Saturday, July 10

Where is Sarawak heading to?

KUCHING: How many of us realise that the Sarawak Coalition Government was formed 40 years ago on 7 July 1970?

Sarawak’s first coalition government was initiated by Parti Bumiputra then headed by Abdul Rahman Yakub with Stephen Yong, Secretary General of Sarawak United People’s Party.

Both Parti Bumiputra and SUPP had won 12 seats each.

The Sarawak Chinese Association which had three seats dissolved itself and its members joined the coalition later making a total of 27 seats out 48-member Council Negeri (State Assembly).

Parti Pesaka Anak Sarawak (Pesaka) which had nine state assemblymen including an independent was invited, but it turned it down as it wanted the post of chief minister be given to the party. In the previous Alliance Government (before the election), Pesaka’s Penghulu Tawi Sli was the chief minister after Stephen Kalong Ningkan of Sarawak National Party was sacked.

Thus SNAP which so won 12 seats was left out of the coalition.

Before the State went to the election, the first after the formation of Malaysia in 1963, Sarawak was ruled by the Sarawak Alliance with Ningkan made the first chief minister.

However things were not going well with SNAP and other members of the Alliance which made of Parti Pesaka, Parti Berjasa and Parti Panas.

Ningkan was kicked out in September 1966 and as a result SNAP left the Alliance. Penghulu Tawi Sli of Pesaka was installed as chief minister after a series of court cases mounted by Kalong for his expulsion as the chief minister.

When the first direct election was held in May 1969, there was a racial riot as a result the election for Sarawak was postponed to July 1970.

In the chaotic and a hung Council Negeri, Abdul Rahman Yakub took advantage of the situation and started to negotiate at first with Pesaka. But Pesaka insisted that the chief minister’s post must be given to one of his elected representatives.

Ambitious Rahman then turned to SUPP. He contacted Yong, and Ong Kee Hui, SUPP president for a meeting.

It was a surprised move by Rahman as SUPP had known to be heavily infested with communist elements. Many of its members had been arrested and others fled to the jungle to conduct armed struggle against the government.

Rahman did not want SNAP as he had been one of those engineering for the downfall of Ningkan government. And further more SNAP leaders had full of hatred against Rahman. Certainly they could not work with him.

On its own initiatives, SNAP also negotiated with Pesaka and SUPP to form a coalition government. But SUPP betrayed SNAP when it chose to work with Parti Bumiputra (combination of Panas and Berjasa).

According to Yong in his book, 'A Life Lived Twice', he preferred not to work with Iban-led government as Kuala Lumpur might “disturb” them in the absence of Malay representatives in the government.

But the coalition on the other hand without Ibans was also equally instable so Rahman sent his men (Sidi Munan and Alfred Mason) to talk to Pesaka leaders including its president Temenggong Jugah anak Barieng. But they refused to meet them. All the State assemblymen were kept at the official residence of Temenggong Jugah.

Somehow or rather, Penghulu Abok Anak Jalin who had won the Kemena seat on a Pesaka ticket was found having breakfast near the Mayfair Hotel and was virtually “kidnapped” and taken to a house at Ong Tiang Swee Road and from here he was transferred to Arif Hotel.

Efforts to contact other Pesaka State assemblymen were not that easy as all of them were kept and guarded at the house. However, a letter purportedly to have come from Alfred Mason, a brother-in-law of Simon Dimbab Maja, to Simon Dimbab Maja was passed to Jugah’s driver who smuggled and gave it to Maja. As soon as he received the letter, Maja told his friends he had the urge to take “laksa” and left hurriedly in the official car of Jugah who was then the federal minister for Sarawak Affairs to an open market.

On arrival at the open market, Maja according to the driver, wearing only slippers rushed to Arif Hotel where Abok and other Coalition leaders were present. They were told that they would be sworn as ministers. Maja would be appointed a Deputy Chief Minister.

The “kidnapping” of the two left Jugah with little choice and his ministerial post was under threat if Pesaka did not join the coalition. So Jugah was not only forced to join the coalition, but also agreed to merge Pesaka with Bumiputra three years later to form Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu.

This was how Rahman became chief minister of Sarawak until 26 March 1981 when his nephew, Abdul Taib Mahmud took over.

That in a nutshell is the historical background to the formation of the coalition.

Since Yakub’s time and now Taib, so much water has run under the bridge. Much development has taken place. Some rural areas have been turned into rural growth centres equipped with infrastructures. And much more still need to be done for example the construction of roads and in supplying electricity and clean water to longhouses.

When compared the two governments – one by the uncle and the other by the nephew, the Rahman government concentrated on exploitation of timbers; many of Rahman’s family members and cronies were given timber concessions.

And under Taib, he continues to exploit timber also for his family members and cronies, but also concentrates on grabbing NCR lands belonging to the Dayaks and leasing them to his family members and cronies.

And today PBB is indisputably the backbone of the State government and the most powerful party; it can even rule Sarawak without the participation of other Barisan Nasional partners. From 21 seats (Bumiputra 12 plus Pesaka nine), it has now 34 seats – one short of simple majority. So strong is PBB that its president Taib is considered as the “uncrowned king” of Sarawak.

SUPP was once a very strong party and due to internal bickering it has become a weak party. From 12 seats when it joined the coalition, it has now 11 seats after losing eight seats to the Opposition in the 2006 state election.

SNAP has zero elected representatives after number crises. Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak was born out of the 1983 crisis but was deregistered 21 years later suffering also from a leadership crisis. As a result Parti Rakyat Sarawak was registered.

SPDP was also formed out of SNAP’s second crisis in 2002.

Now at the age of 74, Taib, looking frail and sickly is seriously looking for a replacement. He may leave the government after the next state election that may be called before June next year.

But questions beg answers are: What will be the next political scenario like say after Taib Mahmud leaves the political scene? Where will Sarawak be heading to? Its direction?

Soothsayers and fortune tellers are busy predicting the future of the State. Many portend the downfall of the BN state government and the collapse of PBB as the leaders will scramble for top posts in the party.

SUPP they say may be reduced to a mosquito party due to lack of support from the Chinese community. Perhaps PRS and SPDP may still win some Dayak seats. Or perhaps the two parties may merge into one entity.

Even if the BN state government is still intact, what will happen if the Federal Government goes to the Pakatan Rakyat?

If this is going to be the next political scenario, Sarawak will be in deep trouble with or without Taib as chief minister. – The Broken Shield



Banting said...

In other words, two Ibans were the chief ministers of Sarawak only for seven years, while two Melanaus have been the CM for forty years until now.

Will the BN coalition appoint the Malay or Chinese to become the chief minister of Sarawak if they win the state next election in line with 1Malaysia concept?

There was a coffee shop talk before saying that a state BN leader had told his community that in the old days Dayaks used `parang ilang` for headhunting, but now we used `pen` to rob their lands. How far this is true?

Die Hard DAP Man said...

After taib is gone it's free for all.I predict PR will take over and sarawak will be better off without those corrupted people at helm.
DAP will be the next party the chinese will vote for. SUPP will close shop.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry - taibe will let umnono come in to take his place. You notice or not some Malay kampong folks hang unmono flags to protect their ncr lands. We Dayak, how ? I follow Baru Bian lah.

Anonymous said...

In a coalition, only one party benefit. In the case of Sarawak, PBB is the kingpin because of the seats they monopolized. I believe that if SUPP break away from the BN and field their candidates in whatever constituencies they desire, they will have more chance to succeed, provided they dumped the old croaks who are running the party now. After all, why limit yourself just to get Taib re-elected as the Chief Minister and be forever just acting like eunuchs to PBB. Wake up before you are decimated in the coming state election. And please don't have too many Foochows in the leadership lineup. Replace them with more Dayaks would be the right step. You know why I'm advising you because I'm a opposition supporter. It's because I want to see PBB lose their seats so that we'll see the backs of the likes of Taib, Jabu and the rest of the thieving gang.

Mata Kuching said...

With more and more exposure on Taib Mahmud and family’s global property investment in Ottawa, Seattle, London, Perth and Adelaide, from the wealth he had stolen from all Sarawakians, the frail and dying old pirate is unlikely to make a stand on his choice of preferred candidates from PKR and SPDP for the coming state election.

Taib will not want to upset leaders of especially Dayak based parties. The same cannot be said for SUPP as he has written them off and willing to let them sink. SUPP is indeed at a crossroad.

Taib Mahmud is at his most vulnerable and if any YBs who have no financial worries and liability, this is the best opportunity to abandon UMNO controlled BN and Taib Mahmud. Sarawak is one state endowed with rich natural resources and abundant minerals which can attract private investments from abroad without the assistance from Putrajaya if Sarawak were to be governed by Pakatan Rakyat at this moment when Putrajaya is still controlled by UMNO dominated BN.

The window of opportunity is wide open for all young, educated and credible leaders currently in PKR, SPDP, PBB and SUPP to contribute to the prosperity and development of Sarawak under the Pakatan Rakyat. platform.

Taibtanic is sinking and all dynamic, intelligent and youth leaders of BN components should now lead the rats off the sinking Taibtanic.

PeoplePower4Pakatan. Sarawak4Pakatan. Malaysia4Pakatan.

Anonymous said...

Without Taid orang malaya will invade. That is for sure. Look at petronas in Bintulu and most of the plantation posts hardly Sarawakians hold the senoir posts. And they will vacuum Sarawak dry. Our oil royality is a mere crump. Worst still the fuel is more expensive than in malaya. So better Taib stay untill able person who can resist malaya domination. Look at Sabah what happened there?????? Mati lah the local being squeeze by philipinos and umno.

Anonymous said...

Some time ago, the Indonesian government tried trans-migration of their people to Borneo Island but were fought back and the migration had to stop.
Why can't the Ibans do the same thing here?
UMNO comes, fight them and chase them away!
We do not want a West Malaysian Malay to come here and sucks millions/billions from us like the CM in Sabah!
Can't we not do that???? Sarawakian Ibans?
Afterall the ones who fought the Indonesian forced migrants were Ibans from the other side too!!!

Anonymous said...

not too late to post a copy of all Sarawakian names to UN office for our children will counter check if sudden unexplained increase in numbers like that in Sabah. This is to protect Sarawak people. Taib has no interest in this - forget him.

Anonymous said...

["...Without Taid orang malaya will invade. That is for sure. Look at petronas in Bintulu and most of the plantation posts hardly Sarawakians hold the senoir posts. And they will vacuum Sarawak dry. Our oil royality is a mere crump. Worst still the fuel is more expensive than in malaya. So better Taib stay untill able person who can resist malaya domination. ..."] - Anonymous July 13, 2010 4:18 PM

Of course to some Sarawakians Taid (Taib) is the only solution. To many other Sarawakians, Taib had almost 30 years and things have not changed much for Sarawakian, but they have changed a lot for himself. It's a very myopic view to hold that the only solution is Taib.

If Sarawakians cannot stand up to UMNO and orang Malaya let's get help from orang Malaya. "Sarawak for Sarawakians" is a peverted narrow minded and parochial view. It's just those kaki of Taib who think that if Taib is defeated they can katak over to PR because Taib's wealth is not here and, why would he bothered about them?

They mindlessly talk about how bad orang Malaya are. Yes, those UMNO orang Malaya are bad to Sarawakians. They're bad to orang Malaya, too. In other words they'll be bad to every living being.

Taib has had his fun. He will have to explain and answer for himself. Our friend here, will be sucking up to PR and say how bad Taid (Taib) is. This bunch of people are from all the parties in Sarawak BN, regardless of ethnicity.

Taib and Rahman have not yet satisfactorily explained how Petronas got away with Sarawak oil and gas without the legally binding attestation of the Council Negeri (DUN) resolution in meeting. And of course recently, Abdullah Badawi just sold off Limbang rights to Brunei. And was there official recognition of this in Council Negeri (DUN)?


Anonymous July 13, 2010 4:18 PM is orang Sarawak bodoh dan kurap ! Penyamun!

[ ♥ Orang Sarawak Juga ]

Anonymous said...

Well, well, Taib is in good hands now especially with a young partner aside. Think its high time he rest and play with elctric dildos. Happy retirement Taib!