Archive for category Sarawak

Proposal for a meeting of Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat top leaders on an agenda and blueprint for National Reconciliation to rebuild National Unity

This year is the 50th anniversary of the formation of Malaysia on September 16, 1963.

It is most unfortunate, sad and shocking that the greatest threat to the unity and solidarity of Malaysia in its 50-year history should also take place this year – the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais)’s illegal and unconstitutional raid of Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) and seizure of Malay and Iban Bibles yesterday.

It is no exaggeration to say that Jais’ illegal and unconstitutional raid of Bible Society of Malaysia and seizure of Malay and Iban Bibles is the greatest blow and setback to the unity and cohesion of the 50-year Malaysian nation-building process capable of causing grave disunity, discord and even disintegration of the nation.

I fully agree with the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) that the shocking raid and seizure of the Malay and Iban Bibles is a violation of the Christians’ constitutional right to freedom of religion and an “aggressive attack” on interfaith ties in Malaysia.

Even more serious, it is the most serious setback for Malaysian nation-building in the past five decades, undermining the very basis of the multi-religious fabric of the Malaysian nation, giving cause to grave concerns in Sabah and Sarawak whether the fundamental terms for their joining the peninsular states – the 20 Points for Sabah and 18 Points for Sarawak – to form the Malaysian federation and other solemn agreements agreed by the Putrajaya like the 10-Point Solution to the Bible controversy would really be honoured. Read the rest of this entry »

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Strategi 12 Mata sebagai Pelan Induk untuk Pakatan Rakyat menawan Putrajaya dalam PRU14

Kelmarin, saya telah mengemukakan soalan sama ada Pakatan Rakyat sanggup bangkit untuk menyahut cabaran bagi menentukan masa depan bukan saja Sabah dan Sarawak, malah Malaysia secara keseluruhan dalam PRU14.

Dalam kenyataan media saya sejak empat hari lalu, saya telah menjelaskan menerusi fakta dan angka bahawa ketiga-tiga parti Pakatan Rakyat DAP, PKR, dan PAS telah mencapai keputusan terbaik di peringkat parlimen dan negeri di Semenanjung, Sabah, dan Sarawak – dan untuk suatu tempoh berjaya menguasai lima negeri, iaitu Kelantan, Pulau Pinang, Selangor, Kedah dan Perak – menerusi kerjasama ketiga-tiga parti itu dalam Pilihanraya Umum tahun 1999, 2008 dan 2013.

Hari ini, saya ingin membentangkan strategi 12 mata berikut untuk Pakatan Rakyat sebagai pelan induk untuk membentuk kerajaan persekutuan dan menawan Putrajaya dalam Pilihanraya Umum ke-14. Read the rest of this entry »

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The “non-fulfillment” of the Malaysian agreement: Who is to blame?

– Arnold Puyok
The Malaysian Insider
December 04, 2013

In 1963, Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaya formed what is now called Malaysia. But the forming of Malaysia was not without challenges. In terms of population demography, Sabah and Sarawak were more culturally heterogeneous than Peninsular Malaya.

Sabah and Sarawak were also economically under-developed. Due to Sabah and Sarawak’s distinctive characters, they were allowed to make specific demands as part of a deal before their incorporation into Malaysia.

These demands were known as the 20-point memorandum for Sabah and 18-point memorandum for Sarawak. Both memorandums were later used as a guide by the Cobbold Commission to ascertain the views of Sabahans and Sarawakians about Malaysia.

The demands were later discussed in the Inter-Governmental Committee before their incorporation into the Federal Constitution. At the London talks in July 1963, Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo (Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore agreed to sign the Malaysia Agreement.

The signing of the agreement was significant because it paved the way for the enactment of the Malaysia Act (Act No. 26 of 1963) which sealed the formation of Malaysia. With the enactment of the Malaysia Act, the Federal Constitution took over from the Malayan Constitution as a new “document of destiny” for Malaysia. The rights and privileges for Sabah and Sarawak are clearly stated in the Federal Constitution (Articles 161, 161A, 161B, 161E). Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP working the ground to realise Pakatan’s Sabah, Sarawak dreams

by Sheridan Mahavera
The Malaysian Insider
December 02, 2013

Instead of handing out flyers, holding ceramah and spewing propaganda against the ruling Barisan Nasional, DAP is now trying a different tack to win the hearts and minds of voters in rural Sabah and Sarawak.

It is on a building spree. Not highways or electricity grids. But small water systems, (kindergartens and micro-hydro projects) that help improve the lives of remote villages somehow overlooked by BN.

The new venture, called Impian Sabah and Impian Sarawak respectively, aims to break the psychological hold BN has over rural Sabah and Sarawak folk. It is an approach to show that DAP or any opposition party is not the demon that it is made out to be.

By making a real difference in the lives of rural Sabahans and Sarawakians, said DAP assemblyperson for Kapayan Edwin @ Jack Bosi, the party hoped to convince them that it was a party of action and not rhetoric. Read the rest of this entry »

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12-Point Strategy as Blueprint for Pakatan Rakyat to capture federal power in Putrajaya in 14GE

Yesterday, I posed the question whether Pakatan Rakyat could rise to the challenge to decide the political future not only of Sabah and Sarawak but the whole of Malaysia in the 14GE.

In my media statements in the past four days, I had illustrated with facts and figures that the three Pakatan Rakyat parties of DAP, PKR and PAS had achieved their best parliamentary and state assembly election results not only in peninsular Malaysia but also in Sabah and Sarawak – at one time helming five State Governments in Kelantan, Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Perak – during their tripartite co-operation in the 1999, 2008 and 2013 General Elections.

Today, in the last of a five-part series, I wish to present the following 12-point strategy for Pakatan Rakyat as a blueprint for capturing federal power in Putrajaya in the 14th General Elections.

1. Full and immediate commitment by all three Pakatan Rakyat parties of DAP, PKR and PAS, whether at national, state or local level, to enhance public support in next four years for Pakatan Rakyat’s quest for federal power in Putrajaya in 14GE. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sanggupkah Pakatan Rakyat bangkit untuk menyahut cabaran bagi menentukan masa depan bukan saja Sabah dan Sarawak, malah Malaysia secara keseluruhan dalam PRU14?

Dalam kenyataan media yang dikeluarkan sepanjang tiga hari lalu, saya telah mengemukakan hujah, disertakan dengan fakta dan angka, bahawa ketiga-tiga parti Pakatan Rakyat, iaitu DAP, PKR, dan PAS, telah mencapai keputusan terbaik di peringkat parlimen dan negeri dalam pilihanraya umum tahun 1999, 2008, dan 2013, menerusi kerjasama mereka.

Kerjasama itu bukan saja membuahkan kejayaan untuk Pakatan Rakyat di Semenanjung Malaysia (kenyataan saya sepanjang tiga hari lalu memberikan tumpuan pada Semenanjung), malah juga di Sabah dan Sarawak. Ini menunjukkan dengan jelas faedah kerjasama di kalangan parti-parti Pakatan Rakyat.

Pakatan Rakyat berdepan dengan dua cabaran unik di Sabah dan Sarawak.

Cabaran pertama ialah untuk berdepan dengan tuduhan bahawa parti-parti komponen Pakatan Rakyat DAP, PKR, dan PAS, bukan parti ‘tempatan’ tetapi hanya meruapakan kepanjangan bagi parti-parti ‘utama’ yang berpangkalan di Semenanjung Malaysia dan cenderung hanya pada kepentingan Semenanjung. Justeru itu, parti-parti ini dianggap tidak mampu menjaga kepentingan Sabah dan Sarawak.

Cabaran kedua melibatkan sejarah kerjasama di kalangan parti-parti pembangkang, termasuk DAP, PKR, dan PAS, di kedua-dua negeri.

Kedua-dua cabaran ini belum dapat diatasi sepenuhnya, namun usaha mengukuhkan kerjasama di kalangan parti-parti Pakatan Rakyat telah berjaya merungkai sebahagian isu dan perkara ini tercermin pada keputusan pilihanraya.
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Can Pakatan Rakyat rise to the occasion to decide the political future not only of Sabah and Sarawak but the whole of Malaysia in the 14GE?

In my media statements in the past three days, I have argued the case, backed with facts and figures, that the three Pakatan Rakyat parties of DAP, PKR and PAS achieved their best parliamentary and state assembly results during their tripartite co-operation in the 1999, 2008 and 2013 General Elections.

This is not only the case for the Pakatan Rakyat parties in Peninsular Malaysia (which was the focus of my statements in the past three days), the same effect applies also in Sabah and Sarawak underlining the benefits of such co-operation among the Pakatan Rakyat parties.

Pakatan Raykat faces two unique challenges in Sabah and Sarawak.

The first is the accusation that the component parties, DAP, PKR and PAS are not ‘local’ parties but are merely extensions of the ‘main’ parties which are based in Peninsular Malaysia and are guilty of being peninsular-centric. As such, they cannot adequately represent the interests of Sabah and Sarawak.

The second is the much shorter history of cooperation among opposition parties, including between DAP, PKR and PAS in both states. Read the rest of this entry »

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Registration Department staff from Putrajaya nabbed in police bust on IC syndicate in Miri

by Desmond Davidson
The Malaysian Insider
November 18, 2013

A National Registration Department (NRD) assistant officer was among dozens arrested by police in Miri as authorities smashed the state’s biggest syndicate behind the falsifying of MyKads and birth certificates.

The 57-year-old officer, attached to the NRD office in Putrajaya, is one of the key players in the syndicate, said Sarawak police commissioner Datuk Wira Mohammad Sabtu Osman.

Mohammad said there could be more arrests as police investigation widens.

“We will be hunting members of the syndicate that have escaped arrests,” Mohammad told a press conference today.

Mohammad said police made the arrests on November 16 after a week of surveillance at a residential estate in Desa Pujut in the Kuala Baram district. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP ready to work with Sabah and Sarawak leaders to fight for rights

The Malaysian Insider
November 17, 2013

DAP today said it was willing to work together and cooperate with state government leaders in Sabah and Sarawak to ensure that they retained their equal status in the Federation of Malaysia.

Pasty secretary-general Lim Guan Eng attacked Umno’s arrogance in assuming that they were the masters and everyone else had to submit to them.

He slammed Umno’s racist and extremist ideologies, saying it had warped and twisted the minds of the party’s young leaders and left them with the wrong perception.

Lim said Umno’s young leaders had been influenced by the party’s policies to the extent that they assumed the party were the masters and others had to be subservient. Read the rest of this entry »

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Just as 13GE ended Johore as BN “fixed deposit” state, PR must end Sabah and Sarawak as “fixed deposit” states to reach Putrajaya in 14GE

One of the highlights of the 13th General Elections was to transform Johore, one of the three “fixed deposit” states of Barisan Nasional with Sabah and Sarawak, into a Pakatan Rakyat front-line state.

During the last general elections, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir not only led the campaign to ask the people of Johore to ensure that Gelang Patah become my “kubur”, Barisan Nasional leaders talking about making Johore into an “zero-opposition” state.

In the event, Johore achieved the greatest political breakthrough for Pakatan Rakyat in the 13GE, increasing from one parliamentary to five parliamentary seats (500% increase) and six State Assembly seats to 18 State Assembly seats (300% increase). In popular votes, Pakatan Rakyat achieved the biggest increase of 10.3% from 34.7% in the 12GE in 2008 to 45% in the 13GE – transforming Johore from a BN “fixed deposit” state into a PR “front-line” state. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Allah’ curbs hurting M’sia’s moderate Muslim image

Stuart Grudgings
Malaysiakini/Reuters
Oct 23, 2013

Malaysia’s self-styled image as a global leader of moderate Islam has been undermined by a court ruling that only Muslims can use the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God, with a growing number of Muslim scholars and commentators condemning the decision.

A Malaysian court ruled last week that the word was “not an integral part of the faith in Christianity”, overturning a previous ruling that allowed a Malay-language Roman Catholic newspaper to use the word.

Since then, confusion has reigned over the interpretation of the ruling, with government ministers, lawyers and Muslim authorities giving widely diverging views on its scope.

Critics of the decision have said it casts a chill on religious rights in Muslim-majority Malaysia, which has substantial minorities of ethnic Chinese and Indians.

Commentators in some countries that practice Islam more strictly than Malaysia have condemned the ruling, arguing that the word ‘Allah’ has been used by different faiths for centuries. Read the rest of this entry »

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Don’t secede, just leave BN!

– Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
October 18, 2013

We do not have to wait for GE14 to oust Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Barisan Nasional (BN). Nor have we reached a stage where conscientious lawmakers forget about being partisan and agree on a vote of no confidence against the PM. BN presently has the numbers and has the support of an equally partisan speaker.

Any motion of no confidence will be defeated. Jeffrey Kitingan’s talk about secession is super brave. It can be seditious or can be treated so. If the government wants to, it can treat Kitingan’s proposal as seditious. Umno and BN foot soldiers will likely do what they normally do – make police reports against Jeffrey and others dong the same brave talk.

If you look at point 7, it says there is no right of secession. What do Sabahans and Sarawakians want? Since secession is not possible, the next best thing is to kick out the Federal government which is the source of much of the East Malaysians’ discontent. Work with people who can make that possible. Read the rest of this entry »

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Winds of discontent over Borneo

– Murray Hunter
The Malaysian Insider/Asia Sentinel
October 08, 2013

Since Malaysia’s general election last May, Umno has been attempting to redefine its electoral base to include Bumiputera or native groups across the country, most of them in East Malaysia in Sabah and Sarawak, and not just ethnic Malays.

Malays and Muslim Bumiputera today account for 59.7% of the population, with non-Muslim Bumiputeras comprising another 7.6%. That is expected to rise to 67.9% by the next election. Umno strategists believe that if the party can successfully capture this constituency, it would garner enough votes for the party to continue governing Malaysia into the foreseeable future, simply continuing to disregard the votes of Chinese and Indian voters on the Malaysian peninsula, who turned soundly against the Barisan Nasional, or national ruling coalition in the May election.

A recent statement by Sabah Mulfti Bungsu @Aziz Jaafar calling for the government to classify all Muslim indigenous people as “Malays” seems to support this view. This has attracted criticism from some local components of the ruling state Barisan Nasional coalition, as it ignores the differing histories and elements of cultural identities of peoples of the peninsula and Borneo, and creates many complications around native land ownership because of provisions in state constitutions.

However, this strategy faces problems, with rising discontent in Sabah and Sarawak becoming more and more public. On the eve of a conference organized by the Borneo Heritage Foundation (BHF), former Sabah Chief Minister Harris Salleh personally entered the debate through the local media, saying all Sabah leaders are responsible for the current situation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Stressed, starved livestock die in Sarawak

Auditor-General’s 2012 Report (13)
by Aidila Razak
Malaysiakini
Oct 2, 2013

Being a goat, sheep or a cow in the care of the Sarawak Agriculture Department can be a tenuous thing if the death rates at some special rearing stations are anything to go by.

Livestock deaths – due to stressed or starvation – at the department’s special rearing stations were as high as 74 percent, when the acceptable rate is between 5 to 10 percent, the Auditor-General’s Report 2012 states.

While only 26 percent of its goats survived in 2010, the Karabungan rearing station saw more than half of its cattle die the following year. The cattle survival rates improved remarkable the next year with only 12 of its 182 cows dead.

In Karabungan, the animals died from “falling into feeding troughs, weakness or stress, parasites, liver fluke (and) getting stuck in mud”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia and the non-fulfilment of two agreements with Sabah and Sarawak

– Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah
The Malaysian Insider
September 26, 2013

It is my singular honour to have been invited to such an august gathering as this. I am privileged to have this opportunity to talk about the birth of Malaysia. Allow me, therefore, to record my gratitude and appreciation to our host, the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, for the invitation in the first instance.

The timing is apt, coming as it does eight days after the 50th anniversary of her founding. It is also relevant given that Malaysia is facing unprecedented political and economic challenges. These challenges are formidable and, if left unsolved, could cause damage to the economy and political integrity of Malaysia.

The legitimacy of the formation of Malaysia is based on the fact that at the time of her formation, Malaya was the only country that was independent and had a democratic constitution, with institutions supporting such a constitution, within this region.

Her economic foundation justifiably gave Malayans, at that time, a vision that we would one day be the shining example in South East Asia. It was with this perspective that Malaya, under the leadership of Tunku Abdul Rahman, took the initiative in helping to maintain stability in the region. This was at a time when British colonialism was forced by international opinion and in particular by Asia, to retreat as the colonial power without leaving a vacuum. Read the rest of this entry »

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In Malaysia, Sarawakians look for a fairer deal

by Desmond Davidson
The Malaysian Insider
September 14, 2013

Only three years ago and 47 years after the formation of Malaysia did the 2.4 million people of Sarawak, together with those in Sabah and the peninsula, mark the birth of the country on a national scale.

This year will be the fourth such celebration. But how do Sarawakians feel about what should arguably be the country’s most important national event?

“There’s something lacking. I’ve never felt the spirit of Malaysia Day,” was 50-year-old paraplegic Josh John’s reply to The Malaysian Insider in Sarawak’s capital city, Kuching.

To this former accountant, who lives in the city’s Batu Kawa suburb, every Malaysia Day is “just another holiday”.

John (pic) attributed the lack of feeling for Malaysia Day to the government’s failure to emphasise how important it is.

“To this day, the government still places emphasis on the importance of Malaya’s independence from the British rather than the historically more significant event – the birth of the country.

“So what do I think of Malaysia Day? Not much,” said the father of one, who became wheelchair bound after suffering a viral attack to his spinal column that left him paralysed 17 years ago.

Violet Yong, a DAP assemblywoman, also cannot understand why Hari Merdeka continues to be more important than Malaysia Day.

“Why is August 31, the Malaya independence day and which has nothing to do with Sabah and Sarawak, an event still more important than Malaysia Day?” she asked.

“The emphasis should be on September 16 rather than August 31,” she said. Read the rest of this entry »

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East Malaysia: primus inter pares

By James Chin, Guest Contributor
New Mandala
4 September 2013

Last Saturday Malaysia celebrated her 56th year of independence in Dataran Merdeka in central Kuala Lumpur.

Many people in East Malaysia, however, may not be celebrating. Why? 31th August is the date of independence for Malaya but not the Malaysian federation. The fact is, the federation of Malaysia was proclaimed on 16th September 1963, and the federation of Malaysia is 50 years old, not 56. This simple fact is often ignored by Putrajaya much to the annoyance of East Malaysians.

When Najib Tun Razak became Malaysia’s prime minister in 2009, he declared that 16thSeptember is be called “Malaysia Day” and added it as a public holiday in the country. Prime Minister Najib’s concession was no doubt linked to the 2008 general elections when voters from East Malaysia helped Barisan Nasional to retain power when voters in the peninsula abandoned the BN.

While recognition of 16th September is welcomed in East Malaysia, the bigger issues for most East Malaysians are the ‘20 Points’ and political recognition that East Malaysia should treated as an equal partner, not merely two of the 13 states in the federation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Global corruption watchdog demands MACC act on Taib

by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
Jul 05, 2013

An international corruption watchdog has slammed the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commissioner (MACC) for their delay in wrapping up their probe into the alleged corrupt practices of Sarawak’s Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud (pic).

Global Witness noted that the probe began in 2011 and yet no charges had been brought against Taib.

It wanted the MACC to get Taib to declare all his offshore assets, including those held by family members.

Global Witness came to prominence just before the election when it released a video tape showing recordings of conversations between its private investigators and two of Taib’s cousins.

Datuk Paul Low, who was then chairman of Transparency International Malaysia, had urged the Government to immediately commission a panel of independent and reputable external auditors to examine and identify cases of suspected corruption and abuse of public office with regard to state resources and land deals.

GW commended Low whose anti-corruption ambitions include combating graft and improving transparency.

However, they are now holding him to that promise as Low is now Minister in Prime Minister’s Department in charge of the implementation of transparency in the government. Read the rest of this entry »

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The right of rural communities in Sarawak to equitable development after 50 years of formation of Malaysia, particularly rural road access to Kapit and Belaga, should be one of the main issues of the 11th Sarawak state general elections expected in 18-24 months

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s condolences yesterday to the bereaved families who lost their loved ones in the Belaga boat disaster is most appropriate although made two days after the tragedy and after I had made adverse comments on the “silence and indifference” of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister as they “had not said a single word on the Belaga boat disaster in the past two days”.

However, I am very disappointed that apart from calling for “a detailed investigation to determine the cause of the boat tragedy in Sungai Rajang, Sarawak on Tuesday”, both the Federal and Sarawak State governments have continued to ignore the problem of rural road access in Sarawak especially to Kapit and Belaga – which is the root cause of the tragedy of express boat disasters in upriver areas of Sungai Rajang.

The Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Datuk Rahani Abdul Karim yesterday visited Belaga to convey the condolences of the Prime Minister to the families of victims of the Belaga boat tragedy, and a Bernama reported quoted her as saying:

“Yesterday, during the weekly meeting of the Cabinet, the prime minister was so sad over the incident, and he directed me to come (today) as a representative of the federal government.”

This raises the question why Najib or the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin or the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of the Malaysian Security Council (MKN) Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim had not visited Belaga themselves to get first-hand information of the Belaga boat tragedy – which they would have done if the Belaga disaster had occurred before the 13GE polling date on May 5.

Why should a difference of 23 days between May 5 and May 28 when the Belaga boat tragedy occurred make such a great difference as to whether the PM, DPM or the Minister in the PM’s Department, would have made a personal trip to Belaga themselves?

In fact, if the tragedy had happened before May 5, even the Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud would have personally visited Belaga himself, instead of just leaving it to Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang. Read the rest of this entry »

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Was the Belaga boat disaster on the agenda of the Federal Cabinet yesterday and did the Cabinet take any decision to rectify the 50-year failure in equitable development in Sarawak by ensuring road access to Kapit and Belaga?

The questions that should be uppermost in the minds of Malaysians when the Dayaks celebrate Dayak Gawai is whether the Belaga boat disaster on Tuesday, with 179 survivors while 11 others are still missing, was on the agenda of the Federal Cabinet yesterday.

The second question is whether and what did the Cabinet decide to rectify the 50-year failure in equitable development in Sarawak by ensuring road access to Kapit and Belaga.

If the answers are negative to one or both, the third question is what difference has the appointment of seven full ministers and four deputy ministers from Sarawak to the Federal Cabinet made to the thrust of national socio-economic and infrastructure development so as deliver belated socio-economic justice to the rural populace in Sarawak?

In fact, if the tragic Belaga boast disaster had happened before May 5 – the polling day of the 13th general election – either the Prime Minister or the Deputy Prime Minister would have visited Belaga with 24 hours to personally convey the condolences of the Federal Government, as compared to the indifference shown by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, who have not said a single word on the Belaga boat disaster in the past two days.

It is heart-wrenching that despite the express boat tragedy in the middle of the Balui River which is feared to have claimed 11 lives, the Kapit jetty yesterday was as crowded as ever with people desperate to go home for the Dayak Gawai harvest festival this weekend.
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