Early Polls: Will the winds of change finally blow in Sarawak?

Malaysia Chronicle

Pakatan Rakyat leaders are raring to go in Sarawak, where there is red-hot speculation that snap state elections will be held in July.

“Today, there is a news report of another BN meeting this weekend. Last week, there was also a whole day meeting. This is a sure sign for an early election,” Bukit Assek assemblyman and newly-elected Sibu MP Wong Ho Leng told Malaysia Chronicle.

Ironically, it was Wong’s shock victory in Sibu last month that convinced many pundits to change their forecast of a July state-polls to early 2011.

Salvaging an eroding support base

The buzz on the grapevine was that long-serving but unpopular Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud had agreed with Prime Minister Najib Razak to hold the 10th Sarawak state elections at the same time as the 13th general election for the entire nation.

“It looks like there has been a change of plans. I believe Taib is worried the longer he delays the greater the erosion of support for him and his government,” PKR chief strategist Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.

“Both he and Najib may have decided to take the bull by the horns. They probably believe that this way, they can still retain control of the Sarawak state government even though with a much reduced majority. It also shows that Najib is not as confident about the timeline for 13th general election despite blowing his trumpet about his 72 percent approval rating.”

Najib, who was appointed prime minister in April 2009, must hold nationwide polls by March 2013. However, he is under pressure to do so much earlier as he has failed to push through any of his economic or social development programs for the country due mainly to his inability to curb internal politicking within his Umno party.

But will the winds of change blow in the Land of the Hornbills

There are 71 state seats in the Sarawak legislative assembly. At the moment, 63 of these are held by the BN and BN-friendly representatives. Pakatan holds a total of 7 seats – through DAP six and PKR one seat.

“To be frank, Pakatan has been playing it safe and we have based our strategy on a snap poll taking place towards the end of this year. We are confident and we are ready and I would say to Sarawakians – it is now or never. Let’s make the change together,” Tian said.

Nevertheless, it remains to be seen if Sarawakians will take to the Pakatan’s message of reforms. They did not do so in the 9th Sarawak state elections held in 2006 despite being ravaged by poverty after three decades of Taib’s political dominance.

Then in 2008, together with Sabah, they helped Najib’s BN coalition hold onto the federal government with a simple majority in Parliament. In Peninsular Malaysia, Pakatan had swept 81 parliamentary seats versus BN’s 84.

“Yes, we lost the federal government in 2008 because of Sabah and Sarawak. But sometimes the pangs for reforms are delayed. The thing is … better late than never,” PKR Youth Chief Shamsul Iskandar told Malaysia Chronicle.

“Sabahans and Sarawakians must be responsible for their future because as the saying goes – you deserve the government you vote in. No point complaining about NCR land rights, identity cards that never get processed and so forth but you don’t do anything about it.”


Sarawak BN To Meet For Early Election?
The Malaysian Insider

June 23, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — An unannounced Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) meeting this weekend has given rise to speculation that the state is possibly gearing up for an early election before its term ends in July, next year.

Several BN leaders, when contacted, confirmed that a meeting called by Chief Minister and state BN chairman Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud would take place this weekend.

But they remain tight-lipped on the agenda of the meeting.

“Yes, we have a meeting this weekend but sorry, it’s not for media coverage,” a state leader, who did not want to be identified, told Bernama.

Party insiders said the meeting was mainly to discuss preparations in the event of an early state election this year, after the Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB), the biggest state BN component, completes its five-day retreat session in Mulu on Friday.

PBB holds 34 state seats, followed by Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) with 11, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) nine and the Sarawak Progresive Democratic Party (SPDP) eight.

Only SUPP and PRS have lost the seats they contested to the Opposition, in the last state election in 2006, while PBB and SPDP won all.

SUPP was allocated 19, but lost eight seats to the opposition, particularly DAP, while PRS, which was allocated 10 state seats, lost the Ngemah seat to an independent.

The state has 71 constituencies.

According to the grapevine, of late, the state election might be held this year, despite the BN’s recent setback in the Sibu parliamentary by-election where its SUPP candidate failed to defend the seat which was won by DAP.

Such talk became intense after Taib last week openly said that he had decided the next state election would be held on “a Saturday”. “I have decided that the state election will be held on a Saturday,” he

said, without providing any other hint when asked by a reporter during a function at his office.

However, Taib dismissed speculation that the state election will be held in October, following suggestions from Fengshui experts who believed that 10/10/10 (Oct 10, 2010), a Sunday, was an auspicious day for the election.

  1. #1 by KeenWatcher_01 on Wednesday, 23 June 2010 - 7:38 pm

    Start meeting the people now and not until the election date is annouced. Face to face with the voters will be more effective. This statement goes to the same PKR representatives.

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 23 June 2010 - 8:46 pm

    “Vote PR to Prosper Rakyat or BN to Bankrupt Nation” will be a good theme for the election.

  3. #3 by HJ Angus on Wednesday, 23 June 2010 - 9:11 pm

    “Vote PR to Prosper Rakyat or BN to Bankrupt Nation” will be a good theme for the election.

    That’s a good slogan for the Sarawak elections and also the coming GE.
    I have been referring to the government as Bankrupsi Negara government.
    For Sarawak, the disclosure of the property empire in Canada makes a good opportunity to put 2 photos side by side and pose the question.

    “Did You SACRIFICE This so Your LEADERS can enjoy THIS?
    You can see a sample of what I am saying on my blog.

  4. #4 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 23 June 2010 - 9:22 pm

    Sarawakians do well to vote BN out if they do not want radiation from nuclear reactors to damage their health. Despite having poor safety record in building management, the government is firm in its stand to set up nuclear plants for the generation of electricity.

  5. #5 by limkamput on Wednesday, 23 June 2010 - 9:41 pm

    Chinese are pork eaters and gamblers, these are the Chinese rights so said the father of racism of Malaysia.

    Chinese are suckers – yes go on gambling and destroying your family and pay more haram taxes for the government to spend. Stupid Chinese. Oh yes, Chinese should also drink more liquor. Destory your liver and pay more alcohol related taxes. Stupid Chinese.

  6. #6 by HJ Angus on Wednesday, 23 June 2010 - 10:59 pm

    I don’t think the nuclear plants will be located in Sarawak – already they cannot run the submarine cable to West Malaysia. But the talk is that the nuclear plant will be proposed for Johor or Pahang – so those states should vote PR if they don’t want a nuclear holocaust.

  7. #7 by monsterball on Thursday, 24 June 2010 - 12:00 am

    No harm to be pork eaters. Billions do eat pork.
    Other than that….I agree.
    Chinese is China are making millions and gambled away millions….mostly in football bets now and in Macau…visiting Casinos ..day in day out.
    They say give a Chinese two stones..and they can create a gambling game with that.

  8. #8 by limkamput on Thursday, 24 June 2010 - 1:33 am

    Stupid Chinese, you think the government and the father of racism of Malaysia are doing you fellows favour by allowing and encouraging you fellows to gamble and to drink. You bloody suckers, you not only destroy your life and your families but also paying more taxes for them to squander away. Why cry over unfairness of scholarship allocation etc, when you suckers are so eager to gamble and to bet. Bl**dy MCA, you better watch what you are saying and supporting, you stupid asses. Have you not learned how the British corrupted the whole generation of Chinese with opium before the Ching dynasty collapsed. How can Chinese be stupid is beyond me. Stupid stupid stupid.

  9. #9 by monsterball on Thursday, 24 June 2010 - 3:28 am

    Fortunately…Malaysians of Chinese origin are not that stupid.
    They are know as smart voters too…and miracle workers in Sibu.
    But those who support MCA are selfish irresponsible …lured to be racists.
    More ad more are awakened..to do what are good for the country and people.
    More than 50 years playing agree to disagree with no sight of a good alternative parties for changes.until 12th GE…there are still these powerful propaganda work of devilish mind control ….still working to some Malaysian Chinese because of their selfishness have taken over their minds.
    Once they become selfless..then they will wake up more and more.
    The French government is helping to wake Malaysians up…as they are dragged into the corrupted submarines deal masterminded by Najib.
    More truths are on it’s ways to free Malaysia Chinese away from MCA….although the number is not that for MCA to brag about.

  10. #10 by waterfrontcoolie on Thursday, 24 June 2010 - 7:51 am

    When you have lost hope in the system, you seek salvation from any possible mean, that is the kind of future the Gomen has created from those who have to work their guts out to survive. And lottery appears to hope that hope when normal work does seem adequate. If you assess all the grand projects under taken since we started piratization programme, they were aimed towards enslaving the average working class. Hence I think many Malaysians have lent a helping hand to the Father of this scheme when he was kept going for 22 years. he kept the KLSE flowing, many thought then he was great. Now that some of the truth has become clearer, we have our say when iy is a bit too late. The Chinese may appear selfish to an extent, but they will hope to their stand once they have made up their mind. And indeed, this differentiates them from the other Communities, especially in runing their businesses. we have all being asked the same question many times before: as to why the SMIs are dominated by one community. SMIs have to begin based SOLELY on sweat and self-belief and even if Gomen were to pour millions to those who lack the two ingradients, the scheme will never succeed. The biggest problem facing the community is from those whose family has given them an above average asset from which he uses it at the Stock market to speculate; hence their love-hate relationship with TDM. And many of them are with the CDs of MCA; so they treat the party just like the stock exchange.

  11. #11 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 24 June 2010 - 9:03 am

    Najib already know PR is going to gain grounds. Its a ploy to get rid of Taib ahead of GE. The issue really is can PR take advantage of the fact that there will be sabotage during the elections and BNers fight for positions post-Taib to really make a huge impact?

  12. #12 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 24 June 2010 - 10:02 am

    If it is a ploy to get rid of Taib, the MSM will start carrying stories of his Canadian empire and after a few days or weeks, he will retire for “health reasons”.
    Better to get out now when you can with all that wealth stashed away – should be adequate for a very comfortable retirement.

  13. #13 by k1980 on Thursday, 24 June 2010 - 11:00 am

    Sarawak’s Taib is more intelligent than Selangor’s Mat Taip, who was caught in Australia with a suitcase of cash. He escaped by claiming he “no speako no Inggeriso”

  14. #14 by habis on Thursday, 24 June 2010 - 12:44 pm

    Sarawak BN seems to be getting ready for a snap state election so that Sarawakans wont be able to have enough time to find out the rots by Ang Mo misdeeds nepotism during the past 2 decades of mismanagement and silence acceptance of poor infrastructure developement neglect by the Central Govt.Ang Mo’s family and his gang of cohorts tentacles are all over the business financial circles be it timber concessions etc etc. Now our big shit brother is getting worried that that if Sarawak goes than that will be the funeral call for the BN demise for ppl in West Malasyia are now awakened and we hope our fellow Makaysians in East Malaysia will join hands with us to get rid of the bangkrupsi BN govt before they can do any further damage to our beloved country.Please do not be fooled by all the promises and grand plans of the BN for ultimately it comes to nought and all $$$ siphoned off by the assosiates and cheats in the component parties.The wealth in this country belongs to all of us and should be use wisely for the benefits of our children and grandchildren and to help those who are needy irrespective of their racial origin for all of us are Malayian First and nothing else.

  15. #15 by Godfather on Thursday, 24 June 2010 - 1:24 pm

    Yes, after speaking to Sarawakians, I am convinced that the winds of change are coming to the state. They have had enough of the plundering by Pek Moh. They realise now that Pek Moh controls all the state construction contracts, and has a direct and indirect hand in all the state timber concessions. All the peninsular construction companies know that they can’t win a deal in Sarawak through bidding on their own – they can only win something in “cooperation” with Cahaya Mata.

    Yes, Pek Moh has been thick-skinned for the past 30 years, but now the rakyat realises that the leakage has been too great for the state to bear. We will send Pek Moh and his co-conspirators (like Georgie boy) to political oblivion.

  16. #16 by victimofcorruption on Thursday, 24 June 2010 - 1:41 pm

    It will blow. But not strong enough to blow away the thick forest built by BN around the true BUMIPUTRAs of Malaysia in Sarawak.

  17. #17 by Voter get Voters campaign for PR on Thursday, 24 June 2010 - 5:29 pm

    I just dun bloody understand why all the readers and commentators are so upset and burning with hatred for BN……Is there anything you can do about it?..None huh?.
    So just relax lah…..work hard and harder to get more new voters for PR via your own ” Voter get Voters” campaign for PR.
    Then comes GE 13 we can bloody Fcuk BN good & proper. Smart me huh?

  18. #18 by negarawan on Thursday, 24 June 2010 - 11:31 pm




    The story of the natives of Bakun pretty much summarizes what the BN government has been doing in Malaysia for the last 50 years – shortchanging the rakyat to line their own pockets. I am really saddened by how the children suffer, no schooling, no proper nutrition, living in poverty, because their families were cheated and sidelined by the BN government in the name of Bakun Dam.

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