- Malaysia Chronicle
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Written by Mariam Mokhtar, Malaysia Chronicle
- Malaysia Chronicle
The anti-BN feeling and the desire to kick Taib out of office is very high. However, Pakatan cannot keep up with the dirty tactics employed by BN to influence people. The opposition does not have enough money or manpower to keep BN in check.
Therefore, if the people of Sarawak are genuinely sincere about change, if they are serious about reform and have no other desire apart from putting Sarawak back on its own feet, then they have only one chance to do that – on 16th April.
Taib has singlehandedly reduced Sarawak to a pitiful state. He has raped the country and he will continue to rape it for as long as the Sarawakians allow it to happen.
Clare Rewcastle Brown and her website Sarawak Report as well as Peter John Jaban, who has had to fight for Sarawak from foreign shores via Radio Free Sarawak, can only do so much. They have unearthed and unmasked Taib’s evil deeds. Taib is corrupt to the core. He treats Sarawak as his personal golden goose. Few other Sarawakians benefit.
Now that Sarawak goes to the polls, Taib knows his days are numbered. Clare and Peter have put Sarawak on the map. Prime minister Najib Abdul Razak knows that if Taib were to fall, then his position is made untenable.
For that reason, he will make sure Taib, or at the very least BN, stay on in power.
People might think that this is only a Sarawakian problem. Perhaps they are right. Some might ask why we should interfere with the workings of a particular state.
How many people have truly seen how a once proud group of people now live on handouts offered by Taib and his cronies?
The way of living of the indigenous people in Sarawak is destroyed while Taib on the other hand, has prospered. His business empire spans over eight nations and four continents.
That is why we should be bothered. It is one man who has singlehandedly used and abused his people for his own advantage. We should care, because it is other human beings who need our help and support.
I have seen with my own eyes what Taib has done to his people, at a time when I worked and travelled in Sarawak. The following is my own personal account.
The indigenous people once lived in houses made of wood like belian or similar, but when they were robbed of their NCR lands, their way of living was threatened. They have had to migrate to the towns and live in slums, in shacks made of plywood with corrugated zinc as roofing material.
When once they had pure clean drinking water from the rivers in the interior, they now store water in discarded oil drums or containers which once contained chemicals.
Those who opt to remain in the interior find that the logging industry has caused silting or where oil palm plantation is the predominant industry, their sources of water are contaminated from chemical run-off.
The Iban are famed for their 'bejalai' (loose term for ‘walkabout’ in search of wealth and job opportunities) but when their land was taken, they have had to migrate to the bigger towns and eke a living from the pitiful jobs available.
They are at the mercy of the businesses or unscrupulous people who employ them for a pittance. The Iban have no skills to speak of and many fall into depression, despair, alcoholism or get sucked into criminal activites like petty theft or prostitution.
In the past, NCR lands sustained the indigenous people. Now, the land which used to grow padi has been flattened for oil palm cultivation, for factories or to make way for dams.
Without their land, and a way of life which has sustained them for centuries, the Iban and the other indigenous people of Sarawak lose their culture, and their identity.
Taib has not just robbed them of their past, but he is robbing them of their future.
Only the Sarawakians can decide how they want to progress further. If they are seriously wanting reform, they will know what to do on Arpil 16.
The aspirations of hundreds of thousands of restless Sarawakians, depend on them.
- Malaysia Chronicle
Posted by Al Tugauw at 4:55 AM