Archive for May 15th, 2010

Sibu’s new political awakening (2)

By Bridget Welsh | Malaysiakini

Tomorrow is polling day in Sibu. After days of quiet campaigning, there is now finally a growing sense of excitement. This non-political town is having a national awakening as both sides have gone all out to win voters over.

In Sibu square, BN leaders are making earnest appeals to the voters, while the big guns of the Pakatan Rakyat are gearing up for a final ceramah tonight and concentrating their day’s activities in the pivotal Iban areas.

Prime Minister Najib Razak is making a personal gamble by returning for the second time in the campaign period to appeal for votes, gambling that his popularity wins support.
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A town at the crossroads (1)

By Bridget Welsh | Malaysiakini

Malaysia’s 11th by election since March 2008 is only one day away. It comes on the heel of the important BN win in Hulu Selangor and before the much anticipated Sarawak state elections.

For the ruling BN, and Prime Minister Najib Razak in particular, this election provides an opportunity to convince voters nationally and his Umno party that he has a national mandate and can deliver the votes.

For the opposition Pakatan Rakyat, this contest provides a chance to stem the momentum of the BN in gaining support, further forge relations among the opposition component parties and even the score in the now increasingly important and contested marker of two-thirds in Parliament due to PKR defections.

A strong victory for BN may even open the way for early national elections. No doubt this by-election has national importance. The town on the mighty Rajang River has come into the national spotlight, although few Malaysians have visited it.
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Sarawak : Poverty Midst of Plenty

By Tunku Abdul Aziz

Although I have in my travels seen abject poverty in such diverse places as Addis Ababa, Dhaka, Dar es Salaam, Kolkata, Mumbai and Manila, I must confess to a feeling of utter revulsion and anger when confronted by stark deprivation in our supposedly well-governed and prosperous Malaysia.

The pockets of rural poverty in the Malay heartlands of Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu are islands of prosperity compared to the scene that churned my stomach and assailed my sense of guilt and outrage when I first ventured into the Iban long houses on the majestic Rejang.

It is not enough that we have robbed them of their ancestral lands and impoverished them in the process, but we also felt constrained to strip them naked of any residual personal dignity that they might still have by introducing policies that have succeeded in reducing them to the fringes of mainstream economic life. The Orang Asli tribes and the Orang Hulu, the Malays from the interior, have a great deal in common with their Dayak friends. For all we care, they are Malaysia’s forgotten people, but not quite. Whenever an election is underway, be it a by-election or a general election, they find themselves the centre of attention, in great demand by the rich and powerful, all claiming to love and care for them.
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Last 24 hours of the “Battle of Century” Sibu by-election – Tweets

#P212 #Sibu Battle of Century further effects – Swak Chief Minister announces 50% reduced rates 4renewal of urban land titles Victory 4Sibu
Friday, May 14, 2010 9:31 PM

#P212 #Sibu Dap/PR candidate HoLeng speaking 2biggest crowd @Rejang Park He spoke of DAP’s battle 4just deal 4renewal 4land titles since 06
Friday, May 14, 2010 9:37 PM

#P212 #Sibu is indeed Battle of Century PM Najib coming back 2Sibu again w more Angpaus tmw He will appear @Rejang Park Let Sibu do a Rasa!
Friday, May 14, 2010 10:08 PM

#P212 #Sibu Urged Sibuans 2vote Rocket 4fourth mission – 2save Msian democracy as denial of 2/3 BN majority in Parliament now in grave peril
Friday, May 14, 2010 10:21 PM
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Malaysian Swan Song in Sarawak By-Election

Written by Mariam Mokhtar   
Friday, 14 May 2010

?National ruling coalition appears to be coasting to a win on pork delivery

The Sibu by-election in Sarawak on 16 May is a test on several fronts. A win for the Barisan Nasional, which appears likely, would put the Barisan within striking range of taking back its two-thirds majority in the national parliament.

Beyond that is the old rivalry between two sworn enemies – the Sarawak United Political Party for the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition and the Democratic Action Party for the opposition Pakatan Rakyat banner. As with all of the by-elections that have occurred since the national elections of March 2008, it is being hard fought, even harder perhaps.
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