I call on the Sarawak voters to think “2021” in next five years for Sarawakians to change political course in the next state general elections and to vote in a new State Government which gives priority to the interests of the people and not just to cronies.
The 11th Sarawak State general election is one of the most challenging elections ever experienced by the Sarawak DAP since its formation 38 years ago in 1978.
In a way, its a “Do or Die” battle for the DAP.
The Sarawak Chief Minister, Tan Sri Adenan Satem, and the Sarawak Barisan Nasional election juggernaut are doing their utmost to destroy or reduce the DAP to a “mosquito” party with only half a dozen seats in the State Assembly with their four-pronged strategy of Adnan effect, Najib effect, the politics of money and the politics of fear/intimidation.
Adenan would want to see the worst-case scenario for DAP after the May 7 Sarawak state general elections, reduced to at most half-a-dozen seats in the Sarawak State Assembly.
DAP Sarawak is not cowed and is not prepared to play according to the Sarawak Barisan Nasiona’s rules of the game.
DAP Sarawak is working to achieve the best-case scenario in the 11th Sarawak state general elections, with DAP winning over 20 State Assembly seats with Chinese, Dayak and Malay Sarawak State Assemblymen and women.
This is why Sarawak DAP has decided on a two-pronged strategy to “defend” and to go onto the “offensive” in this state general election – to defend the 12 State Assembly seats won five years ago and to achieve a breakthrough in Dayak-dominated constituencies to send out the strong and powerful message that the people outside the urban areas are standing up with the people in Kuching, Sibu, Sarikei, Bintangor, Bintulu and Miri to demand political change and meaningful development.
Even more important, the 2016 Sarawak state general election is a “warming up” for the 2021 Sarawak State general election where Sarawakians can change political course by voting in a new State Government which gives priority to the interests of the ordinary people in the state and not just to cronies.
For some sixty years, Sarawak is a state of great contrasts – a very rich Sarawak but with very poor Sarawakians.
From 2021 onwards, there must a new political direction for the whole of Sarawak to ensure that Sarawak’s rich resources are used to eradicate poverty, backwardness and development neglect among Sarawakians and not used to build personal empires and fortunes of the cronies of the powers-that-be.
Najib’s Team – no more Adenan’s Team
In this election, the voters are told to give Adenan’s Team a chance to perform, but it is very clear righrt from the beginning, it is not Adenan’s Team but Najib’s Team.
Sarawak voters must be very confused that the Sarawak state general election is being turned by the Prime Minister into a mini national election with Najib campaigning even harder than Adenan.
Furthermore, Adenan and his team are now hard at work apologising for or explaining away Najib’s lapses and decisions which are inimical to the interests of Sarawak or the cause of Sarawak autonomy.
The latest example is Najib’s rejection of the Sarawak government’s claim for 20% oil royalty, declaring after the Cabinet meeting in Kuching on Wednesday that this was not the appropriate time to talk about the oil royalty as the oil price had collapsed.
I had described this as Najib’s “slap in the face” for Adenan, but Adenan said at a press conference last evening that I had misquoted Najib, as Najib did not dismiss the Sarawak government’s request but merely stated that now was not the right time to discuss the matter.
Adenan said he was sitting next to the Prime Minister at the time, and Najib said that if the oil price stabilised later on, “then we can start negotiating again”.
Adenan made the gratuitous remark that “we don’t expect Kit Siang to mention that”, when what Adenan’s claim about Najib’s clarification was never reported by the media.
May be only Adenan heard Najib’s clarification, but not the media.
In any event, Adenan should blame the media, both mainstream and online, if Najib had made such an explanation which was omitted by the media.
What is clear is that Adenan and leaders of Sarawak Barisan Nasional, like the caretaker Sarawak housing and tourism minister Abang Johari Openg are now busy trying to cover up Najib’s tracks and explain away the Prime Minister’s rejection, making them part of Najib’s Team rather than Adenan’s Team.
Sadness at the missing helicopter with five Barisan Nasional campaigners aboard
I wish to express sadness and concern at the tragic episode of the missing helicopter with five Barisan Nasional election campaigners aboard – including the Plantations Industries and Commodities Deputy Minister Noriah Kasnon, her husband Asmuni Abdul and the Kuala Kangsar BN MP Wan Muhammad Khairil Anuar Wan Ahmad. We pray for their safety.
(Media Conference Statement at the Bintulu Sarawak General Elections Operations Room on Friday, 6th May 2016 at 10 am)