Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Mystery That Is Sarawak Politics

Posted on 21st March 2008 by Bob K at bobjots : redux

The Mystery That Is Sarawak Politics

Whether we like it or not, the politics of Borneo are a mystery to most of us here in the Peninsular. Despite the almost total sweep of the contested seats in both Sabah and Sarawak, I am pretty sure that Barisan Nasional (BN) would be making a mistake to assume that their position is secure there. I have been informed that voting trends tend to go along personality lines rather than party lines. So I reckon it would mainly be because that the dominant personalities happen to be part of BN parties (for now) that the BN gained the victory that they did in Sabah and Sarawak.

Poverty and the loss of indigenous land rights (which makes a mockery of Article 153 of the Federal Constitution) remains major problems in the Borneo states so there exists also a genuine fear of losing Federal support under such circumstances. Ethnic disparities and divisions, while very much hidden below the surface; can be in some ways more pronounced in the Borneo states than they are in the Peninsular due to the more identifiable ethnic categories in the various professions (sort of like pre 1969 Malaysia).

I came across this blog which is penned by an ethnic Bidayuh from Sarawak and one of his entries tried to give a brief panorama of the Sarawak political landscape. Its worth a read even as a primer.

I think it would do us good to attempt to engage them, not because of the number of Parliamentary seats they hold, but as a means of walking together with our fellow Malaysians as we try to carve out a new national identity for all of us. This doesn't mean imposing Peninsular norms on the Borneo states but acknowledging them as equals and actually conduct meaningful exchanges rather than continuing to treat them as de-facto colonies, whether politically and psychologically.

There's a lot that we can learn from our fellow countrymen from across the sea and I am sure they wouldn't mind some of the socio-infrastructural development that exists in the Peninsular coming their way.

Oh yeah .. I love this guy's analogies too (in reference to the rumour that the MP for Serian, Richard Riot, has left the BN); Good Friday is Time to Rebuild the Wall of Jerusalem!


chapchai said...

Sarawak Politics is in the hands of one man and that is Taib Mahmud. His only interest in Sarawak is how much money he and his family can make out of it. He has divided and ruled, and the so-called leaders of various BN component parties have sold out the people they purport to represent. I am not in favour of party-hopping if it is done for personal gains, but if certain disillusioned BN MPs feel in their conscience that it is the right thing to do for their people whom they have betrayed all these years, then I urge them to do it. Can we afford to wait another 2 years or so for the government of Sarawak to be ousted? I don't think so. Seize the moment!

Mohammad Roslan said...

Dear HeadHunter,
I wish you best luck to try on new goverment lead by Our Honest Anwar.I dont how good is he but sur he is a Camelon can changed whenever he feel to do so.At the end the Sarawakian has to bear the cost!.There is Malay proverb saying "Kalau Takutkan Pijat Jangan Bakar Kelambu".So think carefully about Federal Politicians now very anxious and much intrested in Sarawak politics:Just Change the State Goverment and show the Real Sarawakian People's power the federal will bestowed to your feet!.Think about the oppurtunity!

"Something you need most might be something you turn away from:something you turn away from might be something you regret,in the end ,might cost you the one chance you ever had".

P;S:Good blog.Mamak just visiting..

Anonymous said...

So Mamak Penang lu nak kita kekal jadi katak di bawah tempurung or lembu yg diikiat pada hidung. Boleh belah. Kerajaan pusat (BN) yg bersubahat dgn Taib menidakkan hak dan merampass kekayaan bumi sarawak.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sarawakian Brothers & Sisters,

I am from Peninsular and although we are divided by the deep seas, we are joined in our hope and aspiration for a better life. We hope to live in a country that promotes equality, merit base and hardwork.

Everyone of us have a choice whether they want a change. When you go out to vote next week, think whether the existing is good enough ... DECIDE YOUR CHOICE.

God Bless !