Hornbill Unleashed

December 6, 2011

PKR no pushover in Sarawak

Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz

The April 16 Sarawak election proved that despite Umno maligning Anwar Ibrahim, PKR still made ‘inroads into Dayak ground’.

There’s a view that PKR cannot win any parliamentary seats in Sarawak and that all embattled Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) seats will go to DAP.

Allow me to cite one observation passed to me by the Oracle of Syed Putera, who incidentally is the alter ego of former economic adviser Daim Zainuddin.

You can almost say that whatever the Oracle spews is what Daim thinks.

Recalling the April 16 Sarawak state election, the Oracle said the 100 percent victory by Taib Mahmud’s Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) wasn’t unexpected. PBB won all 35 seats it contested in the state election unlike Umno (in 2008 polls). (more…)

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September 24, 2011

SNAP – friendless and alone

FMT Staff

Political analysts in Sarawak and peninsula have written off Sarawak Nasional Party.

KUCHING: Going into its triennial general assembly (TGA) and presidential polls tomorrow, Sarawak’s oldest party which gave the state its first chief minister in Stephen Kalong Ningkan stands isolated and alone.

Local analysts and political observers here and in the peninsula have written off the 48-year-old Sarawak Nasional Party (SNAP).

SNAP, they say, will “never rise to its former glory”.

The weekend will also see a contest for the president’s post. (more…)

What’s Brewing In Snap?

(Bernama) —

What’s brewing in Sarawak’s oldest political party, the Sarawak National Party (SNAP)?

What does the future hold for this party as it prepares for its triennial general assembly scheduled for Sept 24 and 25 in Kuching.

Many political analysts have already written off any future for SNAP in Sarawak’s political landscape as they believe it will never be able to rise again to its former glory.

“The party is basically finished. It’s the end of the road. It has a branding issue with funding as its biggest problem. Previously, it was funded by the top leader who was financially strong. But the current leadership is facing financial constraints,” political analyst James Chin told Bernama. (more…)

June 20, 2011

SUPP leader blames BN for its failure

Joseph Tawie

Barisan Nasion has been in power for a long time and it has become complacent. It is also the rootcause of the people’s dissatisfaction.

The Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) treasurer David Teng has blamed the policies and decisions of the Barisan Nasional for its dismal performances in the recently concluded state election.

In the election, SUPP contested 19 seats, but lost 13 of them, a number of which it had held for the past 41 years.

Teng, who lost his Repok seat which he won in 1983, said that the BN was the rootcause of the people’s dissatisfaction because of its many policies and decisions. (more…)

June 2, 2011

More Trouble Brewing For SUPP

(Bernama)

A group of Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) grassroot leaders has given an ultimatum to their president Dr George Chan to convene an emergency Central Committee (CC) meeting within 14 days or face legal action.

The group took the action after the Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting on May 27, which was chaired by Dr Chan, had rejected a requisition by 58 CC members to convene an emergency meeting to discuss several important motions.

The ultimatum was contained in a letter dated May 31 and made through their solicitor Wong, Orlando Chua & Kuek Advocates to Dr Chan. (more…)

May 31, 2011

S’wak CM’s office ‘issued cheques to buy votes’

Susan Loone

Malaysian Election Observers Network coordinator Ong Boon Keong has revealed more damning evidence of alleged vote-buying in the recent Sarawak elections, following an equally controversial video exposé of the alleged offence on May 26.

Ong is giving the authorities two weeks to act, failing which he will initiate a nationwide campaign to mobilise voters in rejecting all candidates who have a similar ‘strategy’ in mind for the coming general election.

He revealed photocopies of vouchers dated March 25 and 27 purportedly from the Chief Minister’ s Office, showing that a payment of RM15,000 had been made to members of a longhouse and RM1,000 to another recipient. (more…)

May 30, 2011

‘Solid proof to declare S’wak polls null and void’

Athi Shankar

Banned activist says rampant vote-buying was a well-oiled operation involving the chief minister’s office.

A political activist said he has visual and documented evidence to prove that rampant vote-buying in the recent Sarawak polls was a well-oiled plot from the very top.

BK Ong, who was deported from Kuching last Tuesday, claimed he has the evidence which revealed cheques and vouchers to voters were issued from the Chief Minister’s Office.

“The evidence is strong enough to declare Sarawak polls null and void,” said Ong, a coordinator of the Malaysian Election Observers Network (MEO-Net). (more…)

May 27, 2011

More ‘evidence’ of alleged vote-buying in Sarawak

Kuek Ser Kuang Keng

Although it has been more than a month since the Sarawak state election, polls watchdog Malaysian Election Observation Network (MEO-Net) says it has found more evidence to show that vote-buying was rampant during the campaign period.

MEO-Net coordinator Ong Boon Keong today released a short video recording showing stacks of cash purportedly being distributed to voters in the Tamin state constituency, which was retained by the BN.

The video, allegedly shot in the verandah of the Rumah Unban Anak Endu longhouse located at Tenting Terentang in Nanga Selangau, shows stacks of ringgit notes placed on the floor being distributed openly on the night of April 14, two days before polling day. (more…)

May 26, 2011

Still at a loss over Sarawak polls results

… Malaysiakini

At the tail end of last month’s Sarawak election campaign, Pakatan Rakyat leader Anwar Ibrahim addressed a press conference with an almost jubilant demeanour.

Buoyed by what positive responses the opposition got around the Borneo state, Anwar claimed that Pakatan Rakyat could even deny BN two-thirds majority in the Sarawak legislature.

But as the results came out, pin-drop silence enveloped the PKR headquarters in Kuching, with morose party workers collating numbers which, until today, Anwar says remain dumbfounding. (more…)

May 25, 2011

Dayaks want number two slot in SUPP

Filed under: Politics,Sarawak State Election — Hornbill Unleashed @ 4:55 PM
Tags: , ,

FMT Staff

Slumbering Dayaks in SUPP now want to be ‘recognised’ and heard.

The downfall of Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) in the April 16 state election has awakened its slumbering Dayak community.

Until that fateful day, the Dayaks in SUPP were just a quota or so, it appears.

Now, the Dayaks with their fours seats are the reason why SUPP is politically relevant.

SUPP contested 19 seats and lost six seats to the opposition. Only two of their Chinese candidates managed to win. (more…)

Demand a serial comic sideshow

Geryl Ogilvy Ruekeith @theborneopost.com

NEW MEMBERS: Asfia (front, third right) in a photoshoot with some of the newly elected members of the State Legislative Assembly after their meeting and lunch at the new DUN complex yesterday. A total of 22 members would be making their debut at the coming sitting.

State Legislative Assembly Speaker says MoCS has no locus standi to ask Taib to step down

KUCHING: Losers in the recent state election do not have any rights, legitimacy nor the authority to demand for the resignation of the victors. (more…)

May 8, 2011

The meaning of Sarawak

Ding Jo-Ann

ALL eyes are now on the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) to see whether a general election will be called following the Sarawak elections. But although BN retained its two-thirds majority in Sarawak, it suffered a decline in the popular vote. Meanwhile, political rivals DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) increased their seats from six and one to 12 and three respectively.

The Nut Graph asks political scientist Wong Chin Huat about the implications of the Sarawak election results in the latest installment of his column Uncommon Sense. (more…)

May 6, 2011

Sarawak BN moves to analyse polls outcome

FMT Staff

Chief Minister Taib Mahmud is ‘not ready yet’ to announce a cabinet reshuffle.

KUCHING: All Sarawak Barisan Nasional elected representatives have been directed to compile a report on their respective constituencies in time for the State Legislative Assembly’s first sitting in June 2011.

Disclosing this, special advisor to the Chief Minister, Adenan Satem said the reports were aimed at determining and dealing with issues raised during the run-up to the last month.

He said the reports were part of the coalition’s commitment to conduct a detailed post-mortem on the BN’s performance in the April 16 polls. (more…)

May 2, 2011

Handbook for rural campaigning in Sarawak

Sim Kwang Yang

BY NOW, the DAP has deduced the urban campaign in Sarawak down to a science, after 33 years of practice. Since the DAP first came to Sarawak in the late 1970s, they have become experts at winning the hearts and minds of urban voters in Bumi Kenyalang.

But campaigning in rural Sarawak is largely left to the personal whims of the political personalities on the ground within the opposition front. The success of the BN machinery in rural Sarawak, in contrast, is a testimony to the strength of the ruling coalition in this state, the largest in Malaysia. The BN’s grip on power in Sarawak has yet to be shaken by the challenge from the opposition coalition. (more…)

Unfair to blame PKR for Sarawak losses

Zefry Dahalan

An analysis of the figures shows that SNAP was more guilty of splitting opposition votes.

Commentators who blame PKR for the opposition’s poor performance in the recent Sarawak election are either spinning the facts or being too lazy to examine the figures.

Many have said the opposition would have won more seats if PKR had given way to SNAP in the rural contests and thus prevent three-corner fights. The fact is that in all contests where both parties were in the fray, Barisan Nasional won far more votes than those garnered by SNAP and independent candidates combined. (more…)

April 29, 2011

Sarawakians willing to die for Taib

FMT Staff

Like it or not Bumiputeras in Sarawak ‘appreciate and revere’ Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, notes a PBB senator.

KUCHING:  Having proudly delivered all of its 35 seats to the ruling Barisan Nasional regime in the April 16 polls, an affronted Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) today slammed critics of Taib Mahmud saying that he was still a much ‘revered’ leader to Sarawakians.

PBB Supreme Council member Senator Idris Buang said there were ‘many Sarawakians who were willing to die for leaders like Taib.” (more…)

Najib’s no match for wily old Taib

Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz

The moment he got wind of Umno KL’s plans to replace him, he swiftly moved to consolidate his grip over Sarawak.

It’s time for the boys on our side to rethink what has happened in Sarawak. A victorious and accordingly emboldened Taib Mahmud is now a cause for more headaches to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Umno.

Let’s replay the behind-the-scene incidents on April 16. On that night, after making sure he already had the numbers, Taib called the house asking family members to get ready. (more…)

April 28, 2011

Taib’s win blocking BN’s Sarawak reforms, says analyst

Clara Chooi

Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud’s prevalence in Sarawak will likely add further strain to federal-state ties as the Najib administration continues to face the dilemma of the Chief Minister’s extended stay in power, an analyst here predicted.

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) lecturer Dr Faisal Syam Hazis told a forum last night that Taib’s thumping victory meant it was unlikely that the strongman would bow out from politics before the next general election is called. (more…)

Split led to dysfunctional Sarawak PKR campaign

Aidila Razak

While BN had a head start through government campaigns, Sarawak PKR was dealing with factionalism which may have cost them several seats in the recently-concluded state polls.

Despite for the first time being able to provide good training for its grassroots as well as to present a coherent message, political scientist Andrew Aeria said PKR’s “deep and vicious factionalism” turned its campaign dysfunctional.

“The two factions, one led by (Sarawak PKR chief) Baru Bian and the other by Malay-Melanau leaders, led to a lot of local power-broking among those vying for candidacy,” Aeria (Below Left) told an audience of about 300 at a forum organised by pollster Merdeka Centre in Selangor yesterday.  (more…)

PKR urges Sarawakians to assess its manifesto: Change is for real

PKR urges S'wakians to assess its manifesto: Change is for real Sheela Sri Jaya, Malaysia Chronicle

PKR leaders refuted as mischievous the claims that their campaign in the just-concluded Sarawak election did not offer voters a concrete alternative to the BN.

“On the contrary, PKR was the one with a detailed manifesto but as usual the enemies of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim do not want anything that is related to him including PKR to get any credit at all,” Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin, who campaigned extensively in the Land of Hornbills during the state polls, told Malaysia Chronicle. (more…)

Umno ‘circling’ for foray into Sarawak

Aidila Razak

The presence of Umno bigwigs and machinery during the BN election campaign in Sarawak has raised questions about the peninsula-based Malay party’s role in the state.

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) political science lecture Andrew Aeria (below left) is of the opinion that Umno will eventually move into Sarawak.

“But I dare not say more. I can’t really see it happening yet but the day (Chief Minister Abdul) Taib (Mahmud) moves away from the scene, there will be some serious moves (into Sarawak by Umno),” he said.  (more…)

April 27, 2011

Reflections on PRN10 Sarawak

Hornbill CornerSim Kwang Yang

My first brush with electoral politics in Malaysia happened 33 years ago, in 1978. I was in Kuching for the summer vacation, a break from my university course in philosophy. I had already enrolled in graduate school, intending to pursue a PhD in that obscure subject.

I read in the newspaper that a group of Kuching people were trying to set up a new branch for the DAP. I knew nothing about the DAP and did not know their secretary-general Lim Kit Siang. But I have always been convinced that democracy is good for the people, in Sarawak or elsewhere. So I walked up to the local contact person and signed up as a member. (more…)

PKR confident of bigger win

Athi Shankar

The party believes that it can take away more of Umno seats in Penang, and tells its members not to fall for their rival’s propaganda.

GEORGE TOWN: The rapid growth of Pakatan Rakyat’s political support base in Penang will help PKR to add more seats to its current stable of nine state and two parliamentary seats in the next general election.

PKR’s Balik Pulau MP Yusmadi Yusoff is confident that Pakatan’s grassroots political set-up will boost PKR’s chances in the seats won by Umno with narrow margins in the 2008 general election. (more…)

PKR to ask Pakatan partners to share Sarawak burden

Clara Chooi

Rafizi: PKR does not mind shouldering the burden or breaking the ground but in my opinion, this effort should be shared out equally.

PKR wants Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partners to share the burden of contesting in hard-to-win seats in Sarawak during the coming general election to avoid a repeat of the just-concluded state polls.

PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli told reporters today that he will raise the matter during the PR secretariat meeting tomorrow.

He pointed out that PKR had been forced to stretch its resources thin during the April 16 state polls when it contested in a whopping 49 state seats, a move that had likely contributed to its failure to win in more than just three constituencies. (more…)

April 26, 2011

Ibans storm SUPP office asking for ‘election reward’

Sarawak News

More than 100 Ibans stormed the Sibu headquarters of the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) yesterday, demanding the balance of RM400 each as the reward promised for backing its candidate who won in the recent state election.

Sibu Election Watch (SEW) in a press statement released late yesterday evening said the Ibans were upset that they did not get the “balance”, despite being promised the money by SUPP election agents as well as the tuai rumah (longhouse head) before the April 16 polls. (more…)

The fight will go on

FMT

It serves little purpose to wield the axe on the press doing its job to report nothing but the truth.

NEW In his hour of victory, Taib Mahmud saw fit to bar FreeMalaysiaToday (FMT) from attending a press conference at his palatial residence. It was a boorish act not befitting the high office he holds. Evidently, he wants to punish the news portal for showing him up to the world for what he is – corrupt, rapacious, arrogant, nasty. His message is, he is still the boss and no one can touch him or his dynasty. He probably has a hit list of all the online newspapers and “troublemakers” who have been exposing his vile deeds. But the white rajah has forgotten that he is no longer in charge of the destiny of Sarawak. He may have been given a fresh mandate but he will not have the freedom to do as he pleases. Indeed, he will come under more intense scrutiny here and abroad. His freewheeling days are over. (more…)

Anwar: Sarawak election far from fair and just

Ang Ngan Toh

The recent Sarawak election was anything but clean, free and fair, charged PKR adviser Anwar Ibrahim today.

“Even the Bersih chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan was not allowed to come to Sarawak to monitor the election process,” said Anwar at a packed press conference immediately after meeting PKR members behind closed doors at a hotel in Kuching.

“Why? Clearly they wanted to cheat and that was why they disallowed a leader of Bersih to come, because they wanted to do (main) kotor (play dirty)” he said. (more…)

April 25, 2011

Anwar, top PKR leaders meet in Sarawak as DAP digs in on SNAP merger plans

Anwar, top PKR leaders meet in S'wak as DAP digs in on SNAP merger plansWong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

Amid concerns that Pakatan Rakyat might be infiltrated by rival elements from Prime Minister Najib Razak’s BN coalition, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim held a “pow-wow” with top leaders of his PKR party in Sarawak.

At the closed-door meeting, the PKR leaders are expected to chart plans for the national elections expected to take place soon. They are also expected to discuss alternative solutions in the event of multi-parties contesting the same seats should an internal row brewing amongst coalition members get out of hand. (more…)

Sarawak DAP eyeing more rural seats

Joseph Tawie

Following its mega success in the recent state polls, Sarawak DAP is now eyeing four Dayak-majority parliamentary seats.

In the coming parliamentary election, Sarawak DAP is targeting Mas Gading, Mambong, Serian and Sri Aman which are Dayak majority constituencies as part of its aim to shed away its image as a Chinese party.

“Even though the four parliamentary seats are Dayak majority, there are however substantial numbers of Chinese voters,” said state DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen. (more…)

SNAP not keen on DAP merger, mulls over ‘many options’

Joe Fernandez

We were betrayed by PKR during the state election and stabbed in the back by DAP, says SNAP sec-gen Stanley Jugol.

The Sarawak National Party (SNAP), a formidable nationalist force which once ruled the state, is at a crossroads in the wake of the just-concluded April 16 state election, according to a post-mortem concluded within days.

However, while the Iban-led party – Parti Asal Bansa Kitai — may be down for now, it’s by no means out. (more…)

April 24, 2011

Time of reckoning: The next general election

Sim Kwang Yang

Following the conclusion of the April 16 state election inSarawak, the country must now be gearing up for the next general election, which could be as early as June or July this year.

This national election will be the most significant electoral contest in the history of Malaysia.

My personal and fervent hope is to see the emergence of an alternative government in the country.

Without the possibility of a change in government, there can be no true democracy in any modern polity.  (more…)

Sarawak polls: Reality check for Pakatan

Bridget Welsh

 The simple fact in the wake of Saturday’s polls is that Pakatan Rakyat has failed to dent the two-thirds majority inSarawak and deliver the needed electoral gains to push Abdul Taib Mahmud from office.

Much has been made of the unfairness of the polls, the use of money and the electoral irregularities. While these issues were important, they should not be excuses that overshadow shortcomings. (more…)

April 23, 2011

Elected rights activist See Chee How swings into action

Ang Ngan Toh

After being elected in the Batu Lintang constituency in the April 16 state elections, human rights activist See Chee How immediately swung into action, attending to the numerous complaints submitted to him during the campaign period.

They include clogged drainage, unsatisfactory government service and hawkers’ problems not being attended to by local authorities. (more…)

SNAP to attention when BN calls

Pak Bui

SNAP is, indeed, a ‘dying party’, as PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim has argued.

SNAP is dying because money politics is strangling this once proud party. In the 1970s, SNAP was a truly multi-racial party, led by Sarawakians with a vision for politics that extended beyond the narrow scope of being just another candidate ‘for sale’ to cash in on an election windfall. (more…)

Walking on slippery rocks

R Kengadharan

Barisan Nasional (BN) may have kept its two-thirds majority in Sarawak, but there is little reason for it to celebrate. It cannot ignore its losses – or the reasons for them, as some of its component parties have warned.

The results are no sure indication that Sarawakians remain confident in BN and in the transformation process that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak claims to advocate. They do indicate, however, that the ruling coalition must do more than just talk about “transformation” as it prepares for the next general election. (more…)

Agi Idup, Agi Ngelaban!

Mariam Mokhtar

There are many modern-day Rentap trying free Sarawak from the oppressive rule of its Chief Minister Taib Mahmud.

When the White Rajah, James Brooke of Borneo, treated the Ibans as pirates, Rentap, an Iban leader, led a rebellion against him and managed to secure Skrang and Saribas. Brooke retaliated with bigger cannons and drove Rentap to Pakan, where the Iban warrior later died in 1863.

Rentap is a Malaysian hero. His battlecry is Agi Idup, Agi Ngelaban! which means ‘I will fight for as long as I live’. (more…)

Challenges for BN, Pakatan after the Saraak polls

Ong Kian Ming

In Part 1 of my analysis on the Sarawak elections, I explained the opposition’s failure to deny the BN a two-thirds majority in terms of the insufficient and unevenly distributed non-Muslim bumiputera (NMB) vote swing against the BN.

The complexity of the changes in the level of BN support in the NMB-majority seats, and to a lesser degree, the Malay/Melanau-majority seats, were also illustrated and explained.

Here, in Part 2 of my analysis, I put forth some of the implications and challenges for each of the major parties within the BN in Sarawak as well as the opposition in light of the election results. (more…)

April 22, 2011

Baru reveals why PKR vied for 49 seats

Andrew Ong

When it was announced that PKR would be going for 49 out of 71 seats in the Sarawak elections, questions rose whether the party, still in its infancy in Sarawak, was biting off more than it could chew.

There were also questions on why the party would not spread out the burden with its Pakatan Rakyat allies and Sarawak National Party (Snap), thereby overstretching itself.

Now that polling is over, PKR state chief Baru Bian firmly believes that the party and Pakatan made the right decision.  (more…)

Sweet and sour aftermath of Sarawak polls

Bridget Welsh

The Sarawak polls are over and the attention is now on assessing its implications at both the state and national levels. Much attention has focused on predictions for the next general elections, with the range of possible dates moving from a few months to further postponement until 2013.

My own view remains that there needs to be some time before the national election machinery is in place again, given the challenges that have emerged from the Sarawak campaign and that anything held this year would be too risky for the BN.  (more…)

April 21, 2011

Pakatan’s rural roadmap for GE13

Keruah Usit
Pakatan Rakyat’s strength in Kuching, Sibu, Miri and Bintulu may be extrapolated to deliver six to eight urban and semi-urban seats in Sarawak, out of 31 to be contested in the next parliamentary elections.

This would be a significant improvement on DAP’s two current MPs, Chong Chien Jen in Bandar Kuching and Wong Ho Leng in Bandar Sibu.

However, to make a push for the minimum 112 seats required to take over federal power, Pakatan needs rural seats. Several elements are required for Pakatan’s drive to make a dent in rural contests. (more…)

Chinese votes no longer for sale

Patrick Lee

The culture of vote-buying and promises of development have led the Chinese to distance themselves from the Barisan Nasional, experts say.

The Chinese have spoken. In a telling blow, the Chinese in Sarawak have rejected the patronage of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government and are prepared to strike out on their own.

An indication of this is when they shunned the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), the state’s venerable Chinese party, and decided to place their future in the hands of the DAP, the  Chinese-based opposition political party  from the peninsula.

(more…)

Why Pakatan failed to deny 2/3rd majority in Sarawak

Ong Kian Ming

 I did not have time to write a prediction piece for the recently concluded Sarawak state election because I was heavily involved in the campaign this time, rather than analysing it as an outside observer.

But I did tweet and put on Facebook (and placed a few friendly wagers) that the BN would lose its two-thirds majority by failing to win at least 47 seats. I was, not for the first time and certainly not for the last time, wrong.

In this first of my two-part analysis of this election, I will quickly lay out the basis for my initial optimism and then proceed to explain, using the election results, why my prediction did not materialise.  (more…)

April 20, 2011

To all Sarawakians, Agik Idup, Agik Ngelaban!

Sim Kwang Yang

At the height of the Sarawak election campaign, I received an email from a young Malaysiakini reader. The following is the contents of her message, sent a short time after the final day’smammoth rally for Pakatan Rakyat in Stutong, Kuching, a few hours before polling began.

“Dear Mr Sim Kwang Yang,

“I was there at the ceramah held in Stutong. I heard your speech and I was very moved by what you said. I hope for a new Sarawak, and a new hope for the young people.
(more…)

Undercurrents shift from S’wak to Umno, presaging a battle royale

Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

Undercurrents shift from S'wak to Umno, presaging a battle royale With the Sarawak polls over, the next immediate focus of attention although this may be kept out of the government mainstream media is whither Umno and in particular, Prime Minister Najib Razak?

Such a question may seem strange given that Najib’s party did not field even a single candidate for the 71 seats up for grabs in Sarawak, the country’s largest state by land mass and perhaps the richest in terms of natural resources such as oil and high-grade timber.

But Umno is the boss at BN, the coalition that rules the federal government. BN has 13 components including the Sarawakian parties PBB, PRS, SUPP and SPDP. And it was Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s PBB that retained Sarawak for BN – keeping the huge income stream chugging along from state to the federal government. (more…)

The myths of S’wak polls results

Bridget Welsh

The dust has begun to settle on the 10th Sarawak polls with the BN touting its retention of the two-thirds majority as a victory, while Pakatan Rakyat points to the more than doubling of its seats. This was the most competitive state election in Sarawak’s history and was hard fought by both sides.BN, led by Prime Minister Najib Razak essentially camped in the state for 10 days to assure the two-thirds, while the opposition also focused is national machinery in Sarawak, bringing in the top guns from Peninsular Malaysia and thousands of party workers. (more…)

Sarawak results not a national barometer

Tarani Palani

Although the BN has retained its two-thirds majority, it may not be a good yardstick for Najib to call for snap polls just yet, say analysts.

KUALA LUMPUR: The just-concluded Sarawak state election cannot be used as a barometer by the Barisan Nasional (BN) to call for snap polls as it does not reflect national sentiments.

Political analysts, however, agree that there are several indicators from the state polls that needed to be taken heed of, especially in the case of Chinese votes. (more…)

April 19, 2011

Commentary on the April, 2011, Sarawak State Elections

Bunga Pakma

We—”we” meaning all right-thinking, unselfish Sarawakian patriots—”lost” the state election. Why the scare-quotes around “lost”? In the first place, the loss should be qualified. Malaysiakini reports that the BN took 55% of the popular vote, while the opposition took 45%. The balance is approaching 50/50. I shall talk about some reasons for the discrepancy below.

While I myself prayed and hoped that the opposition would prevail, and that the Chief Minister would be removed from office, I was in utrumque paratus, ready to deal with either outcome. This past election was the most important event for Sarawak’s people in the last hundred years. Sarawakians had no choice whether that louche fool Vyner became rajah; they had no choice about being invaded by the Japanese, or liberated and then ruled by the Brits. Sarawakians had no choice when the Brits shoved Sarawak into the Tunku’s willing lap. (more…)

April 18, 2011

Baru Bian gets down to business

Terence Netto

Newly-elected state assemblyperson for Ba’Kelalan and Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian said his party should waste no time getting down to preparations for parliamentary elections expected soon after the opposition Pakatan Rakyat had done reasonably well in Saturday’s state polls.

“We should not rest on our laurels but get down quickly to preparing for the general election,” said Baru when speaking to Malaysiakini late yesterday after taking a short rest from the exertions of a tough but successful campaign for the Ba’Kelalan seat in northern Sarawak. (more…)

April 14, 2011

See Chee How : Open Letter To All Sarawakians


(more…)

April 13, 2011

Detained and deported by Burma, sued by Taib

Keruah Usit

One candidate, among the 213 vying for 71 seats in Sarawak’s state election, has had the experience of having been deported from Burma. 

See Chee How, Keadilan (PKR) candidate for Batu Lintang in Kuching, was among 18 foreign human rights activists detained by the Burmese military junta on August 8, 1998. (more…)

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