Scenario 1: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor put up a stellar performance at a charity dinner that helped to raise RM2.3 million for a Chinese primary school in Segambut, Kuala Lumpur on Aug 6. Rosmah not only serenaded the audience with a popular Mandarin song (which alone netted RM200,000), her group of ministers’ wives rendered four songs, each in a different language — Mandarin, English, Malay and Tamil — to give full expression to her husband’s “1 Malaysia” motto. She heaped praise on the Chinese community for their unfailing generosity to support Chinese education and urged other communities to follow suit in the spirit of “1 Malaysia”.
Scenario 2: Almost at the same, mass-circulated Malay paper Utusan Malaysia, which is Umno’s mouthpiece, spat racial fire through an incendiary article. Writing under the title “Melayu jangan jadi bacul” (Malays, don’t be cowards) on Aug 4, journalist Noor Azam accused the Chinese and Indians of wanting to “destroy Malay political power held by Umno since independence” with the help of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and PAS. This supposed power grab was pursued with Chinese-dominated DAP manipulating the Malay leaders in Pakatan Rakyat. The writer further claimed that “the attacks and the hatred shown by the opposition and Chinese and Indian political activists towards the Malays have worsened”. To goad the Malays into action, he even went to the extent of calling them “cowards”, saying “the Malay race has become stupid cowards, and people who are cowards will die before even their deaths”.
Such bare-faced incitement of racial hatred and racial clash should have landed the writer in the lock-up and the newspaper’s licence revoked under Malaysia’s repressive laws, particularly if they are on the other side of the political divide, but Noor Azam and Utusan Malaysia not only escaped untouched, but had the honour of being defended by none other than Umno’s deputy president and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who ridiculously and inexplicably blamed the opposition for causing such a heightening of racial temperature. That Noor’s racist blast bears the stamp of Umno’s policy is unmistakable.
Where as Taib Mahmud Politic Of Development the scenario can be summarized as follows :-
During his twenty−eight years tenure as Sarawak's chief minister, there is no doubt Taib Mahmud has used his power, directly or indirectly, to enrich his family's and extended family's fortune. The list of projects, concessions, permits etc, handed over on silver platters to his family−controlled publicly listed Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMSB) runs longer than a new, unused toilet roll.
CMSB uncannily reads 'Chief Minister and Sons' Business', but whether this is by design or an inadvertent acronym has been a source of much speculation in coffee−shop talk. This privileged conglomerate itself holds a mind−boggling array of subsidiaries that span the length and breath and every nook and corner of Sarawak, besides many other less obvious investments in Peninsular Malaysia and even overseas.
His gargantuan appetite for anything and everything that makes money is legendary − you name it, he's in it: property, banking, timber, shipping, construction, industrial, international schools, plantations, hotels, convention centre, retail, manufacturing, IT, even trash collection. If they don't own it outright, they do it stealthily by proxies or cronies or through a maze of labyrinthian holdings and nominee companies.
Taib holds absolute power in Sarawak over every aspect of development, planning, approval, implementing and running of private or public works. A wave of his hand is enough to send bureaucrats scurrying to attend to his behest, be it the approval of alienation of state land to private corporations or getting the nod for a high−rise building, or giving state land to illegal squatters (usually prior to state elections) and many more.
And to his underlings, he does apportions a section of the cake to keep them drooling for more. It will take the will of a saint not to succumb to such a windfall, which can often means an unlimited flow of paychecks in the hundreds of thousands, even millions for the rest of their lives. Thus, in the court of this 'White Hair Raja', we see a phalanx of lap dogs Big timber corporations, developers, manufacturers etc, pander to his every whim and fancy (like newspapers congratulatory ads on his birthday, anniversary, for example), as timber concessions, licence, permits and so on need to be renewed every years. Errant tycoons ignore this idiosyncrasies at their own peril.
Taib's penchant for donning the Western−style beret and Ray−Ban shaped eye wear on occasion of his rare field visits bespeak of his vanity, while his embrace of hedonism is evident from his palatial home unabashedly adorned with stately furniture and ornate fittings.
Of late, he has been grooming his son Sulaiman to take over the throne, thus ensuring the continuation of the Taib dynasty. A brother, Ali Mahmud, is also a member of Parliament, so is a cousin, daughter of his estranged uncle Tun Rahman Yakub, but now reconciled. Taib Mahmud is of Melanau stock (a minority ethnic race in Sarawak), and has planted a lot of his own clansmen in key positions in government and statutory bodies. Even the present governor Tun Salahuddin, a Catholic converted to Muslim for the purpose of assuming the governorship, is a Melanau, much to the chagrin of the local Malays who are much more superior in numbers.
Taib Mahmud has made a mockery of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's pledge to weed out corruption, but that the latter had tolerate the former is understandable as Taib had always made good his side of the bargain in delivering all but one or two of the parliamentary seats in almost all the general elections he has fought.
The above all the more important in view of the last general election in March 2008, where Abdullah would have theoretically lost the election if not for the clean sweep of all but one of the 31 seats in Sarawak. However, it is easy for Taib as his war chest of millions from his booty and contributions from all the sycophantic cronies makes 'money politics' the 'business as usual' all but a game to play come election time.
That this self−crowned 'Sultan of Sarawak' has earned the spite of Sarawak's general populace is putting it in a mild way. Thus, Abdullah has let Taib Mahmud off the hook, in spite of the latter's continued blatant plunder of the state's resources. Who says there is no honour among robbers? Taib remains the sacred cow, untouchable, untamed and un−topple−able as money politics will almost certainly rear its ugly head again comes the next state election in 2011.
This wily old fox will definitely have something up his sleeve even when the chips are down. In the meantime, still hiding behind the smokescreen of his laughably shallow 'philosophy' of 'Politics of Development', he continues to plunder, unhindered. Nevertheless, the pilots of his private jet are on the standby 24/7, just in case he needs to go 'travelling' in a big hurry.
And above all, the dayaks are remained marganinalised of everythings under the sky....
"Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban"