging speech at the State PKR’s annual convention at Batu Kawah, near Kuching today, he vowed to reject candidates without integrity.
“If these candidates become part of the government in the event that the Opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, wins the next elections, they will destroy the administration,” he said. (more…)
( Photo Inside ) More than 200 Iban villagers from all corners of Sebangan-Simunjan turned up and crowded the Simunjan Magistrate Court to show their support for Numpang Anak Suntai, charged for criminal intimidating the camp supervisor of Loyal Billion and Quality Concrete Holdings Berhad, a logging company substantially owned by the Chief Minister’s sister, Raziah Mahmud.
Sarawak PKR and its Pakatan Rakyat partners are ready to face Sarawak BN in the upcoming state elections, which is likely to be held in April or early May.
“We will make sure that they will not win uncontested,” Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian said today.
The opposition coalition has more or less agreed on the seat allocations for each respective parties – PKR, DAP, PAS and Sarawak National Party (Snap) – after three rounds of negotiations. (more…)
Kuek Ser Kuang Keng
Following the departure of more than a dozen representatives and leaders from PKR, the party has tightened its selection criteria for candidates ahead of the Sawarak polls, to filter out potential ‘frogs’.
Deputy president Azmin Ali (below left), who is also the party’s election director, said Sawarak PKR has submitted a preliminary list of candidates to the top leadership. (more…)
Stephen Tiong, Malaysiakini
Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian is laughing at a so-called “admission” by Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud that he is willing to step down – provided there is a qualified person to take over.
“I think this is shameful of Taib and it reflects badly on him to say he has not found anyone qualified enough to take over as chief minister,” Baru said today. (more…)
BN elected representatives in Sarawak have been urged to stage a revolt against long-time Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.
Citizen group Movement For Change Sarawak (MoCS) said BN reps should organised a rebellion similar to the infamous Ming Court coup against Taib 24 years ago.
“I am asking those BN representatives – those with some conscience left – to stage Ming Court II and oust the corrupt chief minister who remains persistent in holding onto power despite widespread calls for him to step down,” said MoCS leader Francis Paul Siah . (more…)
15 Iban longhouse communities taking the action at The High Court in Kuching was today granted an interim injunction against Quality Concrete Holdings Berhad, a logging company substantially owned by Sarawak Chief Minister’s sister Roziah Mahmud and Loyal Billion Sdn Bhd the logging contractor, restraining them from continuing logging and land clearing works and any other related activities within the area 15 Iban longhouse communities are claiming native customary rights (NCR). (more…)
PKR Sarawak is hot on the trial to do the unthinkable – capture Sarawak from the BN after almost five decades. After its historical direct election that is now inked on Malaysian political history, PKR has moved forward to fill the many positions by appointments. Sarawak PKR has seen a few of that.
Those receiving publicity centers around the re-appointed State Liaison Chairman and renowned native land rights lawyer, Baru Bian. But it is the appointment of an unknown,
John Tenewi Nuek ( Photo Right ) as Vice President (more…)
Whispers of a vicious sms campaign to derail Baru Bian’s re-appointment as State Liaison Chief for Sarawak in the last few days by a small group of dissenting ‘hidden hands’ have been put to rest with the top leadership in Kuala Lumpur reiterating their unequivocal support for Baru Bian and announcing his re-appointment this afternoon at party headquarters in Merchant Square, Jalan Tropicana, Selangor. (more…)
Saifuddin Nasution announced state-level and central leadership council appointments as decided by the party today.
Rosli Abdullah from Terengganu will replace Badrul Hisham Shaharin, better known as Chegubard, who turned down the deputy secretary-general post over what he said was the leadership’s failure to investigate party election fraud claims in a timely fashion. (more…)
Amid accusations of a political ploy ahead of state elections due to be called anytime now, some 2,000 teachers in Sarawak were left fuming on news that they had suddenly been transferred just as school reopened today.
“We are shocked at such desperate action by the Taib Mahmud administration. It looks like despite all their talk that Sarawak will remain a BN fixed deposit, they are very afraid of the Pakatan Rakyat,” PKR vice president Tian Chua told reporters.
All signs point to a snap general election soon. The various actions taken by the BN recently are a very clear indication that the ruling coalition is all set for the electoral battle.
The BN is now open to direct membership from individuals and NGOs to expand its power base, particularly in attracting support of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community organisations and young people.
It is an improvement for the BN to gradually open up. In the past, (more…)
By Bridget Welsh – Malaysiakini
The BN deservedly should claim and savour yesterday’s victories. The combined gains in Galas and Batu Sapi show significant swings across ethnic minorities, which proved to be decisive in determining the final outcome.
This is the first major turning point in the political stalemate between the BN and Pakatan Rakyat among all of the 13 by-elections since March 2008.
From the ground, it was clear that the BN had the advantage in (more…)
By HU Editor
(Video link inside)We have just received a call from Daniel, a Kenyah teacher, in Belaga: “Nanga Merit, Nanga Metah, Punan Bah, SK Long Terawan, SK Nanga Merit, SK Punan Bah, Kampung Terawan … All the schools and villages below Belaga Town are cut off because the river has dried up due to the impoundment of Bakun Dam.”
“Even the engineers of Sarawak Hydro are telling us that the state government has no plan to overcome the problem because they are unlikely to stop the impoundment.” (more…)
By Joseph Tawie
Pelagus state assemblyman Larry Sng, who was expelled from Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) last year, seems unperturbed by his “partyless” status despite the state election being only eight months, or less, away.
He continues to go around doing his duty as an elected representative as well as an assistant minister.
By spending most of his times in the constituency, Sng is giving the indication that he wants to defend his seat. (more…)
By Chris Reubens
PKR state leader Baru Bian and DAP state secretary Chong Chieng Jen say they are ready for any snap poll.
And Baru Bian is even optimistic enough that Pakatan Raykat could take over the state government, although indications now are that it is a very slim chance.
“In an election, anything can happen,” he told reporters.
Baru Bian is confident that the Pakatan will be able to face any election called, as negotiations on seat allocation are almost complete among the Pakatan Raykat coalition, which consists of PKR, DAP, SNAP and PAS.
In an act of breathtaking meanness and greed the multi-billionaire Taib family are seeking to deprive impoverished Ibans of one of Sarawak’s last remaining hardwood forests, for a paltry compensation of just RM250 per family.
Meanwhile, Sarawak Report has received exclusive new leaks which indicate that the Chief Minister himself stands to personally profit by a million times that amount (an estimated RM250,000,00) in corrupt backhanders from the deal.
Raziah Mahmud and Quality Concrete Holdings (more…)
By Pak Bui
We want Sarawak chief minister Taib Mahmud to contest in the upcoming state elections.
We want Taib to contest and win his own seat uncontested as usual, after a hefty sum is spent (but not one he will miss, since it would still be an infinitesimally small fraction of his wealth) on ensuring that any potential opponents are not a threat.
We urge PR to put up a trustworthy candidate against Taib, a candidate who will take any windfall that might come his way on nomination day. We would want the PR candidate to then withdraw with a smile, and promptly contribute the windfall to party funds to supplement the campaign war chest for the surrounding constituencies. (more…)
By Sim Kwang Yang
The year was 1993, and I was serving my third term as an opposition member of parliament (MP) of Bandar Kuching.
In the Malaysian context at the time, the core of an MP’s job was to service the constituency, by solving the little problems created by inefficient administration, like looking after blocked drains, neglected garbage collection, and attending to minor daily problems faced by the constituents. That was how politicians saw their roles in Malaysians’ daily lives.
But I had different ideas about politics. I believed that the duty of our Wakil Rakyat was to serve the whole nation, and in the context of Sarawak, to serve all the people in the state. Therefore, I devoted my energies throughout the 1990s to the contentious battle to protect the forests of my home state, Sarawak. It was a tough job, because nobody was interested in environmental protection, and the powerful timber interests made sure that we were denied access to the mass communication media. (more…)
By HU Editor
“Wong is not in a good mood this morning,” Ah Nen, who serves wonderful laksa warned me: “He is cursing at all the newspapers.”
It is customary for out-of-town (outskirts of Kuching) coffeeshops to subscribe a copy each of all the local newspapers and leave them on the tables for customers to read as they enjoy their breakfast, lunch or tea.
Pensioners like Wong habitually travels a few kilometers to have their coffee in one of these shops. He spends an hour or two reading all the newspapers and starts the coffeeshop debates with his buddies for another two hours before they all make their way home, contented with the knowledge earned and shared that day. (more…)
By Malaysian Insider
A failure to retain a two-thirds majority in Sarawak could lead the Barisan Nasional (BN) losing more federal seats in the 13th general election but will not be enough to dislodge it from power, claims political analyst Dr Ong Kian Ming.
The UCSI University academician stressed that Sarawak will be the catalyst for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to capture Putrajaya although the fledgling coalition must work hard to retain voter confidence after a spate of defections and squabbles.
“When BN fails to retain its two-thirds majority in Sarawak, that will be the starting point that will reveal the cracks and weaknesses in BN and Umno, especially when the state is no longer a safe deposit.
“This will pressure Sarawak to change and cause instability within BN. Najib will lose the two-thirds majority in the next general election and Pakatan Rakyat will get a net gain of 18 seats,” he told The Malaysian Insider after presenting his findings at a forum this week. (more…)
By Aidila Razak
PKR Sarawak chief Baru Bian yesterday slammed state Assistant Minister of Planning and Resource Management Mohd Naroden Majais, for saying that natives can get their land surveyed only if they go through BN elected representatives.
“That is politicking. It is nonsense and very irresponsible for him to say that. If (the government) is really sincere about helping the natives this would not be an issue,” he said when contacted.
Mohd Naroden had on Tuesday said that the government cannot act if requests for land surveys, for the purpose of native customary rights (NCR) claims, are made via opposition elected representatives (more…)
By Sarawak Report ( more photo inside )
Sarawak Report would like to enquire of Abdul Taib Mahmud how much he paid for the mansion that Samling passed on to his family in Seattle, USA ?
The residence forms an enormous property, standing in its own grounds in one of the most prestigious area of Seattle on Boylston Avenue. It was passed from a Samling-owned company to a company now owned by Abdul Taib Mahmud and his family, for just one US dollar in 1991. (more…)
By Zaid Ibrahim
Zaid Ibrahim addresses 300 PKR leaders in Kuching, Sarawak:
It has been 53 years since Malaya became independent; and 47 years since Sabah and Sarawak and Malaya combined to form the Federation of Malaysia. The imperative word here is “formed”. Sabah and Sarawak did not join Malaysia.
But for too long, people in Sabah and Sarawak have been made to feel like they are the children of a lesser God. And for too long, even in Semenanjung, many of us have been made to feel like the children of a lesser God – just because we do not agree with the Barisan Nasional’s policies. (more…)
By Joseph Tawie
In order to ensure maximum impact on the coming state election, the Sarawak PKR has decided to assign one elected representative from the peninsula to oversee each of the state constituencies contested by the party.
“These YBs from the peninsula will adopt each constituency that we are contesting.
“They will assist us in giving ‘ceramah’ as well as helping us to raise funds for the state election. We are a poor party and in need of financial assistance,” said state chairman Baru Bian last night.
He said that PKR is expected to contest in more than 40 constituencies; however the final number of seats would be subject to the approval of Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat Council which was formed recently. (more…)
By Al Gore and Paul Wolfowitz
The Wall Street Journal
We come from opposite sides of the political spectrum and disagree about a great many things. However, one issue that brings us together is the case of Anwar Ibrahim, the former deputy prime minister of Malaysia who is now leader of the political opposition in that country.
Anwar has been charged under very dubious circumstances with sodomy, a criminal offence under Malaysian law. If convicted, he faces a possible 20-year sentence – effectively life in prison for a man of 63.
His trial, scheduled to resume next week, threatens not just Anwar but all those in Malaysia who have struggled for a freer and more democratic nation. It is also important for the rest of the world, because it casts a troubling shadow over the future of a nation that should be a model for other Muslim countries.? (more…)
By Penan Support Group
THE Penan Support Group (PSG) is appalled that Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Heng Seai Kie has refuted the findings in the PSG’s mission report uncovering more cases of rape and sexual exploitation among the Penan. Heng cited minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s “fact-finding mission” on 13 July to the Baram region and the lack of police reports as proof.
We find this denial and misinformation problematic for several reasons. First, the minister’s visit was not a “fact-finding mission” to investigate the allegations of new rape cases, but to merely “have a feel of the place”, to quote a report in The Star.
Second, the minister did not meet any of the members from the Penan communities cited in the PSG report. She spent only one hour on her walkabout of Batu Bungan, an accessible village near the prime tourist spot of Mulu National Park. This is nowhere near any of the three remote villages the PSG mission members visited during their investigation. (more…)
By Mariam Mokhtar
ONE of the most intriguing questions thrown up by the launch of Friends of Pakatan Rakyat (FoPR) was whether Malaysian women in politics could be taken seriously. Will they be able to survive the rigours of political life?
More specifically, Nurul Izzah Anwar, the Pakatan MP for Lembah Pantai, who addressed the 230 strong FoPR crowd in London, needs to convince us of her commitment.
So far, we have been disappointed by several women politicians who only pay lip service to womens’ issues and who have left most of the women’s struggles such as sexual harassment, domestic violence and labour exploitation, to the NGOs.
Is Nurul able to take women’s concerns seriously and advance the position of women in Malaysia? She is a ‘daddy’s girl’ who cut her political baby teeth when she was propelled into the limelight, campaigning for her father’s (Anwar Ibrahim) release during his sodomy and graft trial in 1998. Was she parachuted into Lembah Pantai in 2008 to claim the seat for him? And has she inherited his eloquence and engaging manner? (more…)
By Malaysian Mirror
ONCE again we hear of trouble, turbulence and turmoil in a political party that talks every other day about taking over the government in the next general elections. We will tolerate their nonsense no more. Yes, even if it means throwing out the baby with the bath water!
Please, please PKR stop pushing your fanciful dreams about occupying Putrajaya when you are in such a pathetic and pitiful state with your prima donna politicians parading their shameless petty and puerile politics in public.
As a party you have become laughable, and as RPK predicts you could be facing your last days! Your political representatives are resting on their laurels and the increasing number of loudmouths and loose cannons are just longing to blast the party into oblivion! (more…)
Friends of Pakatan Rakyat (FPR) is being officially launched as an organisation to rally the support of Malaysians who share the vision of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition for a better Malaysia. The launch will be held on the Sunday 4th of July 2010 in London and officiated by Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, the Pakatan Rakyat Secretariat Coordinator.
By Bunga Pakma
Merciless Necessity drove me away from HU these past two weeks. Shortly after arriving back in Sarawak for a well-deserved rest, my laptop began behaving capriciously. First it would accept only certain letters I typed, and then the keyboard and trackpad ceased to respond at all.
Are any of you out there old enough to remember the pocket transistor radio? These suddenly became a very popular toy in the early 60s, the perfect thing to listen to Elvis and the Beatles on. Alas, these little radios were doomed to short lives. First the telescoping antenna got bent, and lost its top sections, then the volume dial developed “dead” spots here and “staticky” spots there, and finally the thing stopped working altogether. You threw it away and (maybe) bought another one.
Computers are the transistor radios of the 21st century. (more…)
By Aidila Razak @ Malaysiakini
PKR Selangor chief and Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim may need to reconsider running for a top post at the November party polls, as the party continues to put his administration under scrutiny.
Already smarting from the tongue-lashing at the PKRcongress in Kota Bharu, Kelantan last month, Khalid (right ) is facing yet another round of criticism, as the party zeroes in on state policies at its Shah Alam retreat this weekend.
Information chief Latheefa Koya said that among the aims of the retreat is to find a way for the party to have more say in state affairs – an indication of latent unhappiness with the MB’s administration. (more…)
By Joe Fernandez
The Sarawak BN meet, scheduled for this weekend in Kuching, has reportedly set up four arduous tasks for itself as a decision is about to be made on whether to go for snap polls.
“These tasks are to consider four major themes for the forthcoming state elections,” confirmed a key Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) polls strategist last night.
The first of these tasks is to strategise on the polls theme that Sarawak needs to be administered by homegrown parties and “not those imported from Peninsular Malaysia”. (more…)
By Sarawak Report
In with the Government in Canada
The Taib family’s local acumen in channelling government expenditure into their business activities appears to have extended into Canada, according to the information gathered by Sarawak Report into their Canadian property empire.
Their company Sakto’s success in attracting tenancies from state organisations funded by the Canadian tax payer can only be described as enviably impressive. Their string of developments appear to be a magnet for government bodies in search of office space. Plaques outside Sakto’s key buildings testify to their trusted status as landlords to Provincial and Federal Government agencies.
Most noticeable is the mass occupancy by no less than eleven Ontario Government Ministries at the company’s Preston Square site. According to an official press release in 2007 by the Ontario Realty Corporation, the provincial government body responsible for locating offices, these are the: (more…)
By Keruah Usit
A small primary school near Dalat, Sarawak, sits on the banks of a languid river, and is accessible only by boat. Getting there on the small express from Sibu takes almost two hours.
The school is a low wooden building, with a small walkway down to the jetty. Beside the walkway stands a small shack housing a diesel-driven generator.
The classroom, buzzing with 30 children, is neat and clean, with colourful children’s drawings decorating the walls. The children are charming but shy, as in most similar rural communities in Sarawak.
The teacher has a laptop computer, but the Internet remains alien territory for most of the students. Even the electricity supply is not dependable, leaving the children with no ceiling fan or lights when the generator breaks down. (more…)
The 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) is no more a list of announcements amounting to billions of ringgit, said Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.
It is no different to the previous Malaysia plans despite the country’s economy facing a critical crossroad, he said during his 90-minute speech to debate the 10MP at the Dewan Rakyat today.
The RM260 billion economic blueprint is supposed not only to restore the “sluggish economy” but it should also be capable of mobilising the economy out of an impasse suffered for more than a decade. (more…)
The Sarawak National Party (SNAP) will know its fate next month when the Court of Appeal convenes to decide on its application against deregistration. The much-awaited decision will determine the course which the state’s oldest political party, representing the Dayaks, will next take.
Said SNAP secretary-general Stanley Jugol: “The court will decide at the end of next month.
“Our members are anxiously waiting for the ruling on our application against the decision to deregister the party. I think we have a better chance now because there will be three judges hearing our case.”
SNAP was deregistered by the Registrar of Society (ROS) in November 2002 after the party failed to resolve a protracted leadership crisis between the then party president James Wong and his challenger William Mawan Ikom. (more…)
Chris Wright, The Australian Financial Review
Anwar Ibrahim’s trial will be a crucial moment not only for his opposition party, but also the government, writes CHRIS WRIGHT from The Australian Financial Review
But while Anwar is under pressure in court, it’s the government, and in particular the UMNO party at its heart, that is struggling, and not just with election results. Even in a country with a largely compliant mainstream press (but a vibrant alternative media), the government and the country’s other key institutions have found themselves mired in scandal.
When Anwar Ibrahim walks into the Kuala Lumpur High Court today, (more…)
Defections, disorganization dog Malaysia’s opposition party
Anwar and Parti Keadilan have come under constant criticism for the quality of the candidates they have fielded and for disorganisation and political infighting in the party itself. Abdul Hadi Awang and DAP national chairman Karpal Singh, among others, have urged Anwar to look into the weaknesses in his party that have caused the defections.
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, under the stress of a long-running trial accusing him of sexual perversion, is under increasing strain as the point man for his Parti Keadilan Rakyat, or People’s Justice Party as he continues to be harried politically as well. (more…)
If PKR continues with its “current stroll pace”, it will lose Sarawak altogether, warned veteran Sarawak politician Daniel Tajem, in the run-up to the party’s national convention which begins in Kota Baru yesterday .
“PKR must move faster and be more effective in Sarawak. It should focus on the Dayaks and spread its reach,” he said, adding that the recent Sibu by-election on May 16 had shown up PKR’s shortcomings.
Tajem, who is also Sarawak PKR adviser, said the PKR campaign in Sarawak and during the by-election had failed to reach out to the Dayak Ibans who lived in 110 longhouses in the Sibu constituency. (more…)
By Keruah Usit
“’Any money YB?’ a voter asked me, as I asked him to vote for me. He said BN promised RM200 for his vote,” Wong Ho Leng, state assembly representative for Bukit Assek and the underdog DAP candidate for the Sibu parliamentary by-election, posted on Twitter on May 10.
Offers of vote-buying, Wong concluded, are not in the realm of rumour. Wong’s allegation is nothing new. Every poll in Sarawak in living memory – state, parliamentary or by-election – has been dogged by reports of vote-buying.
Methods of bribery described in past elections have included the prosaic, such as handing out cash and holding dinners and alcohol-soaked ‘meet-the-candidate’ parties. Cash gifts ranged from RM50 to RM100 were offered in previous elections, depending on the poverty level in a given constituency. (more…)
By Keruah Usit
Voters in Bandar Sibu’s May 16 by-election are less likely to be concerned about the ethnic and religious fault-lines that have shaken peninsular politics over the past 40 years, than about issues of material development and livelihood.
Pragmatism will decide the winner, rather than the ethnic voting patterns that peninsular politicians constantly bang on about. Sibu residents, Iban, Malay, Orang Ulu, Chinese and Melanau alike, are stricken by chronic, crippling ailments of under-employment, economic monopolies by Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS) and other companies linked to the Chief Minister Abdul Taib (right) Mahmud, and poor infrastructure and social services. (more…)
By Tian Chua
In this dynamic and ever-changing world, Apco Worldwide stands tall as the giant of the lobbying industry. The firm, in its own words, offers “professional and rare expertise” to governments, politicians and corporations, and is always ready to help clients to sail through troubled waters in the complex world of both international and domestic affairs.
Malaysia isn’t Apco’s only client. In my last article, I described Apco’s relationship with homeland security and risk management consultancy firm Asero Worldwide. Asero is almost like a retirement home for ex-Mossad and ex-Shabak secret services officials. (more…)
By Maximus Kho
There appeared to be something akin to “a gauntlet thrown” for a reply to the articles on jumping politicians herein and how to in fact stem the tide.
If I may, I would like to just take a moment to pause and state, in response, a truism.
The truism is “Qui tacet consentiret”: the maxim of the law is “Silence gives consent”. If therefore you wish to construe what my silence betokened, you must construe that I consented.
Briefly, one shouldn’t be too bothered if one doesn’t elicit the required response, as silence is a response in itself. (more…)
By Sim Kwang Yang @ MalaysiaKini
Internet writers like me have a cushy job. We stare into the blank wall, try to imagine the audience out there in cyberspace, and bang out a string of connected ideas at break-neck speed to beat the deadline.
Writing is a lonely business. Thank God, I do get some feedback from readers sent to my email address every week. Otherwise, I would have stopped writing out of boredom. I try to answer them all.
The messages accumulated over the six or seven years of my service with Malaysiakini amount to a huge pile. Most are friendly, but there are a few that are very critical. Of course, one has learned long ago the art of agreeing to disagree with mutual respect.
Then, there are readers and bloggers who cut and paste my articles all over the Internet. I am not sticky on the issue of intellectual property rights, so that is okay too. Any idea of mine, once it is out there, for better or for worse, is public property.
By HU Editor
It was an emotional day for native landowners in Sarawak.
Outside the courthouse in Kuching, tears of joy were flowing freely and native landowners from all parts of Sarawak hugged and congratulated each other.
Baru Bian, usually cool and composed, was seen talking to reporters with his eyes red, and voice shaking with emotion: “This is justice for all Sarawakians, particularly the oppressed native communities.”
High Court Judge Datuk David Wong had just delivered his ruling on two cases in Kuching this morning: Agi Ak Bungkong & Others v Ladang Sawit Bintulu Sdn Bhd and Mohd Rambli Kawi v Superintendent of Lands & Surveys Kuching Division and Another.
In both cases, the High Court Judge held that the respective communities had proven that they have native customary rights over the disputed land, and awarded them damages and costs. (more…)