Friday, August 29, 2008

The White Croc of Bullshit

End The "White Croc’s" Dominance in Sarawak Politics

Posted by Dr. John Brian Anthony

The White Croc has helmed Sarawak politics for 26 years - that is equivalent to one generation of the Sarawak population who have come to know him as their only Chief Minister.

Staying that long in “power” over Sarawak has now produce a more NEGATIVE result rather than POSITIVE. The politics of development has brought Sarawak progress but at a price. Some of that development is not in line with our culture in Sarawak. It has also brought much riches to family members, selected individuals and affected almost the whole system of the political value system in Sarawak.

Political Value System of Sarawak under the White Croc

Decision Making

Nobody makes any decision - even Cabinet members - without referring to Taib for his tacit approval. In such a manner, cabinet members are rubber stamps and slowly they lose their brains. They have lost their thinking ability. Actually the decision making process was designed to revolve around one man.

What do you think will happen? Complacency, abuses and many more negative practices will surface that will affect the population in its distribution of wealth. Gain from natural resources will reside only in those he alone favours.

Instilling Fear in Elected Representatives

Our YBs minus those in opposition have become a laughing stock. The YBs cannot play their role in speaking for the voters. During election the candidate promises assistance, changes, introduces new societal initiatives to the people, but after being elected the YBs revert to whatever Taib fancies. Mawan once said “we must know what mountain to climb and not to climb and what river to cross and not to cross”. It is such a pathetic situation to be in.

Even long house heads need the Chief Minister's approval. Such a myopic approach is frightening to the people as they perceive that political backlash and punishment will be meted to them if they go against the White Croc. Actually, this idea is reinforced by BN YBs when they conduct meet the people sessions in order to keep them from questioning their performance.

Giving false meaning to people

The White Croc talks of the concept of progress through his "politics of development". This politics of development means granting and taking away the natural resources of Sarawak and giving them to businesses that are linked to the White Croc or those that need to be rewarded for their personal favours in keeping the people quiet. It even goes so far as giving Sarawak land (albeit through paying money) to West Malaysian UMNO linked companies. Thus ordinary people in Sarawak have no chance to be awarded big timber licenses or plantation land unless they are YBs.

Progress to the rural folk is “MINOR RURAL PROJECTS” and you can imagine how little that allocation is. The rural folk will interpret it as being that they have to be mindful of others who are also asking for development. Therefor they must be very patient to wait for their turn. This is real “bullshit” with regard to the meaning of development.

So becoming a YB in Sarawak is a ticket to riches. Any aspiring politician then gets labeled as “opportunist” by the voters. So why change?

You must work within BN - not outside

The White Croc has succeeded in confusing the people by such an approach. Does it mean that there is no “idea” beyond BN. Does it mean that civil societies cannot play their role to assist in the progress of society? Does it mean that you cannot question BN initiatives and development programmes?

This approach literally puts people into a feeling of being insecure. The local community leaders especially use this approach unknowingly (and some deliberately) to put their people into the defensive or total submission, as the case may be.

Personal gain

Such a long stay in power can only point to businesses starting to affiliate themselves with power and business means money. Much personal monetary gain can be seen in the hands of close family members of the White Croc. The government implementation arm fears the long seated power - remember a generation of power of one man is really intimidating.

State cabinet members also gain much money personally, much more than what they can earn from their salaries, assuming that personal business ownership is disallowed. How do you think they can build houses costing millions of dollars when before they got elected many could not even afford to buy a car or a terrace house.


To bring in the rare species of the White Croc is not going to be easy. The White Croc has built so many well positioned personalities into very rich people. They will fight tooth and nail to defend their master. After all, it is wrong by Sarawak values to be ungrateful.

If Party Keadilan Rakyat wants to do more than just talk of toppling the White Croc it had better have some “bomoh” in its team who could chant “magic words” or cast “magic spells” on the White Croc’s colony.

Maybe that is just an option. What is more effective is for the Sarawak voters to reject all BN candidates in Sarawak in the upcoming state election. The money from the White Croc’s colony would be much - to buy votes, to oil people and organizations to support them. But Sarawakians must realize that the longer the White Croc’s colony stays in power the worse it gets. The DAM projects will just keep twisting the knives inside the economically wounded and long-suffering people of Sarawak.

Development must come but it must be sustainable. Sustainability should not be of lip service as it is now in Sarawak - it must actually be sustainable.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ibans "Stealing" Fruits From Their Own Land!

They Steal our Land, We Harvest Their Fruits

Villagers brave threats to harvest fruit trees
Malaysiakini, 26.August.2008

No longer able to hold back their anger at the continued encroachment of their native customary rights (NCR) land by a plantation company, 60 Iban villagers in Pantu in Sarawak’s Sri Aman division, braved heavy machinery and the police to harvest fruit trees on their land during the weekend.

Employees of Kumpulan Sama Sdn Bhd tried to stop the Iban landowners from harvesting their trees and even called in the police for help.

The company’s workmen attempted to use heavy machinery to block a truck carrying fruits from being driven away but to no avail. The police only watched and did nothing to stop the angry landowners.

"The company told the police that the Ibans were stealing their fruits, but how can we steal from our own land?" asked John Cobbold Losoi, a spokesperson for the Iban group.

The company has been working on a 60-year 7,000 hectares land-lease for the planting of oil palm in Sg Tenggang, Pantu. To-date, the company has cleared a total of 1,200 hectares.

The land is currently subject to NCR claims and 13 tuai rumah (village chiefs) have gone to court on behalf of their respective communities to claim their rights. They are also claiming compensation for the damage caused to their fruit trees and crops.

Their case is being handled by Kuching-based lawyer Dominique Ng Kim Ho, who is also state PKR chairperson and state assemblyperson for Padungan. The case will be heard in court next month.

Increasing number of conflicts

John said the company has also been trying to block a government-built feeder road from the Kuching-Serian Road, to try and stop natives from taking their fruits out to mills. The natives responded by setting up a human blockade near the company’s office last weekend.

He added that there had been no dialogue from the start between the landowners and the company. Only recently did the company express the desire to talk to landowners.

"But it’s too late now, as the matter has gone to court," he said. "We want Kumpulan Sama to stop their activities on the ground."

The Pantu area in Sri Aman has, in recent years, seen an increasing number of conflicts on the ground between companies given land-leases by the state government and NCR land-owners who are fighting encroachment on their land.

Malaysiakini learnt that landowners, unhappy with the long time taken by the authorities to help settle such disputes in several other areas in Sarawak, have started harvesting their fruit trees on what they claim to be their NCR land.

More than 170 cases involving NCR land have been referred to court in Sarawak.

After the recent tumble in prices, fresh fruit bunches are now fetching over RM500 per tonne.

Monday, August 25, 2008

What Sarawakians Want is a Better Highway

What Sarawakians want is a better highway
By Victor James, Kuching

The Borneo Post Online, Saturday, August 16th, 2008

I REFER to an article published in The Borneo Post on Aug 13 where the prime minister assured that Sarawak would get more value-added development.

What we in Sarawak want is for the highway to Miri to be upgraded from its present pitiful state to be on par with the North-South Highway in the peninsula.

The state government has not fought hard enough for the federal government to channel funds for the reconstruction of the Pan Borneo Highway, which in its present state, does not reflect Sarawak’s contribution to Malaysia since the formation of Malaysia 45 years ago.

All we ask is that the federal government ask the Deputy Minister of Works who happens to be from Sarawak to travel by road from Kuching to Miri and thence through Negara Brunei Darussalam to Limbang and Lawas and thence on to Sabah, and similarly travel from Johor to Perlis via the North-South Highway and then submit a report on the condition of this Pan Borneo Highway and ask this question: Do we deserve this type of road after 45 years and the countless contributions Sarawak has made to Malaysia?

If the Deputy Minister of Works were to travel from Kuching to Miri by road, we ask that he bring along the state minister of Infrastructure Development and other officials from the Ministry of Works.

I am a regular user of the Pan Borneo Highway as my business requires me to travel by road at least once a month from Kuching to Miri where I have to call at various towns along the Pan Borneo Highway.

I have also travelled along the North-South Highway from Johor to Perlis, at least twice a year.

What we have as the Pan Borneo Highway does not reflect the contribution Sarawak has made to the Federation and we are being ‘anak tirikan’ by the federal government.

So to reflect the appreciation of the federal government for Sarawak’s contribution, improve the Pan Borneo Highway to one that is comparable to that of the North-South Highway in Semenanjung Malaysia.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Who Will Challenge Taib?

Sarawak is Taib country, even if Anwar rises
Joe Fernandez | Malaysiakini Aug 22, 08 1:25pm

Fallen angel Anwar Ibrahim - the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor - has set 'the uncanny calm of Sarawak before the storm' in his sights after Permatang Pauh. He made this clear even in the midst of hectic campaigning in Permatang Pauh, citing that Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud has overstayed his welcome.

The fact that this call didn’t come from people that matter in Sarawak is a big political mistake and Taib’s inner circle led by his predecessor and uncle Abdul Rahman, if not the man himself, must be laughing their heads off. However for how long is anybody’s guess.

Rahman was once fond of privately telling opponents especially Malay and Dayak rebels, to deter and lure them into his clutches, that his family has enough wealth to last seven generations without working and would equal and exceed the Gandhi dynasty in India in their grip of Sarawakian politics.

Besides, the Taib family has any number of political lobbyists in Kuala Lumpur to not only 'keep an eye' on the federal government but 'keep them in check'. This is like the proverbial tail wagging the dog.

Taib is not the only person to cling tightly to public office, but he shows crucial differences.

He became chief minister in 1981 at about the same time as Mahathir became prime minister and had him “demoted” to the post of federal territory minister in the federal cabinet. Mahathir left after 22 years even if his detractors believed he would die in office. He continues to snipe at his successors.

Taib is still around, fending off one announced “successor” after another, denying two generations from taking office and possibly a third. “There is always unfinished business,” note political analysts in Kuching who snipe at Taib in their small blogs.

Anwar ratcheted up the stakes by pledging that all government and government-initiated development projects in the state would be either reviewed, scrapped or audited once he wrests the reins of power in Putra Jaya come Sept 16, Malaysia Day, no less a revolution of sorts in slow motion towards much needed reformation. This evolution in thinking does away with questions over the morality, or otherwise, of political defections across party and government lines.

Politics of development

The projects have long been under consideration, says Anwar, considering the virtual monopoly held by “cronies” and families with strong connections to a handful of the top BN (Barisan Nasional) politicians in the state. He left open the possibility that certain projects may in fact be scams under the guise of the politics of development, Taib’s favourite phrase.

This is like a double whammy. While identifying the Achilles heel in Sarawak’s body politic, he delivered a first blow to the solar plexus in the best James Bond style, the 007 License to Kill hero in Ian Fleming’s novels. So far, no one in Sarawak is taking the bait.

Anwar is not after Taib’s head for no reason although there are suspicions that he wants to force the latter to ditch his traditional support prematurely for whoever is in Kuala Lumpur and make peace with him on reasonable terms. Taib is an eternal survivor in politics and can be expected to do this in his own time. The others around him are waiting dutifully like robots for a cue from him. He has all of them picking from his hand. If Taib tells them to go or follow him, they will.

The infamous Sarawak parochialism is also at work here as they juggle to “keep the devils in Kuala Lumpur “ at bay from their beloved state of reluctant participants in the federation. Never has a state been so completely insulated from the rest of the nation. Meanwhile, this is like a chicken-and-egg situation. Does Anwar get Taib’s support first and then become prime minister or does he become prime minister first and then get Taib’s support? The latter course might be fraught with all sorts of uncertain risks for Taib especially as he faces state elections as early as next year.

To be sure there are serious issues in the Sarawak of the once feared and famous Dayak tribes, camouflaged by the close links between the powers-that-be and the mainstream media, the virtual absence of the alternative media and low literacy rates, especially among the legendary head-hunting Iban who form the biggest grouping in the state.

The Iban have this childlike notion planted in their heads that “the government is our father and mother who takes care of us” and voting for the opposition, an unthinkable idea, is like going against our father and mother. Although the Dayaks, the Iban included, form the majority community in the state, they remain at the bottom of the heap, reduced to being drawers of water and hewers of wood for others, lacking any direction as a community. Surely, these are the original “lost tribes” rooted in inertia.

Melanau duality

Ironically, all four chief ministers since independence on Aug 31 1963 have been Dayaks. Stephen Kalong Ningkan the first, was followed by Penghulu Tawi Sli, Abdul Rahman Yaakub and incumbent and nephew Taib.

Both Rahman and Taib come from the small Melanau Dayak community in Mukah who number less a little over 100,000 i.e. Muslims, Christians and Pagans included.

The Melanau, especially the Muslims, are often accused of having a foot in both the Malay and Dayak communities in much the same way as the Indian Muslims.

The other Dayak communities are the Bidayuh in the Kuching and Serian Divisions and the Orang Ulu – Kayan, Kenyah, Kelabit – followed by the Lun Bawang, Penan, Punan and Kedayan in the Miri and nearby Divisions.

Taib’s stranglehold on power is hardly the result of the voters backing him but more by default since the Opposition in the state has never been united and rganized as they are elsewhere in Malaysia. In the absence of the alternative media, the Dayaks can even be persuaded by the powers-that-be to remain ever loyal against their own interests.

If anyone emerges to organise and lead the opposition for a democratisation process, “the father and mother theory” of politics and government of the Ibans and other Dayaks notwithstanding, Taib and his family will be soon be history and be expected to go into exile in their second home in Canada.

Otherwise, driving the whisky-loving and highly superstitious Taib - he who has numerous mystical rings on the fingers and a dozen bomoh-blessed hats - from the seat of power will remain a pipe-dream.

If the grim-reaper comes for him in the meantime, that will be a different matter.

There may be some hope here since Taib these days seem to be in a constant daze although he keeps up appearances and puts on a brave front. It is not clear that he is fully conscious and aware all the time. Will he have the strength and stamina for a tough, protracted political campaign in the next round?

The talk along the grapevine is that he’s not really as well as his supporters would like him to be and this follows a recent bout with colon cancer which appears to be in remission. But the stresses and strains of office and age could re-start his health problems all over again with a vengeance. Will we ever see the last of Taib - it’s getting to be more than boring - in the near future? Are there the prospects of change - to borrow a phrase from American presidential hopeful Obama - that we can all believe in?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Taib's Satanic Agenda

Taib after the Land of the Dead

Posted by A Abdillah on August 18, 2008 on Sarawak Talk at 04:18:19:

Taib is now after the Land of the Dead

Many Sarawakians are fully aware that Taib Mahmud and his cronies by way of abuses of political power through the State policy of Politics of Development, have robbed and accumulated the wealth and riches of the state of Sarawak by awarding the timber licences to their own companies and political and business associates to extract the State’s forest resources; control State, private and NCR land ownership and pass those economically potential lands to their own companies for agricultural, commercial and real estate development purposes; monopolise govt contracts and public projects big and small through the various State and federal depts and state agencies and channel them to their own business entities; demand illegal extortion money from Chinese businessmen and investors big and small.

On the other hand Taib Mahmud and his gang of thieves have continuously blocked and denied the people of Sarawak their share and access to the State wealth and resources namely ownership and development of state lands and NCR lands for commercial and agricultural purposes, the award of govt contracts and public projects, the administrative and financial support from state and relevant agencies.

Since Taib Mahmud holds power in 1981, there is little economic progress achieved by the people of Sarawak. The majority of the people especially the Bumis still live in a substandard standard of living. Ownership of commercially valuable private lands, plantations, real estate land and projects, business ownership and financial wealth are mainly owned by Taib Mahmud and his entourage of thieves. One may conclude that any greedy man will have to stop somewhere. Wrong! This man who believes in borderless greed is unstoppable! Now he is going after the dead! Can you imagine that?!

Recently we heard he had a hand in the demolition of the muslim cemetery located at jln Tun Ahmad Zaidi. True to his image as an unrepentant hardcore hypocrite he put up a pretense that he was not in the know on the matter. The chairman of Lembaga Amanah Kebajikan Mesjid Negeri Sarawak who is his brother-in-law, is in cahoots with Taib Mahmud to demolish the grave site to give way for their own real estate development. In Islam one must recognize that the dead have rights too. Hence we should respect the dead and their resting place.

Muslims are forbidden to build even mosques on a muslim graveyard. The chairman of LAKMNS and Taib Mahmud’s argument that the burial ground is no more in use and hence is considered abandoned, and thereby of no use to any one is dead wrong. There are many sites, places in Sarawak though they are no more active are highly valued for their educational, historical and economic significance. The Niah cave is no more used by the descendants of the cavemen, yet it is a very important tourist site.

The muslim cemetery is believed to be 100 years old. Hence the burial site should be maintained as a historical site especially for the descendants of those buried there. The demolition act is in fact a testing ground for Taib’s satanic agenda. Taib has been eyeing the Malay lands across the Sarawak river. However there is a catch here. Within the Malay kampung sites are are located a number of graveyards.

So if Taib wants the kampong lands, he has to go through the Land of the Dead. As I said this man knows no bounds, even though he himself has one foot in the grave. Looks like he is going to take the risk – demolish the World of the Dead. If a man intends to destroy the alam barzakh he is invoking the wrath of ALLAH . The muslims in Sarawak should rise against this man whose lusts are unprecedented in the entire history of Sarawak dating back to the early history of the Brunei sultanate rule.

Farewell Address of Charles Brooke in the Council Negri Sarawak

Farewell Address in the State Council
to the Sarawak People
by Charles Brooke

“I beg that you will listen to what I have to say, that you will recollect my words, and endeavour to call them to mind when I am no longer with you. I will make known of what is in my mind to my successor, but I can only be responsible during this my lifetime.

I have lived in this country now for 60 years, and for the greater part of that time as Rajah. I know that I feel as you do in every way regarding the present and future for the existence and welfare of the inhabitants. I think after so long a period you will allow me to open my mouth and give my opinion truthfully.

Has it ever occurred to you that after my time out here others may appear with soft and smiling countenances to deprive you of what is solemenly your right, and that is the very land on which you live.

This land is your inheritance on which your flesh and blood exist, the source of your income, the food even of your mouths.

If this is once lost to you, no amount of money could recover it. That is why the cultivation of your own land by yourselves or by those that live in the country in important to you now.

Cultivation by strangers, by those who might carry the value of their products out of the country to enrich their shareholders? Such products should be realised by your own industries and for your own benefits.

Unless you follow this advice you will lose your birthright, which will be taken from you by strangers and speculators who will in their turn become masters and owners, whilst you yourselves, you people of the soil, will be thrown aside, and become nothing but coolies and outcasts of the island.”

Sunday, August 17, 2008

BN Pushing Sarawak & Sabah Aside

"All the leaders are busy quarrelling in the august House, who is fighting for the people?" sighed the grandfather to 14, greatly disgusted with the behaviour and performance of both members of the ruling and opposition parties in Parliament.

"Sabah and Sarawak won the general election for the Barisan Nasional. Now, they're asking for things but they are being pushed aside," (Md Saad Din, 61, Permatang Pauh).

More than disgust, however, was his overwhelming disappointment with the political leaders; in the course of developing the country, he felt they had lost sight of what it means to be mature.

"The political parties are not wrong. Umno is not wrong, PKR is not wrong, Pas is not wrong. The ones who are wrong are the leaders. Everything is pushed aside because of money," he remarked.

As such, corruption leads to arrogance, which is leading to a decay of morals, ethics and civility in society.

From The Malaysian Insider, 15.8.2008

Do Sarawakians still want to support BN and their corrupt leaders? They will say and do anything just to stay in power and continue to have full access to the state's resources and wealth.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

BN Government has failed Sarawakians

A Pakatan govt will fail, says Masing
By Raynore Mering, The Borneo Post 14.8.2008

BN govt has already failed Sarawakians, says Sarawak Headhunter.

KUCHING: The government that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is planning to set up - should he succeed in convincing some Barisan Nasional (BN) elected representatives to join him - could be doomed for failure.


Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Dato Sri Dr James Masing said yesterday: “Any government formed by a group of turncoats will never be stable.”

Masing forgets that he himself is a double or triple or perhaps even quadruple turncoat, first when he went against Taib in 1987, then when he rejoined Taib's government, when he caused the de-registration of PBDS, and almost did the same thing to PRS, all in all a traitor to his race and to the people of Sarawak.

All he has ever done is to advance his own personal agenda rather than that of his people or of Sarawakians in general.

Anwar, the de facto leader of Parti Keadilan Rakyat and Pakatan Rakyat, had been claiming for several months that he had the numbers to take over the government in September.

After the March 8 polls, the BN government has 140 members of Parliament as against Pakatan Rakyat’s 82.

For Anwar to take over the government, he would need at least 30 BN MPs to cross-over.

Masing said any coalition members who hopped over to the opposition side of parliament would be committing a “betrayal of trust”. He felt that if Anwar were serious about forming a government he could wait until the next general election.

Of course Masing knows a lot about "betrayal of trust" since he has been doing it for so many years.

“The fact is that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is the duly elected leader of the country. Give him a chance and let him do his work. Until then he should serve his term as the duly elected leader.

The fact is that "duly" elected leaders can become duly unelected as well at any time they no longer act in the interests of the country or the people. Abdullah was elected by UMNO and the BN, but if his own MPs no longer have any faith in him why should he be given any further chance to mess things up even more? If the MPs who elected him cross over to Pakatan, then he will become duly unelected.

There is no law to say that once duly elected he cannot become duly unelected or that he should serve his full term. If the duly elected people's representatives no longer have confidence in him, then by law they can remove him by calling for a vote of no confidence in Parliament, irrespective of what party they belong to. That is the law and it is called the Federal Constitution.

“Anwar is just 61, what is another five years. He can seek the mandate of the people during the next general election. That is the proper thing to do,” said Masing, who is the Sarawak Land Development Minister.

If Anwar has the mandate of the people's representatives that is as good as having the mandate of the people. That is the system and the proper thing to do. Why wait for another 5 years for Abdullah to ruin this nation beyond repair?

On Wednesday night, Sarawak BN chairman Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said Sarawakians felt offended when rumours surfaced of state BN members contemplating hopping to other parties for the sake of positions and other benefits.

Which Sarawakians felt offended? Most Sarawakians would be overjoyed if this was to happen. What is offensive is Taib saying that these MPs would do it for the sake of positions and other benefits. Why can't they do it for the sake of the state and the country, for Sarawakians and Malaysians?

“Sarawak people may have been poor at one time but I can tell you that we cannot be bought and we will not hop blindly when other people ask us to do so.

This implies that Sarawak people are no longer poor. Taib knows very well how much it costs to buy votes, a common practice of the BN. Hopefully Sarawakians are no longer as blind as he still thinks they are.

“I can assure the prime minister that the people of Sarawak will never forget what the BN leadership has done for our state,” he said at a dinner held in connection with the BN Elected Representatives’ Wives Annual Programme here, which was officiated by Abdullah.

Sarawak Headhunter urges all Sarawakians never to forget what the BN leadership has done to our state. It is high time that the BN government was kicked out.

In turn, Abdullah assured that Sarawak would get more value-added development and thanked Sarawak for its continuous support for the ruling coalition.

More value-added development for whom? Why should we trust anything that Abdullah has to say anymore?

“Tan Sri Taib said thank you to us but I must say this: You may thank us for whatever little things that we have done for you but I have to thank Sarawak for not forgetting the BN,” said Abdullah, who is the national BN chairman.

In particular, Abdullah has to thank Sarawakians for letting the Malayans have full control over Sarawak's petroleum resources, without which BN would not have been able to stay in power for so long. Even then BN has already lost 5 states to Pakatan because of abuse of power and misuse of resources.

Reacting to Abdullah’s comment, Masing said he was touched that the premier had acknowledged Sarawak’s support for the BN.

Let's hope he will still be touched when Sarawakians support the opposition instead.

“I hope the federal government will also reciprocate by giving us development projects that the state is in need of,” he said.

The question is why is the state which is rich in natural resources still in need of development projects and why do we have to beg the federal government for projects?