Sarawak BN may fall like Berlin Wall, says British anti-Taib crusader

By Shannon Teoh
The Malaysian Insider
February 26, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — Barisan Nasional (BN) has held on to power in Sarawak through intimidation, but could still fall just like the Iron Curtain and Berlin Wall, said the sister-in-law of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown who has turned into an internet and radio crusader against Tan Sri Taib Mahmud’s administration.

Clare Rewcastle Brown, who operates radio station Radio Free Sarawak and blog Sarawak Report from Covent Garden in London, told The Malaysian Insider that “every person I have spoken to is scared of the fact that the BN government will know how they vote.”

But she said that even though voters “face naked threats that BN will withdraw vital services from longhouses that vote against them,” the tide of opinion can subtly change and “wash away the foundations of power without anybody quite realising.”

“The collapse of the Iron Curtain and Berlin Wall took the world by surprise and almost happened overnight,” she said, recalling her experience as a reporter with Sky TV when the wall fell in 1989.

“I remember the shock of it all, as the grip of communist power had seemed so immovable for so long,” said the 51-year-old investigative journalist who began her career with the BBC World Service in 1983.

The Berlin Wall was the physical manifestation of the Iron Curtain, a symbolic partition between the communist and democratic halves of Europe until it fell in 1989, marking the end of the Cold War era and then erosion of communism globally.

Rewcastle-Brown made the comparison between the Iron Curtain and Sarawak in an interview with The Malaysian Insider today.

In the interview, she said that Radio Free Sarawak, which broadcasts to the state over short wave, a long range band of frequencies, has fed what “seems to be such a hunger for news in the jungles of Sarawak … that they seem to be back tuning in to these old fashioned radios.”

The two media that she publicly took responsibility for on Wednesday, have repeatedly accused Abdul Taib and his administration of corruption and illegitimate political practices.

However, these allegations have also been made by others before and have not prevented the 74-year-old chief minister from holding power for 30 years.

Rewcastle Brown, who was born and raised in Sarawak until the age of eight, added that the opposition parties in the state have also realised that they need to unite and “are now putting normal political bickering and personal ambitions aside.”

Although Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties had ensured straight fights across the peninsular in the 2008 general election, Sarawak saw 15 state seats that were contested by more than two candidates in the 2006 state polls.

However, with state polls expected in April and the assembly’s mandate expiring in July, DAP, PKR, PAS and also the Sarawak Nasional Party (SNAP) have begun negotiations over seat allocations in a bid to ensure one-on-one battles with BN.

  1. #1 by Godfather on Saturday, 26 February 2011 - 9:41 pm

    Radio is perhaps the best and most effective medium we can use to disseminate the truth about Pek Moh and his merry bunch of thieves. I have been to the interior of Sarawak, and mobile penetration is very low. Whatever mobile networks we have don’t have GPRS, and therefore no internet connectivity, so the people in the longhouses rely almost exclusively on news transmitted via radio.

    Keep it up. The anger amongst the population can be felt wherever I went, and this is a good sign for change.

  2. #2 by tak tahan on Saturday, 26 February 2011 - 10:06 pm

    Thank you for your concern about you born country,Mrs Rewcastle Brown.I’m actually fascinated by you..oops your courage and tenacity to expose the ugly ill-doer’s doing and appearance.He is the most corrupted longest serving minister in bolehland,your born land.Keep this up and we will be behind you all the way.

  3. #3 by haneasme on Saturday, 26 February 2011 - 10:38 pm

    Dear Clare,

    Thanks for your wonderful idea of your, and not forgetting the writer who posted it on the blog. Now whose talking, A Briton, dear lady your county men had rape and plunder Malaya, North Borneo and treat us Asian like your coolies for hundreds of years and now……….. You want to teach us democracy hahaha what a joke.

    You should insist and lobby your parliament to bring your prime minister who is cheating the whole Great Britain and also the world about the invasion on Iraq to justice. Let justice take it course.

    Your country just invading Iraq because of oil and the same reason GB went to war with Argentina……. also of oil.

    Go fly kite.

  4. #4 by Loh on Saturday, 26 February 2011 - 10:42 pm

    Sarawak government did actually what the federal government has been doing. That is why some 889 billion ringgit has been sent out illegally and yet Malaysians continue to return BN to power. Sarawak allows the federal government to do what it pleases with Sarawak’s oil resources and KL allows Taib a free hand in the state. Taib has at least done Sarawakian the favour of not inviting UMNO into the state. Sabahans are outnumbered by Muslims who came into the state through project M.

    Enough is enough for Taib, and he should step down soon to deny BN the fixed deposit in parliamentary votes. Until the Federal government is changed, nothing much would happen to ending corruption. The late Teoh Beng Hock was a witness to a charge of misappropriation involving 2,400 ringgit over the purchase of flags. MACC found it fit to assign six officers to interrogate TBH. By the same earnest desire to weed out corruption wherever it occurs, MACC should have assigned 400,000 officers to interrogate LLS, the former Transport Minister, or Mamakthir the Finance Minister at the time PKFZ land purchase took place. It seems PKFZ scandal stays only as scandal. That proves that MACC places all its resources to help the political party in power. Until the corrupted political parties are out of power, there is no action against corrupted cases perpetrated by those in BN.

  5. #5 by Thor on Saturday, 26 February 2011 - 11:21 pm

    Yes! Sarawak BN will sure gonna be finish this time.
    Only those BN suckers does’nt wanna believe for they think that their boss can perform miracles with all those ill-gotten wealth.
    Whatever tricks they do this time will backfire then.
    When Sarawak fall, our UmnoBN here will be the next in waiting.

  6. #6 by boh-liao on Saturday, 26 February 2011 - 11:55 pm

    R we seeing d beginning of d end of BN in Sarawak? Time 4 TRUE GRIT n 2 vote IN PR

  7. #7 by raven77 on Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 12:13 am

    Taib falls….BN and Najib and Rosmak are goners……..

    Is the Brooke’s ghost back to save Sarawak AND Malaysia…

    Radio Free Sarawak could yet free the whole of Malaysia…..

    Perhaps Malaysiakini, Malaysian Insider, Malaysia Today and even LKS should consider radio as a means to get to rural voters….

  8. #8 by tak tahan on Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 1:01 am

    We bloggers too,need to consider that we formed the part of the nation to help and enlighten our fella citizens if there are chances rationalised by our known ways.That way nevertheless,can make some huge differences.Do your part dutifully to encourage your good will and deed to others..I’m doing whatever i can and i will do the same for what i think is justifiable.There is a unique way of younger individuals to make the phenomenal revolution.

  9. #9 by boh-liao on Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 2:10 am

    2 fell d deep rooted corrupt UmnoB/BN tree, voters must remove d roots, start with Sarawak, 1 of d fixed deposits fr East M’sia – let’s b lumberjacks n yell out “TIM-BER!”

  10. #10 by monsterball on Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 10:13 am

    Throughout history…Dictators and band of robbers and dressed like politicians that project the image they care for the people…but are in fact .. rouges and thieves…to enriched themselves and relatives fell like tons of bricks…through People Power all over the world.
    All crooks are exposed and spat on for their evil deeds.
    Malaysians need to suffer more to wake up.
    Our natural wealth is a curse..more than blessings…as we are lead to be racists for 55 years..where vast majority Malaysian’s minds are poisoned and captured…or maybe we are simply too selfish to be so blind?
    Lets see how 13th GE going to be.

  11. #11 by monsterball on Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 11:15 am

    Clara Redcastle-Brown…have all Malaysians …including me…who are fighting against corruptions…and a racists government..thanking her for her marvelous support.
    She is fighting a Sarawak Dictator.. with no fear and that should inspire voters to vote with their conscience.
    If voters do that…there is no way BN can win.

  12. #12 by Godfather on Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 12:02 pm

    Haneasme said that a Briton should not interfere with Bolehland because Britain had in the past plundered and pillaged this country.

    This is the typical UMNO excuse – since Britain plundered Bolehland for 100 years before independence, no Briton should say anything about the plunder post independence. “You raped us, so we have the right to rape others” is the motto of UMNO.

    These shameless goons must be kicked out of the political landscape and made the Opposition for the next government. Then we shall see what they harp on regarding rape and pillage.

    Go fly kite, haneasme.

  13. #13 by Dipoh Bous on Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 3:20 pm

    I hate to admit it but Sarawak BN will still stay in power after the coming state election though most of their candidates will win with a reduced majority.

    The way I see it, only the urban electorates are seeing the need for change while the majority of the ‘jungle dwellers’ (quoted from some one’s post in this blog) are yet to be exposed to that.

    I’d be very happy to be proven wrong….

  14. #14 by tak tahan on Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 4:06 pm

    Dipoh Bous,if so,they have to dig a hole and live underground after all their NCR lands are taken away.What’s the point to talk and loathe about after all the encouragement and help has been pouring in to the remote Sarawak but if they still choose to be raped by insatiable sodomist.I hope they don’t take this form of act as the continuous trend otherwise no one is to be blamed except they themselves.They should have felt the pain and suffering for decades ,so stand up for their right is the only honour thing of the least they can do.

  15. #15 by waterfrontcoolie on Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 6:52 pm

    #3, we are all against colonization and wanton ‘RAPES’ of the national resources. Are you implying that such actions done in the name of Merdeka is OK??? You are just one of the lot who prefer to turn a blind eye to rthings right in fornt of you. By the way, we all sympathize with the POOR Arabs but not those who will shout nationalism but quietly keep all the stolen national cash in Europe and the USA.We agree they also play wayang kulit like the type you blindly support locally.

  16. #16 by boh-liao on Monday, 28 February 2011 - 12:08 am

    Well, it’s all up 2 Sarawakians, many of them, exploited, struggling 2 survive
    “Poverty often deprives a man of all spirit and virtue; it is hard for an empty bag to stand upright” Benjamin Franklin
    “The mother of revolution and crime is poverty” Aristotle

  17. #17 by dagen on Monday, 28 February 2011 - 9:52 am

    Dear Clare,

    Just wondering. Have you heard of such a thing called seefour-jenis-umno? The thing that turns other things nearby into smaller bits. No. No. Dont worry. Fusion energy will not be released by that process. In other words, the sum of the tiny bits will still always add up to the original thing. Provided all the tiny bits can be located. It is hard. But certainly do-able. It will be like fixing jigsaw pieces together. Takes time, you know.

    So dont let one of these seefour-jenis-umno come near you alright.


  18. #18 by cemerlang on Tuesday, 1 March 2011 - 6:43 am

    Do you know how many different languages does RTM broadcast through radio ? RTM is easily heard. Alternative radio is not easy to find.

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