Sunday, July 27, 2008

Damn Taib!

Damn the dam critic
By Puvaneswary Devindran, Borneo Post, 26.7.2008

Taib slams activist; says he should make careful study before opening his mouth

Sarawak Headhunter slams Taib; says his days are over and his time is up

KUCHING: Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud yesterday said the criticism directed at Sarawak’s 12 proposed hydroelectric dams was an ‘old tune’ played by someone ignorant of the state’s condition and its future direction.

Sarawak Headhunter's comments (in red): Taib must think that he can still fool all the people all the time. This is not merely an 'old tune' of his which Sarawakians, especially the natives in whose areas these dams will be built, will be condemned to hear but also put up with and suffer in silence if he remains in office and the BN continues to be in government of the state.

He said the world was facing depleting energy resources, particularly fossil fuel, where for every four barrels of oil used, only one new barrel was found.

“The world has been trying to overcome this, and then someone in Penang comes up to sing the same old tune and criticise Sarawak without knowing what the condition here is like.

And what is the condition there like? Does Sarawak really need all those damn dams?

“He (critic) should make a careful study before opening his mouth,” the Chief Minister told reporters after opening the Sixth Wacana Pendidikan Islam at a hotel here yesterday.

Taib did not say who that ‘someone’ was but he nevertheless slammed the person and others for making an issue out of the whole thing when it was a non-issue in the first place.

Taib of course would like it to be a non-issue in the first place so that all the timber in the dam areas could be cut and shipped out of Sarawak without any fuss. That's what Ting Pek Khiing did in Bakun and got away with billions worth of timber as well as compensation of a few hundred million ringgit from the BN Federal Government for having to give up the dam building contract.

So let's not make an issue of these 12 other dams, shall we?

Just for the record, perhaps Taib will not mind letting us all know just how much worth of timber are we talking about here? And how many natives will be chased out of these dam areas and for what compensation?

Let's not get confused about the issues, shall we?

Taib, you can't fool us anymore. Your days are over and your time is up.

RM1 Billion Bridge Replacement Project To Taib's Son's Company

MP to query RM1b contract to Taib's son
Saturday, 15 September 2007

Tony Thien (Malaysiakini)

A DAP legislator said today that he would ask questions in Parliament and the Sarawak Legislative Assembly about the Auditor-General’s Report 2006 regarding the RM1 billion bridge replacement project awarded to a company owned by a son of Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.

DAP’s Chong Chieng Jen - the Bandar Kuching parliamentarian and Kota Sentosa state assemblyperson - told a press conference in Kuching that the AG’s report was a ‘damning audit report’ about the affairs surrounding the award of the seven-year contract.

The contract was given by the Sarawak cabinet to Kuching-based Titanium Management Sdn Bhd in 2000 to replace 384 bailey (pre-fabricated steel) and wooden bridges on a design-and-build basis with an initial contract sum of RM551.01 million.

Total allocation RM1.02b

In November 2006, the state government reduced the number of bridges to be built under the contract by 62 to 322.

However, it revised the contract sum upwards to RM947.84 million - an increase of RM396.82 million, or 72% - according to the AG’s report.

According to the AG’s report, up to December 2006, a total of 259 bridges were completed with the remaining 63 bridges under construction with interim claims totaling RM741.24 million.

It added that the state government estimated the total cost when all bridges were completed by September 2007 would be RM947.84 million.

Under the contract between Titanium Management and the state government, payment could be paid in cash or in kind (with land).

Up to December 2006, the contractor had submitted a total of 71 claims for progressive payments totaling RM741.24 million. Of the total, RM500.95 million - including RM26.97 million interests (on delayed payments) - had been paid to the company.

Chong said that based on the AG’s report it would seem that RM240 million of the total claims had not been paid. Based on the agreement, the government is liable to pay 2% interest per month on delayed payments.

The agreement states that claims for progress payments of certified work done must be paid within 26 days of the claims being received.

Ah Long’s interest rate

Commenting on this, the opposition elected representative said the interest charged - 27% per annum (compounded) - is almost equivalent to Ah Long’s interest rate.

Taib’s eldest son Mahmud Abu Bekir holds 1,430,000 shares, or more than 50% of the company equity. His major partner is Chris Chung Soon Nam (900,000 shares) and a former state director of the Public Works Department (PWD), Michael Ting Kuok Ngie (10,000 shares).

Chong, who read out parts of the AG’s report to reporters, said the report released earlier this week raised questions regarding the contract award to a company registered only in 1998 with a paid-up capital of RM2.4 million to undertake a government project valued at more than half-a-billion ringgit.

Titanium has subsequently awarded all its contract works out to 44 sub-contractors.

According to the AG’s report, the company had failed to conduct detailed and complete preliminary studies as it was required to do so before being awarded the design-and-build contract on a turnkey basis.

This had partly resulted in partly cost escalation when actual works were carried out.

However, auditor-general said the contractor’s completion rate of the bridge replacement project was satisfactory - not a single bridge project was behind scheduled time, it added.

Jabu’s statement

Chong said the government must explain the serious cost over-runs as it involved the people’s money and he intended to raise the matter in Parliament and the State Assembly next month.

Meanwhile, in what appeared to be a initial reaction to the AG's report, Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu, a close Taib ally, was quoted today in the Borneo Post as blaming the delay in the completion of certain federal road projects in Sarawak to the lack of planning, control and supervision of such projects given to the state government.

He said if the state had been given better control by the federal authorities through PWD and other state agencies over project planning, control, supervision and implementation some of the delays could have been avoided.

Commenting on this, Chong said Jabu - who is also in charge of public works - was only trying to divert public attention from the real issue, such as the contract award and its huge cost over-runs given to the company controlled by Taib's son.

“His (Jabu's) comments are ridiculous and laughable,” he added.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Instigators jealous, bent on becoming leaders???

Instigators jealous, bent on becoming leaders
By Jacob Achoi, Borneo Post, 26.7.2008

Jabu says they join PKR for position they can’t get in BN

KUCHING: The desire to become leaders while at the same time harbouring jealousy have made certain individuals from the local community associate themselves with opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to incite the people, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu yesterday.

Sarawak Headhunter's comments (in red): Such a ridiculous statement. This is an old approach which doesn't work anymore. It is the desire NOT to have leaders like Taib and Jabu and the sycophants they surround themselves with that drives people to the opposition and if enough people (read voters) support such a move, the opposition may very well become the next state government of Sarawak.

There is no element of jealousy here, more like revulsion. Don't they get it? Who wants to be jealous of leaders like Taib and Jabu who steal from the people and the state they are supposed to lead and administer as a trust for the people?

Sarawakians do not need to be incited by anyone, least of all by Taib and Jabu themselves.

BE WARY: Jabu advises people not to fall into traps of irresponsible people.

Jabu said such individuals could not come to terms with the various developments brought about by the Barisan Nasional (BN), and thus chose to instigate the people to hate the government.

What real "developments" is Jabu talking about? Why is Sarawak, under BN rule for almost 45 years, still at least 25 to 30 years behind Malaya in terms of development?

Isn't it high time for new leadership to pursue real development for Sarawak? If the opposition can't do it when they manage to form the new government, they also risk being changed.

There is no need for anyone to instigate people to hate the government for there to be change.

People will feel it when their government is no longer a good government.

Describing such actions as irresponsible, Jabu advised the people not to fall into the trap of this group of people but to remain within the BN.

Who is being irresponsible - a BN which is out of touch with reality and ignores the legitimate needs of the people or those who merely point out the shortcomings of such a government?

“I regret the action of certain individuals from the local community who opted to associate themselves with PKR and instigate the people to hate the government.

“So I want to advise the people, particularly those in the rural areas not to entertain such people,” said Jabu, who is also Minister of Rural Development.

The people, especially from the rural areas, wish to advise Jabu that they will no longer entertain him and they will no longer tolerate under-development of Sarawak - especially its rural areas.

He was speaking at the closing ceremony of the fourth series of Betong Economic Development Transformation at Datuk Amar Stephen Kalong Ningkan Hall in Betong on Wednesday.

The closing ceremony was officiated by Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Jabu pointed out that there were no reasons for the people to support PKR given the tremendous development brought by BN.

"Tremendous development"??? You want to see really tremendous development, go to Malaya! Even in Malaya the people are rejecting the BN government because of its gross mismanagement, corruption, inefficiency, extravagance and waste.

He also slammed the actions of such individuals, saying that their action was disrupting the existing peace and harmony in the state.

What about the actions of corrupt and extravagant leaders? Doesn't this disrupt the so-called peace and harmony in Sarawak even more? Why "so-called"? Because beneath the surface there is a long-suffering and seething populace who see the fruits of development being enjoyed and wasted by a few very rich leaders and businessmen and their families only. Jealousy? No, just rage at the people's trust being betrayed.

The state and the people had enjoyed fruitful development under the politics of development brought by Taib, he said.

Jabu, who is also Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communications, said he was glad to note that PKR received little support from the people.

He cited the case in Betong where PKR was rejected as shown in the last election.

He urged the people in Betong to continue supporting BN for continuous development.

Continuous development for whom, the people or just a few corrupt leaders and their cronies?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Evil That Is Taib Mahmud

Many Sarawakians perceive Taib Mahmud as greedy and corrupted, but not many as evil. Only those who are supposedly close to him know his propensity for the occult, black magic and other forms of evil.

This propensity is not merely a passing interest but one which he has embraced whole-heartedly, even as a means of keeping himself in power as well as a justification for his being in power for so long, in spite of many challenges.

Taib Mahmud consults bomohs on a regular basis and does not make any major decisions without advice from his bomohs (or perhaps a particular one who has managed to keep him impressed all these years). Many bomohs have become very wealthy from their association with him.

It is said that he has bomohs from different races, religions and nationalities. So what, you may say? Many other Malaysian and Sarawakian politicians are not adverse to seeking advice and assistance from bomohs to stay in power, prosper and advance.

So who is really controlling Sarawak then, Taib Mahmud or his bomohs? And how evil are they or how evil is Taib Mahmud? While we may never really know the extent of his evil or that of his bomohs, Sarawak Headhunter doubts if there can be any good in it.

Taib Mahmud keeps and even uses all kinds of artifacts and objects which supposedly give him power to continue to rule over Sarawak. Some of these artifacts and objects appear to be mundane stuff of many other collectors, but for Taib Mahmud imbued with certain supernatural powers as claimed by Taib (and his wife as well) – thus Tun Rahman’s earlier accusations of syirik against Taib, a sin in Islam which is said to be the greatest and most unforgivable sin, even greater than that of rape, adultery, gambling, usury, drinking alcohol or theft.

Others are without a doubt just plain evil, like for example certain devil’s head busts that he keeps around his palatial house, even in the living room, and which Sarawak Headhunter has seen with his own eyes.

Can any Sarawakian with a bit of conscience, whether with any religious conviction or not, support such a person, knowing that they could be supporting the worst evil in the land? Can we support leaders who support such evil?

How deep is the level of this evil? Does anyone ever wonder why it appears that Taib Mahmud does not have any conscience at all? Shall we all bow to such evil?

Can we allow such evil to control our destinies and that of our children and grandchildren? If we believe in the Power of God and nothing else, then we are obliged to fight this evil.

Let us get rid of this evil from our land, the evil that is Taib Mahmud.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Is the PM a Total Moron?

Headlines in NST: July 13, 2008

"PM: Everyone can succeed in Malaysia"

"If the old strategy was focused on the equal distribution of wealth, the new strategy is to distribute quality opportunities to all races in this country."

Everyone can succeed in Malaysia? What does that mean? Why are so many Malaysians disgruntled then if such an opportunity exists for all? Who is the PM trying to fool with such an assertion? Is he a total moron? Or does he think all of us are complete morons?

Strategy? What old strategy and what new strategy?

Equal distribution of wealth? What kind of strategy is that and did it ever happen or were the BN politicians more equal than other Malaysians? Were the Malayans more equal than Sarawakians and Sabahans?

Weren't the petroleum resources of Sarawak and Sabah siphoned off with the connivance or at least tacit approval of their own BN leaders and traitors to finance the over-development of Malaya and the extravagance, mismanagement and misgovernance at the expense of these 2 states?

What new strategy of distribution of quality opportunities to all races?

Will it be so easy for UMNO to get rid of its "Ketuanan Melayu" mentality? Will the Malayan Malays really care about the fate of Sarawakians and Sabahans? Have they ever cared at all or did they just want to get their hands on the wealth of these states for their own selfish agendas?

Will they ever change?

What do they really know of Sarawak and Sabah, and in fact do they really want to know Sarawak and Sabah?

Everyone can succeed in Malaysia indeed! Please tell that to the Penans and every other native of Sarawak who have been chased off their land in the name of Taib Mahmud's "politics of development" and the BN's "New Economic Policy".

Saturday, July 5, 2008

What do Sabahans and Sarawakians want?

Taken as a whole, the 20 Points, if read in their entirety, give the East Malaysian states considerable political autonomy. However, the public view in East Malaysia is that there has been considerable dilution of the 20 Points for the past 45 years.

By James Chin, The Borneo Post

EAST Malaysia is very much in the news lately. With more than a quarter of MPs coming from there, it is generally acknowledged that they were the key to Barisan Nasional’s continued hold on power.

Since March 8, MPs and other politicians from Sabah have grown more vocal about the ‘neglect’ of East Malaysia since independence, making subtle references to the possibility that they could easily switch their support to Pakatan Rakyat if the federal government does not resolve their grievances.

There are several main grievances and their resolution may not be forthcoming in the short term.

The first issue is the date of independence. In the peninsula, independence is often taken to be 1957 when self-government was put in place. In East Malaysia, they see the proper date of independence as 1963 when the Federation of Malaysia was established.

Additionally, there is some unhappiness with the term Sabah and Sarawak ‘joining’ Malaysia when in fact Malaysia did not exist before 1963. For East Malaysians, Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and Malaya came together as equal partners to form the Federation of Malaysia. Using the term ‘join’ implies that East Malaysia joined an existing political entity as junior partners.

The second big issue is the federal government’s commitment to a set of state rights guarantees attached to the Malaysia Agreement, commonly referred to as the ‘20 Points’.

Among the key points were:

• Islam’s status as the national religion was not applicable to East Malaysia;

• Immigration control was vested in the state governments;

• Borneonisation of the civil service would be a high priority and English can be used as an official language;

• No changes to the ‘20 Points’ guarantees can be made without the agreement of the Sabah and Sarawak state governments. A clause was inserted giving all the parties the right to review the 20 Points after 10 years, ie, 1973.

• The natives of East Malaysia would be on par with the Malays and other indigenous groups in the peninsula, ie full Bumiputera status.

Taken as a whole, the 20 Points, if read in their entirety, give the East Malaysian states considerable political autonomy. However, the public view in East Malaysia is that there has been considerable dilution of the 20 Points for the past 45 years.

For Sabahans, the issue of immigration control is widely seen as a joke given the large number of illegal migrants in the state. Depending on who you talk to, the number of illegals in the state is between 1-1.5 million.

Combined with ‘legal’ immigrants, those who managed to get IMM13 certificates or MyKad, the number of non-Sabah born residents may actually be equal to the local born.

Official government statistics showed that one quarter of the state’s population is now made up of foreigners and that since 1963, the state’s population has increased by more than 300 per cent! This sort of increase can only happen with some sort of official collaboration at the highest level in Putrajaya.

Hence the call for a Royal Commission to get to the bottom of the infamous ‘Project IC’. The make-up of the civil service is also a sore point.

While it is true that both states have their own civil service, it is also true that since independence, more and more functions of the state civil service have been transferred to the federal service.

­There is popular perception that non-Muslim Bumiputera (NMB) civil servants from East Malaysia are being discriminated in terms of recruitment and promotion.

Then there are Bumiputera rights.

There is widespread feeling among the NMB of East Malaysia, despite being the majority numerically in both states, are treated as ‘third class’ Bumiputera when it comes to government help.

The unhappiness across the board on subjects such as jobs in the civil service, Public Services Department overseas scholarships, business licences and government procurement contracts.

They also feel that their language and culture is relegated to ‘second class’ when compared to Malay culture and Islam.

The official culture promoted is based largely on the Malay and Islamic cultures although the rhetoric is otherwise.

Moreover, many in East Malaysia are unhappy that government-supported cultural groups mismatch their traditional costumes by ‘modernising’ them with new colours and patterns. The same applies to traditional dances.

Until recently, there were cases of East Malaysian Bumiputeras denied the housing discount when they buy property in the peninsula.

In Sabah, the NMB unhappiness is compounded by the large number of foreigners holding MyKad and IMM3. Almost all these new ‘Malaysians’ are Muslims and NMB leaders suspect that there is a conspiracy to dilute the numerical superiority of NMBs.

It is no secret that the federal government was unhappy with Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) for most of the 1980s to the early 2000s.

PBS came into power largely on NMB and Chinese votes.

A former Sabah chief minister has said openly that the Kadazans will never achieve power again because of official policy to raise the number of Muslims in Sabah.

Fifth, overall there is also a widespread perception that East Malaysia contributes more to the federal coffers than what is given back in development grants.

There are still thousands of rural people in both states with no access to clean water and electricity.

Official statistics showed Sabah as persistently having one of the highest poverty rates in the country.

Yet Sabah and especially Sarawak contributed billions to the federal coffers through oil and gas revenue.

Many think that the 5 per cent royalty is an insult, and even the 20 per cent offered by the opposition is inadequate.

Many want at least 50 per cent.

That may sound like a lot, but given the under-development since independence, it does not sound so unreasonable if you are from Sabah or Sarawak.

Sixth, perhaps the greatest problem is the loss of political autonomy.

When Umno and other BN parties moved into Sabah in 1990, it signalled the end of Sabah political autonomy.

From 1994, all Sabah chief ministers were selected based on the strength of their ‘cables’ with Kuala Lumpur.

In Sarawak, since the direct federal intervention to remove the chief minister in 1967, all chief ministers are known to have served at the federal level.

One of the greatest fears among Sarawakian politicians is the entry of Umno into the state.

There is every reason to believe that this will happen sooner rather than later.

Sarawakians have seen how BN parties have created political upheavals among the Sabah population, and they are not impressed.

Recent gestures by the prime minister, such as appointing a Sabahan as Dewan Rakyat Speaker, more development funds and appointing East Malaysians to senior positions in the bureaucracy are unlikely to end the unhappiness, which has simmered for three decades.

It cannot be undone in a matter of months.

In summary, what East Malaysians want is respect for political autonomy as promised in the 20 Points, a respect for the different history, understanding of the plural settings, and a helping hand to bring development on par with peninsula states.

It’s as simple as that. While the political realities dictate that political autonomy will have to go if we want closer relations, simply exporting the peninsula’s ethnic politics model to East Malaysia will spell only trouble.

James Chin is Foundation head, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash University, Malaysian Campus

Friday, July 4, 2008

Does S'wak's future lie with Malaysia?

Dr John Brian Anthony | Jul 3, 08 4:10pm Malaysiakini

Looking at the physical development of Sarawak, it lacks so many things even the most basic needs - roads, water, electricity, education and health. Why are we still so dependent on river transport? Why are Sarawak trunk roads in such poor condition and lack proper facilities for drivers?

Why is clean drinking water so difficult to get and there is still no electricity for dwelling places that are located in some urban areas and most sub-urban areas. Where is the money from our timber? Has it gone into the pockets of elite businessmen and corrupted politicians and civil service officers?

A timber tug boat operator now owns one of the largest timber companies and has hundreds and thousands of acres of plantation land - how can that be? It can be when the chief politician makes it so. In the process, the people of Sarawak are deprived of their wealth generated from the valuable tropical trees that the natives have held so dear to their heart.

The jungle is the major provider of their needs. For the rich man, he sent in gangsters to his estates to subdue any Dayak from making complaints and demanding for a better living standard. The Dayak got the wrong end of the stick in all cases.

Money from oil? Many are asking what has happened to the money we get from the oil royalty? We are now suffering from an oil price hike so when did we enjoy the money from our oil then? The price of gas cylinders for cooking is reaching $180 per tank in rural Sarawak. The natives cannot understand such products that are produced in Bintulu - from Sarawak’s gas field - are priced that high.

The West Malaysians are paying much less and they are the ones that have no gas when we take the Terengganu equation out.

Why are we not seeing good schools and good health care for Sarawak’s rural folks? The ‘Flying Doctor’ service is still too limited while billions worth of hospitals are built in West Malaysia - not one but many. In Sarawak, the Sarawak General Hospital was built maybe four decades ago. Do we have a new one - the answer is ‘no’.

We do have new expensive private hospitals though the poor rural folks have no chance of using them as they don't have the money.

Money from hydro-dams? The Batang Ai hydro dam has forced the relocation of people living in the area. There is no land to expand their farming activity and the Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) provides only minimum wages for their work in the plantations and a low return for their shares in Salcra. The government has shortchanged the people.

The same government headed by the same person after 30 plus years is ignoring the plight of the poor people in Lubuk Antu. You just need to go to Lubuk Antu - what major economic activities have been implemented there? The answer is none as the government’s idea of helping the poor is by not training them to have skills and knowledge to better themselves.

Some Dayak leaders are there to ensure that the Dayaks do not progress and are therefor easier to control for political gain.

Is electricity made available to the longhouses and villages in nearby areas? The answer is ‘no’.

The Bakun dam is near completion. Is it going to benefit Sarawak poor - the answer is ‘no’. It will feed the richer West Malaysian states and provide power to their industries.

Why don't they relocate their industries to Sarawak? Because it is too expensive and Sarawak lacks basic infrastructure, it lacks skilled workers, it has limited port facilities, a poor transport system, it lacks towns that can provide comforts for the employees, etc.

This goes to show that the rich grab the poor man’s resources but are not paying for such resources in the correct manner. Otherwise why are the poor getting poorer? Why should we still stay with Malaysia?

Money from palm oil? Where is the money earned from plantations? We all know that the biggest plantation companies are from West Malaysia and Umno-linked companies. Just go to their offices and the senior management teams and managers are West Malaysians. The field supervisors and labourers are local Sarawakians - we can't help but feel ‘colonised’ and made second-class citizen of Malaysia.

Our prime land is taken to feed West Malaysians. We feel very disappointed and hurt by this attitude. It is time for Sarawakians to think about leaving Malaysia. Leaving Malaysia - why?

Sarawak has not received what is due to them.

Sarawak has been sidelined and ignored - no senior positions in the federal civil service, no senior members in the police and army, no important positions in the cabinet. The Sarawak bumiputera is a ‘fourth class’ citizen, behind the major races in West Malaysia.

We didn't join Malaysia to only learn to speak Bahasa Malaysia and have Islam as our official religion. We did not join Malaysia to champion ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ and be made used of by Umno elitists to further strengthen their grip on political power and wealth.

We want justice, we want equality, we want respect and we want dignity in our lives. We do not need to bow, kneel and plead for what is rightly ours. We want our own money to develop ourselves and be able to live a better life.

From this frustration with the BN government under Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, we are even thinking of leaving Malaysia. It has brought us untold misery and frustration with its poor leadership and poor planning accorded to Sarawak.

Furthermore, why has the federal government not approved the Dayak community’s wish to form their own political party known as the Malaysian Dayak Congress? They should ensure that the races are represented by political organisations of their choice.

We want to have our political freedom of choice and association. We do not want to feel that there is ethnic genocide in Sarawak too. Sarawak for Sarawakians.

It is the very policy and structure of BN government that is causing Sarawak to lag behind so far from the rest of Malaysia. The Sarawak leader can shout nonsense that the Dayaks are equal to the rest of the Malaysian population etc because he wants to feel good about himself - he who has overstayed his welcome and value.

He has made certain elites in the community rich beyond their wildest dreams. Have these elitists helped Sarawak’s poor - the answer is still ‘no’.