Saturday, March 28

News from Batang Ai (Part 4)

The daily update of news
from Batang Ai by-election

1. Jawah’s winning streak due to BN: Abg Johari

Abang Johari, deputy president of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) said that Jawah Gerang’s winning streak in the Lubok Antu parliamentary constituency in the past was possible because of the Barisan Nasional (BN).

Abang Johari was not correct: either he suffers from amnesia or he conveniently forgets. It was Jawah’s own efforts and the efforts of the then president of Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) Daniel Tajem and past president Leo Moggie.

In fact the State Barisan Nasional tried very hard to end the winning streak in the 2004 parliamentary election when the State BN put up an independent candidate William Nyallau Badak against him. The State BN said that Nyallau was the “true” BN candidate and Jawah was the “counterfeit” BN candidate.

Two other PBDS candidates, Joseph Salang for the Julau Constituency and Aaron Dagang for the Kanowit, were also labeled as “counterfeit” BN candidates. They were challenged by “true” BN candidates Josephine Mawat (Julau) and Federick Bunsu (Kanowit).

Jawah, Salang and Aaron were supposed to have received federal BN funds to finance their elections, but that money was hijacked; instead it was given to the “true” BN candidates.

Assisting and campaigning for Nyallau (although independent candidate) were the entire Sarawak civil service, the Lubok Antu District Council, the councilors, teachers, ministers, Tuai Rumah, Penghulu, PBB, SUPP, SPDP and the other half of PBDS led by James Masing.

It was a very, very and very tough battle, and much tougher than he is facing now and yet Jawah managed to get through with 2,035 majority votes, a far cry from the 6,662 majority votes obtained in the 1999 parliamentary election.

2. Is Desmond Sating contesting?

My friend Desmond Sating was overheard talking to one of his friends that he is interested to contest the Batang by-election.

A lecturer with a private college, Sating should have been picked as a candidate by Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS). After all he is a PRS member. Instead Malcolm Mussen, a senior civil servant was chosen.

This is the second time that Sating has been sidelined. In the last parliamentary election, his name was top of the list. Instead William Nyallau Badak, a PBB sympathizer then, was selected not by PRS, but by Alfred Jabu.

It was said that Jabu and his wife Empiang met Chief Minister several times insisting that William be the candidate. Now everyone knows that Nyallau is a PBB man wearing PRS shirt.

3. Salang’s second visit to Lubok Antu

Within days, Joseph Salang, PRS information chief and deputy water, energy and communications minister, made another visit to Lubok Antu in order to campaign for Malcolm Mussen, the PRS candidate.

This time he did not bring any goodies for the people. Instead he repeated what he had said few days back – RM6 million for the setting up of five communications towers and RM2 million for the community broadband centre.

We would have thought that something more useful and beneficial should have been brought along as goodies, something that will help improve the people’s economic well-being.

How would you expect the longhouse people, especially the aged ones to own computers and get access to internets? You may ask: what about young people?

Ya, most of them are working in towns, cities and overseas. There again the question of electricity, as some longhouses do not have electricity although the hydro-electric dam is at their doorsteps. No doubt such facilities are good, but only good for people living in towns.

4. Lubok Antu is full of “antus” (ghosts)

Lubok Antu, as the name implies, is a town full of mysterious stories as political “antus” have come all the way from West Malaysia, Sabah and all over Sarawak to give support to their respective “fighting cocks” this Sunday, the nomination day for the Batang Ai by-election.

Several YBs whose names we have never heard have now arrived from West Malaysia. There are stories where foods are not enough, hotel accommodation is very rare, and car parking is extremely difficult. Some bring their tents.

For some West Malaysians, it is an opportunity to sleep in the longhouses and for them to understand the local culture. Look like there is a big festival in Lubok Antu as BN and PKR are putting up their respective flags and buntings.

Indeed it is a war of flags, buntings and posters. How we wish that more by-elections be held in the near future because in the end the people will benefit.

CREATIVE...PKR flag was seen 'floating' on a river during my recent trip to Lubok Antu.

5. Lack of petrol?

I receive an SMS from a friend that before you go to Lubok Antu, you must fill your car tank full with petrol. Petrol has become a rare commodity here due to the by-election. It can only be sold to those who hold a BN card. Such is the seriousness of the Batang Ai by-election. Well, to solve this problem you can ask your BN friend to lend his BN card. For PKR, they can order a trailer to transport petrol to Lubok Antu.

6. Nine “black” or “grey” areas for BN

PRS has identified nine polling districts where it is considered “black” or “grey” areas based on the results of the previous election. There are 24 polling districts.

Like PRS, PKR has also identified its own “black” areas and has been stationing its own people in order to neutralize the situation.

There are 4,065 male voters and 4,064 female voters with 4,817 voters whose ages are 51 and below. The elder voters are 3,312.

Voting percentage for 2006 State election was 73.3% and for 2008 parliamentary election was 69.97%.

It is expected that the turn-out for the by-election is going to be low due to the fact that 7 April is a working day.

7. MB Selangor to Lubok Antu

Menteri Besar Selangor Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim (pic below) will arrive in Lubok Antu today (Sat, 28 Mar) and will visit Nanga Mepi among others.

Preparations are under way to welcome him and his entourage. He is expected to address the people on how he runs Selangor, the richest and the most advanced State in Malaysia.

How his government helps the poor in education, in water bill, during funerals, etc. Hopefully the eyes and minds of the people of Lubok Antu will be open.

More to come…stay tune to



Anonymous said...

Thank you Joe Salang for the ICT grants. I still respect you as my former big boss with Standard Chartered Bank, and as a good Dayak friend. Unfortunately my ideological principle guides me to support Pakatan Rakyat in Batang Ai.

Anonymous said...

Allow me a few comments:
Firstly, Abang Joe is a CM wannabe who will never be. Taib just have him on a lease and allow him to bark once in a while just to keep him happy. Incidently, he should go and consult Taib's dentist in Switzerland for a makeover. Can charge the cost to Taib's Swiss bank account I'm sure.

About the RM6 million telecommunication tower, who really benefit from it? Can the Dayaks grow pepper vines on it?

The influx of "huntu". Will they haunt Jabu?

Anonymous said...

Response to what Abang Jo words

"Abang Jo" this dumb and mute man rearly be able to speak, why now learn to "mur mur" some words from his coward mouth? Remember urinating in trousers when Taib shouted at him...Mind your own business, little Jo. Batang Ai do not know you, never see you, never admire you. Do not try to speak when you know you have a speaking disability and bravery deficiency

Anonymous said...

SiNgging happiness and shouted Yaa!HOooo !!!MENANG AKU .. for making money all the way through ....

From Kota Kinabalu .. palsukan kad-pengenelan supaya banyak Pengundi-Hantu ...

Hello! .. in Putra Jaya ... sukarela ber-maharajarela ....

Kuching had been MesSing ...

Now Batang Ai by-election, making the best bargain......UMPAN-DAYAK-IBAN

Tabi Pengundi Batang Ai,

Mudik ka ulu meh kita diatu nyerumba pangka pasang nyegang. Leboh undur ke ili, titih ka arus ai surut pasang.

Barisan diatu "ngenggang" baka burong kenyalang ngetik ka patuk ngelua sapi-kembayau-buah pemansang. NYA SEMINA "TAI-UGI APAI SALOI EMPU" DI SUNGKIT ENCHELEGIT KENA UPAH APAI SALOI NAMPAL "TANAH MEREKAH".

Apai Semalau said...

Joseph Salang. Wake up! The last round you were a "counterfeit BN". You must be really thick skin to accept this branding and be treated like crap. You won by sheer luck. The next round losers like you won't have a brand at all. You will be out like the rest of BN. Please don't bring crumbs to batang ai and insult the intelligence of your fellow ibans. They aren't thick skin and stupid!

Anonymous said...


From Day 1 when he was first elected as MP for Lubok Antu way back in 1987, Jawah Gerang wss an extremely loyal and staunch believer of what PBDS stand for. He was and is a PBDS man through-and-through. A stance he took faithfully till the end of his MP days, the very reason that he was unceremoniously dumped, thus was not selected as the BN candidate for the last Parliamentary Election in 2008.

Note : Jawah Gerang was replacing YB Andrew Janggi Muyang (MP for Lubok Antu) who died almost under similar circumstance as YB Slyvester Langit (ADUN Batang Ai) in the early eighties.

Now, we have to remenber those were the days when PBDS was made (or forced) to be THE Opposition, at the State level, but grudgingly part of BN, Nationwide, right until PBDS eventual non-appealable deregistration by ROS.

While as the MP for Lubok Antu since then, we 'must not forget to remember' that Jawah was constantly harrased, blocked and discriminated against, in every step of the way concieveable, by none other that the entire State BN machinery, including the local government in the form of District officers and Majlis Daerah within Lubok Antu itself, whenever Jawah did have the meagre opportunities to distribute some of the Federal grants made available to him as the 'Federal BN' MP then. How was it so, you may ask. Well, the answer is that one must understand that almost all those grants (so called MRPs or Projects) must pass through the respective District Offices (in this case LA) for implementation, verification, approval, disbursement of payment etc.etc. Therefore you know then that those DO's (District Officers) were and still are powerful figures at the local Governmet level, to the extend that they can make or break any YB's reputation within their jurisdiction, if they wishes to, and/or at the behest of the State Secretary's directive ! (who was the SS then - of course Taib's brother in law) Among those DO's that were doing their parts then in LA were none other that very same William 'the true BN' Nyalau Badak, the current MP for LA and Masir 'the qualified candidate' Kujat, the current MP for Sri Aman who are from PRS-BN..oops correction, its PBB appointed PRS-BN representatives.

Now we urge all those concerned never forget to remember that despite all those obstacles, Jawah Gerang still did well to even manage to filter down all those MRP grants that was so 'hard to get through' to those deserving recipients within LA constituency. The result and legacies of Jawah presence as MP in LA all these while are nonetheless physically obvious until today and comparable to any other deligiently hard working YBs. Added to that, Jawah's connection to his constituents are deep rooted and remain intact, through regular visits due to his tireless work-rate and high tolerance for life's basic minimal simplicity - which was and still is undeniably second to none !

To those more 'refined' or more 'advanced' souls, though those 'physical of monetary' MRP grants, as the names implies - 'minor' but may not be an ideal or even sufficiently termed as the real 'development' in your sense of the words, nonetheless it was preceived as such then, since everone wishes to play, indeed more or less sort-of accepted and contented with that same game and sing that same tune..all over Malaysia. Your 'refined' wish might just happen to materialize, only if we dare and are willing to CHANGE ourselves and the others around us that wishes to have the same dream and aspiration.

From the above mentioned, it is indeed right for all in Batang Ai to effectively kick start the more favourable changes that can provide better hope and more realistic expectation of the Sarawakian well being, albeit in the Dayak prespectives, through PKR with Jawah Gerang as its DUN Batang Ai candidate, at this moment of time. However, to support Jawah and PKR and ensure it is a success, do not merely offer words of encouragement and advise. There are much to be done on the ground. Try going over to Ulu Lemanak and Ulu Engkari where you are literally and metaphorically going against the normal flow of the river as well having to go through the many man-made and the naturally built barriers, physical or mental, one will find it incredibly tough indeed. Only then and only after you've actually experience it toughness, its remoteness, its uniqueness, will one truly understand its people perspective in life...for all of YOU good-intentioned guys and gal to effectively change theirs !

All the best to PKR and do your best for JAWAH GERANG - your chosen candidate for ADUN - N29 Batang Ai.

1001 - who have been (and experience) to one of the furthest reaches of both Lemanak and Engkari rivers

Anonymous said...

heard that mussen's wife previously was jabu's secretary before becoming chan's secretary

i can smell something fishy here

heard that mussen and his family seldom going back to LA

heard that mussen and his wife kuat jolly

dont be amused as this is what we want as our lawmaker in bolehland

Anonymous said...

saloi said...
lodge a report to MACC then...with report, they say they will not siasat...
but if you are frm PR, no report also siasat...

no use of having MACC,just rebranding the BPR...

March 25, 2009 1:00 PM


Anonymous said...

It is a straight fight between PKR and BN.It is a plus point for PKR when Johnny Chuat decided not to contest and pledged support for PKR. This is an indication that Batang Ai voters are matured in wanting to change for tye better.

The are more crowd of outsiders with BN and less crowd of outsiders. PKR which has more local crowd than BN. An indicator that PKR is stronger tha BN at the time of nomination.

The real test is: WILL BATANG AI VOTERS SUCCUMB TO "PROJECTS MAGGIE MEE" Cepat di masak, Sedap dimakan ???

ICT is Ijuk Campur Tuak is tempting and nice to drink but it can make drinkers dizzy and addicted.
Cautions: DONT DRINK & VOTE.

Salak said...

"...I receive an SMS from a friend that before you go to Lubok Antu, you must fill your car tank full with petrol. Petrol has become a rare commodity here due to the by-election. It can only be sold to those who hold a BN card. ..."

I must have been lucky on Sunday 29. They filled me up. If they didn't I'd have had to come in to Sri Amann like I did the trip before. Not that I mind. The place might soon become Sri Antu!