Sarawak has 31 parliament seats and Sabah another 25. That makes 56 parliament seats in all. 56 out of a total of 222 means Sarawak and Sabah control about 25% of the seats in parliament. So, whomsoever wants to form the federal government must win Sarawak and Sabah. If not, then dream on.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
West Malaysians think they are very clever, much cleverer than the 'natives' of East Malaysia. Some even think that East Malaysians are head-hunters and cannibals who walk around naked save for a leaf around their waist to hide their family jewels. So East Malaysians are not clever enough to make their own decisions. Kuala Lumpur has to decide what is best for Sarawak and Sabah. And Kuala Lumpur will decide who should lead the opposition in Sarawak and Sabah and who should be the candidates in the elections.
I suppose this not only demonstrates ignorance but arrogance as well. Or should we say ignorant arrogance (bodoh sombong, as the Malays would say)? Why can’t those people who sit in their high towers in Kuala Lumpur understand one thing? East Malaysians want to decide their own destiny and they know what is good for them better than any West Malaysian who flies into Sarawak or Sabah once or twice a year.
Sarawakians and Sabahans are fed up with the domination by Kuala Lumpur. They view Umno and Barisan Nasional as parti penjajah (colonialist parties). Sarawak and Sabah agreed to team up with the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia in 1963 because they wanted independence from Britain. It was not to replace one colonial master, 10,000 miles away, with 10,000 colonial masters, one mile away.
Now, even the opposition, who want to replace Barisan Nasional as the government in East Malaysia, are acting like parti penjajah. Why should the East Malaysians choose the opposition over Barisan Nasional if all they would be doing is to replace one colonialist party for another colonialist party?
The East Malaysians know whom they want as their leaders and candidates. They do not want Kuala Lumpur deciding on their behalf their leaders and candidates. They know whom they should choose. After all, most times, Kuala Lumpur has demonstrated that they choose the wrong person anyway and it always ends up with disastrous results.
The chasm between East Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur is getting wider. However, instead of exploring ways to build a bridge, Kuala Lumpur is 'declaring war' on Sarawak and Sabah. And the opposition is going to end up losing East Malaysia because of this stupidity.
For example, Sabah is throwing a Hari Raya bash and Dr Jeffrey Kitingan has invited Zaid Ibrahim as their guest. Zaid has agreed to attend but there are those in PKR who do not want him to go. They want him to boycott the event to send a message to PKR Sabah that Kuala Lumpur is not supportive of Jeffrey.
If the PKR leadership thinks that Jeffrey should go then tell him so. Then let him go back to Barisan Nasional if this is what PKR wants. But to boycott his Hari Raya party and to order Zaid to not attend the event is not only childish but damaging the opposition cause as well.
It is time this nonsense stops. We just can’t treat the East Malaysians like we are their colonial masters. The East Malaysians will never take this crap from Kuala Lumpur. The piece below, which was published in Malaysia Today on 12 October 2009, says it all. To West Malaysians, however, this is an East Malaysian matter and, therefore, of no interest to us in West Malaysia.
But it does matter. It does matter because Sarawak has 31 parliament seats and Sabah another 25. That makes 56 parliament seats in all. 56 out of a total of 222 means Sarawak and Sabah control about 25% of the seats in parliament. So, whomsoever wants to form the federal government must win Sarawak and Sabah. If not, then dream on.
PKR is screwing up Sarawak and Sabah big-time. The article by Paul Sir, originally published in The Borneo Post and reproduced in Malaysian Mirror, explains only part of the problem and there are some things missing from this piece.
Why in heaven’s name did Anwar Ibrahim select Gabriel Adit as his ‘horse’ in Sarawak? This is one slime-ball who does more harm than good. And now he wants to go and form Pakatan Rakyat Sarawak.
Does the name ring a bell? Pakatan Rakyat. This would mean once the Registrar of Societies approves the registration of Pakatan Rakyat Sarawak, then that name can no longer be used. And this would mean Pakatan Rakyat or PR will have to go look for a new name.
Gabriel Adit is hijacking the Pakatan Rakyat name so that the opposition coalition will not be able to use that name any longer, at least not as a registered coalition. And this is the man Anwar trusted so much.
Gabriel Adit is in fact in deep financial trouble. He is in serious debt and one of the banks he owes money to is none other than CIMB, the bank that is run by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s brother. Najib has agreed to help Gabriel Adit solve his financial problems that runs into millions if he agrees to sabotage the opposition in Sarawak.
And this is exactly what he is doing.
From the word go Gabriel Adit was the wrong ‘horse’ for Sarawak. Other than his financial problems he is also a known Tiong King Sing crony, the Member of Parliament for Bintulu who is at the centre of the PKFZ scandal. Remember the plane rides and RM10 million cash he gave the MCA president, recently deposed? Yes, this is that same man.
The other person Gabriel Adit is associated with is Sng Chee Hua. This was the man behind Ummi Hafilda Ali, Azmin Ali’s sister, who was the crucial person in Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial in 1998-1999. You can say that Sng and Umi are both behind Anwar’s downfall and his subsequent six years and seven months stay in prison.
Why in heaven’s name would Anwar trust these types of people? Just because they have prostrated on the ground and begged forgiveness does not mean these leopards have changed their spots. I would call them Trojan Horses. And would not someone who is having an affair with someone’s wife be a gross liability if the public were to find out? Yes, and don’t tell me that Anwar had not heard of the affair that Gabriel Adit is having with Datin Pengiran Juliana?
Anwar and PKR are making too many mistakes in East Malaysia. It is time they stopped messing up Sarawak and Sabah before the East Malaysians kicked out PKR for good. I think this boycott of Jeffrey’s Hari Raya bash is the last straw. They do this and even I will persuade Jeffrey to leave PKR and go set up his own party. And if they twist Zaid’s arm and force him to boycott Jeffrey’s event then maybe Zaid should also reconsider his position in PKR.
I have just about had it with these childish and amateurish antics of the PKR people who are messing up everything. Don’t try to push Sarawak and Sabah around. They will not take this kind of treatment. And the more you act like colonialists the more they are going to resist you. And without Sarawak and Sabah and the 56 parliament seats they control you can forget about forming the next federal government.
Has PKR lost the plot in East Malaysia?
Late last year, in a move seen by many as boosting PKR’s prospects in the forthcoming state elections in Sarawak, Ngemah independent state assemblyperson Gabriel Adit, apparently with thousands of his supporters in tow, joined PKR.
A Malaysiakini report dated 13th November, 2008 quoted Adit as saying that “once he is officially in PKR, he will help his colleagues at state and national levels to build up the party’s grassroots where it counts most ahead of the state elections”.
At the PKR Congress on 29th November, last year, Adit was showcased as a key asset to the party making a siginificant headway in Sarawak at the next state elections.
In June, this year, the PKR Sarawak leadership underwent a revamp. A Malaysiakini report dated 3rd June, 2009 has it that this exercise was with a view to “strengthen the party in view of the upcoming state elections”
Mustaffa Kamil Ayub, who hails from Perak, Semenanjung, and who was appointed the new chief of PKR Sarawak in the state leadership revamp, acknowledged that “the initiatives taken by certain Dayak leaders to join PKR had opened the minds and eyes of their supporters so much so that they too have now joined the party”, that the “number of Dayaks in the party has increased significantly” and that “It is important, therefore, we give an emphasis to the participation of the Dayaks in the party”.
Adit was appointed a member of the state leadership council.
Last week, Malaysiakini reported that a new party called Pakatan Rakyat Malaysia would be launched in Sarawak in the next few days and that this new party would be helmed by Adit. In another report of the same date, Malaysiakini reported that when asked if he was behind this new party, Adit denied this and said “As of today, I am still a PKR member. But who knows (about) tomorrow?”.
Is PKR about to lose one who Anwar had categorised as a strong ally in Sarawak?
About the same time that the Sarawak PKR leadership was being revamped, the PKR leadership in Sabah underwent the same.
Azmin Ali, MP for Gombak, took over leadership of PKR Sabah from Anwar.
There was obviously some unhappiness with Azmin’s appointment, given his remarks just after his appointment and before he made his first trip to Sabah in this new capacity, reported in Malaysiakini, that “In Sabah PKR for example, we do have our differences as in any party, but they are not serious enough to cause a party split or prevent us from working together or with the other opposition parties”. Azmin then alluded to the appointment by Najib of Shafie Apdal, a Sabahan, as Kedah Umno and BN chief and then asked, “Does this mean that they don’t trust a Kedahan or someone from the peninsular?” and answered that question himself with “At the end of the day, when it comes to the general election, all PKR candidates in Sabah will be from the state itself. That’s what really counts”.
Last week, Malaysiakini reported that, on the night of 7th October, 16 out of a total number of 25 Sabah PKR division heads met, concurred that they had no confidence in Azmin’s leadership and communicated this to the party top leadership in KL.
More telling, that report has it that the 16 want Azmin removed from this post with immediate effect and have made it clear that “no one from outside Sabah should be appointed to head the PKR chapter in the state ever again”.
The PKR man who spoke to the Malaysiakini reporter had apparently said : “We don’t want these very imperial ketuanan Melayu (Malay political supremacy) types in Sabah. He’s ex-Umno and has not changed one bit since joining PKR”.
The 16 division chiefs have recommended to PKR HQ that Keningau division chief Jeffrey Kitingan be appointed as the new Sabah chief to replace Azmin.
I called my source in Kota Kinabalu last Thursday to find out what was going on.
That source put me in touch with two PKR Sabah individuals who are very much in the know.
One a Muslim, the other a Catholic. Both locals.
Both were initially reluctant to divulge anything, their concern being that I might disclose their identity or that I might not report anything adverse they might say of PKR or Anwar.
As to whether they could hold me to my word that I would not disclose their names under any circumstances whatsoever, I asked them to check back with the source that had hooked me up with them.
As to their other concern, I assured them that any statements of fact adverse of PKR or Anwar, substantiated with evidence, and in the interest of the rakyat that the same be made public, would be reported. Statements of opinion, if fair, and not amounting to a personal attack, would be treated similarly.
I assured them that I was neither a PKR or Anwar supporter. I was for the rakyat.
They checked with my source and came back to me on Friday with a lot to say.
I’ll share that with you in the next post.
Appointing ‘outsiders’: Wrong move by PKR
Paul Sir, Malaysian Mirror
For the sake of giving an honest view of this subject, allow me as a Sarawakian to call a spade a spade.
While I can readily call myself a Malaysian, at times not with much pride (for obvious reasons), I will also consider those from Peninsular Malaysia ‘outsiders’. By that, I mean they are not Sarawakians but “Orang Malaya”.
I’m sorry but I have to say this. Because of the ways so many events have been played out in our nation, I have yet to fully grasp the 1Malaysia Concept espoused by our prime minister. To me, Najib Abdul Razak’s slogan is also nothing new. We have been talking about one Malaysia since Independence.
The term ‘outsider’ can be considered quite ‘undiplomatic’. It connotes an unwanted presence – as ‘outsiders’ mean those not from within but, as its name implies, outside.
However, I have no qualms about using the word when discussing politics. It’s all part of straight talking as politics is also about the art of courageously using the ‘wrong’ word (deliberately even) at the correct time when situations warrant it.
Let me try to give a clearer explanation by reviewing the situation of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in Sarawak and Sabah today.
In March this year, PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim took over as state PKR chairman in Sarawak and Sabah. To party members in the two East Malaysian states, Anwar is considered an ‘outsider’. He is not a resident from either state.
Anwar an 'acceptable' outsider
Well, the PKR boss may have valid reasons for doing so. Previous chairmen of the party’s state liaison committees in the two states might not have lived up to his expectation. So in a move to revamp and improve the set-up of his party in Sabah and Sarawak, Anwar took over as its chair.
So far, there were no complaints from party leaders and members in the two states. If there were any, it did not enter the public domain. So we can assume all was okay.
Anwar also has the clout and stature even though he is an outsider. We can conclude that he was an acceptable outsider to PKR members in Sabah and Sarawak.
Two months later, however, Anwar gave up the posts citing heavy commitments at home and abroad. He just could not give much of his time nor attention to party affairs in Sarawak and Sabah.
He appointed two persons to replace him. Party vice-president Mustaffa Kamil Ayub took over the Sarawak chair while another veep, Azmin Ali, the Sabah side.
And I believe this is when problems started to arise within PKR in the two East Malaysian states. And this is where the term ‘outsiders’ has a very negative connotation.
Right from the time when their appointments were announced, many local PKR leaders in Sarawak and Sabah already did not take it too kindly.
With due respect to the two gentlemen, Mustaffa and Azmin just do not possess the Anwar charisma nor stature to lead the party in the two states. In short, they were ‘unacceptable outsiders’.
I think I am able to appreciate and understand local sentiments. If I were a PKR member (which I am not) I would find it difficult to accept Mustaffa as my top leader in Sarawak.
Think of the reversed situation
Why? Simple. I don’t even know him. I wonder how many PKR leaders and members in Sarawak know who he is.
He may be a good and able leader but that’s not the point. The issue is why a local Sarawakian or Sabahan not appointed to head the party in their own states. Why appoint ‘outsiders’?
Put it this way. Try appointing Gabriel Adit to head Selangor PKR or Dominique Ng to lead Penang PKR and see whether they could be accepted by party leaders and members in those two states.
Local sentiments will make it difficult for them to function effectively there because Adit and Ng are considered outsiders in Selangor and Penang.
Similarly, I doubt PKR people in Malacca or Negri Sembilan would be able to accept Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, a Sabahan, as their state chief. Why? Because Jeffrey is an outsider.
Anwar Ibrahim had said that the appointments of Mustaffa and Azmin were only temporary but a mistake has been made, even if it is only a temporary mistake. Damage has been done.
Anwar should have allowed senior PKR leaders to elect an acceptable local leader from among themselves. In Sarawak, don’t tell me that people like Nicholas Bawin, Baru Bian, Jewah Gerang, Adit, Dominique and others are not qualified nor suitable to lead the party in the state.
Granted, they may have differences among themselves (but isn’t that normal in politics) but a local leader, and not an outsider, would still be the more preferred and acceptable choice.
DAP has done very well in this aspect. All their leaders in Sabah and Sarawak are locals. PKR can learn a thing or two from their ally in Pakatan Rakyat.
It’s the same situation in Sabah. Why were Jeffrey Kitingan, Ansari Abdullah or Kong Hong Ming not appointed to head Sabah PKR?
Why was Azmin Ali appointed instead? What is so right about Azmin that is so wrong with Jeffrey, Ansari or Kong Hong Ming.
As far as I know, these three are very senior politicians and Azmin can be considered very junior in comparison.
In Sarawak, Gabriel Adit is a five-term state assemblyman and Jewah Gerang is a veteran MP. Mustaffa is nowhere near Adit or Jewah in terms of experience and seniority in politics. So how can you expect these veterans to accept a junior as their boss.
And let’s not forget that most politicians have very big ego.
The notion of finding a ‘neutral’ man to lead in Sabah and Sarawak does not hold in this case. Local sentiments is paramount. It’s a pity Anwar did not pay much attention to this…or did he?
Last week, we begin to see tension and disillusionment within the ranks of PKR in Sarawak and Sabah. I believe it has a lot to do with the ‘outsider’ issue.
Gabriel Adit is on the way to form a new party, speculated to be named Pakatan Rakyat Sarawak. His party is scheduled to be launched on Oct 15. Ten months ago, he was given a rousing welcome when he joined PKR.
Where did Adit or PKR go wrong? We can continue to speculate but at the end of it all, Adit must have realized that PKR may not be the political platform he was looking for.
Over in Sabah, a group of division chiefs have expressed no confidence in the leadership of recently appointed state chief Azmin Ali. They wanted Azmin removed and proposed Jeffrey Kitingan to take over.
Azmin had since responded that he was prepared to give up the Sabah chair and would notify Anwar of his decision.
It is clear in the case of Sabah that the PKR leadership was wrong to have appointed an ‘outsider’ to head the party in the state.
Anwar Ibrahim will have some soul-searching to do and must act quickly as trouble is already brewing within his party in Sabah and Sarawak where he is, unfortunately, also an ‘outsider’.
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