Hornbill Unleashed

May 1, 2013

PR wants ‘Allah’ Bibles returned to prisoners

Joseph Tawie

Political parties in Sarawak have also been urged to state their stand on the seizure of bibles from the Sibu prison.

The issue of “Allah” and the Malay Bible is far from over. It has cropped up again when prison authorities seized hundreds of Malay and Iban-language Bibles with the word “Allah” from a prison in Sibu over the past few weeks.

This has not gone down well with the Christians who make up 44% of the state’s population. (more…)

April 26, 2013

People or party? Wooing civil servants

Bridget Welsh

In caretaker Premier Najib Abdul Razak’s political targeting, one group has received special attention – civil servants. Why would those in the heart of government garner such special focus for an election? The reality is that in Malaysia’s close electoral races, civil servants can be decisive in shaping the final tallies. This is one of the groups that I will be highlighting as decisive in this campaign.

Over the past few years Najib’s administration has worked to stem the erosion of support from his traditional base of government employees with mixed results.

A decisive constituency (more…)

April 25, 2013

Taib not keen to talk about retirement

Kow Gah Chie

Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud was non-committal over a retirement date, despite promising in April 2011 to step down in two years.

Met at a function in Sibu today, Taib was asked about his retirement plans, to which he replied with another question.

“You want me to retire? When are you going to retire? You tell me,” he said. “I decide when is the best time to leave.”

Throughout the Sarawak state legislative assembly election campaign in 2011, Taib was dogged with the question of when he would step down which was a major campaign issue for Pakatan Rakyat. (more…)

December 10, 2011

Will SUPP recover in time?

Alan Ting

The weekend delegates conference will decide whether the state’s oldest political party will stay afloat or sink.

The Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) triennial delegates conference (TDC) this weekend will be watched keenly as it represents what observers believe the last chance for the party “to correct things” or continue to face a downfall in the next general election.

Going by the record in the last two state elections, the party appears to be getting weaker due to, what many believe, the problem of perceptions – that it has failed to represent the people’s voices – and because of the internal conflicts it has been facing since 2004.

The party lost 13 of the 19 seats it contested in the April polls, including Piasau, the seat contested by party president Dr George Chan. In 2006, SUPP lost six seats. (more…)

May 22, 2010

The Big Lie

By Bunga Pakma

While I have tried as strenuously as possible, honoured Reader, to write entertainingly in these pieces—despite that much of the material there upon which I comment is better fitted to provoking tears than laughter—I often slide into the mode of lecturing. Now that the most urgent concern for Sarawak has been concluded, successfully to my taste, in Sibu, I may as well continue what I hinted at last week. Here, then, is a brief, undisguised lecture on the Big Lie.

Lying has been a technique used by the rulers to remain rulers and to keep the ruled in subjection since civilization began. Examples from history could be multiplied without number. Louis XI of France (“The Universal Spider”; king 1461-1483) summed it up best: “The person who does not know how to lie, doesn’t know how to rule.” (more…)

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