Monday, March 30, 2009

Sarawak politics - One by election BN can't afford to loose

Hi there!

I am not the political blogger but things of late is good to ponder upon, which persuaded me to write.

Yesterday was the nomination day for three by-elections, one each in Kedah, Perak and Sarawak. UMNO seemed to be so confidence that their recent "wings of change" in the party election would garner well with voters. The UMNO mass media stated out loud that the opposition is on the brink of break-up and so forth. We will wait and see, as Nizar responded to that, on 7th April 2009. Nizar is the ousted but celebrated Chief Minister of Perak.

At the Sarawak scene, the forever present CM Taib Mahmud led the ruling coalition to accompany BN candidate for Batang Ai, Mr. Mussen (as we know him). There are a few things that I would like to comment on this:

1. When there is a seat vacancy for BN in Dayak constituent, they will resort to pick up a serving government officer to stand in the election. This automatically deprived the Dayak of a representation in the agency he/she is leaving in order to enter the political fray. Fair to say, this move may be good for the individual chosen, whether he win or loose (like Alex Vincent - Balleh), but still a Dayak is lost from the ladder of the Public Service where he should serve till retirement for the good of his agency and the public they serve.

2. This election is different. It is the first time that Sarawak is openly accepting in the challenges posed by an organised opposition. Not like in the past where there is only this one or two independent candidate that withdrew at the very last minute for unknown reason. No wonder, the BN have to come in full force to Batang Ai and "pour out" more money in the area, hopefully not just empty promises, in the form of projects and grants. I heard the rebate for outboard motor owners in the area will only be paid after the by-election. May be Jawah Gerang will want to use this information.

3. If CM is correctly quoted, today's Sarawak's newspaper reported that there is a "Sarawak way " of campaigning and how campaign goes on now is very different from the past. I think the BN machinery has been using the same tactic for too long and the leaders are been there too long to realize that there are new ways to campaign. But what is the Sarawak way? No one can guess more better, as a newspaper columnist, Kaypo rightly put it "even if you put up a monkey as a BN candidate using the 'dacing' symbol, BN will win." I think people are being bombarded by "money politics" from all angles, be it promises of infrastructures, basic facilities, grants etc., those are all money promises. The notion that only BN goverment can bring development should be a gone case by now, as any party forming a government could utter promises sky high till the billions of money in their control is gone.

4. A by-election is for the ruling government to win. But if the opposition can take Batang Ai with all the issues against the current state government being played around the campaign, we can suggest that there is a truth in the issues and the BN couldn't take the opposition lightly anymore. As a show of strength, all along, the BN might is incomparable in rural constituents of Sarawak, but let us see if the Dayakism, as potrayed by some BN campaigners against the opposition, have some say at the end of the week. If BN loose this one, many more will be go down the wire but if the opposition lost, the BN will champing that the land issues is gone.

We wait and see what will happen after 7th April 2009.


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