Monday, March 17, 2008

Sarawak, Divided Land and its Divided People

Sarawak, Divided Land and its Divided People

Sarawak is now more divided than it ever used to be. This is a direct result of the present Chief Minister’s undisclosed Machiavellian policy of “divide and rule”, a policy which has kept him in power for almost 30 years and unless a miracle happens, looks set to keep him in power for another 10 years at least.

40 years of Taib Mahmud? Enough is enough! Even 30 years is far more than enough. No leader, at least at the top level in the state or federal government, should be in power for more than 10 years, or 2 terms.

In those 30 years, the abundant timber resources of the state have been decimated for the benefit only of a few large companies controlled by his cronies, family and relatives. Many state-owned utilities, departments and agencies have also been privatized to the same limited group as well in deals which do not benefit the state or the people and in fact can be considered rip-offs.

They have been given licence to blatantly loot, pillage and rape. Corruption? Abuse of power and position? Abuse of electoral, legislative and administrative process? Abuse of the law? Abuse of state machinery? Lack of transparency? Unaccountability? Improper control of the media? Favouritism? Nepotism? Cronyism? Misinformation? Vote buying? Ballot-box tampering? Electricity black-out during vote-counting? Unfulfilled promises? Exclusion? Marginalization of entire communities? Disrespect? Discrimination? Deprivation? Disruption? Destruction? Devastation? Coercion, pressure, force, threat and intimidation? Suppression? Thuggery? Gangsterism? Conflict of interest? Self-interest? High-handedness? All part of the game!

Yes, to them it is all a game, a very serious game. Follow the CM. Never mind that the people will suffer, their lands forcibly acquired, their rights denied, opportunities lost and being left out of the whole development process and economic progress. What chance at all do the ordinary people have against this “impressive”, highly intimidating and draconian array of weaponry at the disposal of the CM who has shown his willingness to use it at any opportunity?

What then can the ordinary people of the state do in the face of all of these? That is a question only the people themselves can answer, if they want to break free from the shackles of the neo-feudalistic system that Taib Mahmud has established, a system that should have no place in modern Sarawak.

Failure to do so will condemn untold future generations of Sarawakians to the same serfdom that Taib Mahmud’s “politics of development” offers today. What “politics of development”? For himself, his family and cronies definitely, but for the rest? More politics of misery.

The opposition can expect more offensive intimidation from Taib on any issue it may bring into the State Assembly in the public interest that is against the interests of Taib and his family and cronies.

No comments: