Wednesday, April 13, 2011

No Fear: Wading Through BN's Repression

 The rakyat are fearful of the instruments of repression.

The presence of army personnel or police near and around long houses are sufficient to induce pliant behavior.

But let the people of Sarawak be reminded – you have the greatest weapon of all – YOUR VOTE.

You also have the law on your side.

Sarawakians must celebrate the victory of the 640 villagers from Kuala Nyalau and Ulu Nyalau who were awarded RM66.75 million by the Bintulu High Court recently.

The laws can’t be twisted forever by the powerful oligarchy – for that is what the Sarawak government has become.

It’s no longer a party for the people. It’s a party for the elite and the rich.

The people of Kuala Nyalau and Ulu Nyalau are just common people, driven by the desire to correct an injustice.

Sarawakians have only to focus on this mission – to correct the injustices brought upon them by Taib’s government.

They have nothing to lose excerpt a Taib’s brutish rule.

I have read several instances which points to how BN politicians use their way of coercing the Sarawakians for votes, in the most common form used - intimidation in speeches. These politicians have been threatening people of withdrawing goodies if the people would vote for the opposition instead of BN. Intimidation is not a new tactic really. The only thing from here is that people do not know that they have the right and the freedom to decide who they want without being threatened by either side of the political divide.

In Peninsular Malaysia, the one case of point above would be testimonies from several civil servants voting in Putrajaya back in 2008. They have revealed how the BN candidate, Tengku Adnan had visited several government departments there and said that their votes are being traced and whoever found to vote for the opposition risk being moved cold storage or sacked. (Note: this was affirmed by the PAS candidate contesting there and it was documented in Malaysia Today, except the archive link was lost to me at time of writing)

Back now then, there were a few instances to that thing that includes:

1. Peter Nyarok, SPDP No 2, said "useless for the Indian to be here, kill him then he knows”, referring to Xavier Jeyakumar, the Selangor Exco member. He was also caught uttering intimidating things about voting quoting from Free Malaysia Today:

Nyarok, feeling the heat of campaign against him, is warning longhouse chiefs that if their ‘anembiaks’ (followers) choose to vote for the opposition, he will use his ministerial power to withdraw minor rural projects promised to the longhouses.

He is suspicious of every one including civil servants, teachers and pensioners if they do not express their open support for him.

Six civil servants have been transferred from Saratok to other parts of Sarawak as a warning to others. He is also threatening pensioners that their pensions will be withdrawn.

“Nyarok never behaved like this in previous elections. The reason is that he has not kept the many promises he made to the people.

“In the 2006 state election he promised a number of projects including road repair projects in Ulu Krian and sent three trucks to deliver the stones and promised to send more if he were to win the election.

“However, after winning the election, he failed to keep his promises. The stones were removed and taken back,” said Bungan.

He also promised to deliver rubber sheet machines, chainsaws and work tools, but at the end of the day the people did not receive anything.

2. MCA's common battle-cry for support is basically calling those who vote for opposition as ungrateful. True, I have a few friends who used to tell me of how party people would chastise people for not being grateful to the party for protecting the Chinese. Question is protecting and representing Chinese against who? 
I really want the name of the reporter from Bernama who wrote this thing because it is basically a right to know as a citizen - I have stated several times the need of the agency to reveal their names of reporters who wrote it, in the light of the Penang state government getting the wrong picture due to wrong writing by that person.

"A Chinese district officer is unheard of in any other part of the country. Ande nowhere else in Malaysia do you have a Chinese mayor," Kong noted, alluding to the administrative structure where Chinese hold positions not open to them in other states.

"And it is only in Sarawak that you have a Chinese ketua kampung, penghulu, pemancar and Kapitam," Kong said in reference to the community leadership set-up.

They have to understand that should they decide not to give their votes to the Chinese representatives, the other parties in the ruling coalition may use the defeat of SUPP as an excuse to change everything."

Kong said the opposition will not be able to form the next Sarawak state government.

"They may succeed in getting rid of SUPP in some constituencies, but this would only mean diluting Chinese representation in the government," he added. The Chinese make up 20 per cent of the population of Sarawak. SUPP, the Chinese-dominated BN party, is contesting 19 of the 71 seats.

SUPP lost six of the 19 seats it contested in the last election to the DAP, one to PKR and another to a SNAP candidate, who later joined SUPP.

SUPP publicity chief Daniel Ngieng said:"Whether you like it or not, BN is going to form the government after April 16, with or without Chinese representation as the Bumiputras are solidly behind them," he said.

"The Chinese have to vote BN-SUPP for representation in the government. We (SUPP) have shortcomings, but we are changing," he said.

My response? Fuck you.  

Teresa Kok called him a "narrow" - which is what he is.

Today, the bigwigs from MCA have come over, and Chua Soi Lek is singing the same tune as Kong's.

3. Even the Iban longhouse chiefs are too not spared from this kind of scenario. A tuai rumah elected must be pro-BN or else all benefits will be stripped. Quoting from this blog - Broken Shield:

Today, the criteria for Tuai Rumah have changed; he must be educated at least up to Form Three, be pro-Barisan Nasional (BN) and not necessary having deep knowledge of Iban Adat (this he can learn from The Tusun Tunggu, a book containing all the customs, traditions, taboos, fines, etc.).

After being elected, his appointment must be endorsed by the government so that an allowance of RM450 per month can be given to him. His duties include being “eyes and ears” of the BN government, a judge, a law enforcer, tax collector, consultant, and chairman of JKKK (Village Security and Development Committee) through which government funds are being channeled.

During election times, he is much wanted by the BN parties. This has become very pronounced in the 2006 State and 2008 parliamentary elections.

As concluded - But the worst effect is that the system will create a government full of corrupted and dishonest elected representatives as well as inculcating into the people or voters a culture of corruption and a dishonest syndrome where money determines the election.

It is very comforting to listen to what Sak was saying above because the decision of voting is no one but yourself and the very assuring thing is that no one is actually intimidating you to vote for that person or not. The whole thing is a bluff, like playing poker in casinos. You can actually snub the hand that feeds you if the hand is not proven to help you a lot and if you think you need change after so many years sticking to the same old person, then you are welcome to do so. The choices are spread out on the table -  in front of us. 

We can actually wade through BN's tools and methods of repression. 

This has become a dilemma. How can we get out of it really?

Ok, the first thing is just to be who you really are by yourself and choose wisely as you are in control of deciding whether suffer another 5 more years under the same party that robs and cheats you all or go for something that will put back things properly like in Penang and Selangor. No one demands you on this.

Sometimes you have to do something a little evil, being the little devil, all for a better good.

An eye for an eye perhaps? 

Remember how Berita Harian got embarassed over the Ultraman cartoon

Remember how Rosmah was quoted that Japan was negligent over the nuclear plants - A statement that is considered an insult to the morals of the Japanese?

How both things ended up on international press that in turn makes Malaysia a laughing stock online? They are both shown on CNN's iReport. The point here is to tell to the international press about the truths. With video and audio testimony from witnesses, you have solid proof of voter intimidation. Of course since CNN is being watched worldwide, it will attract mass attention.

I know that some people and politicians would describe this as badmouthing the country, but sometimes you have to do that for a better good if our own institutions is unwilling to buckle up or do nothing even being promising people of fixing things.

That's number 2.

The third thing is doing the opposite of silence presumes consent. If we are quiet don't do anything, then bad would triumph over evil - Edmund Burke's famous saying. It's worth of holding the fact that there are justice loving-people that will help out if things go south.

As I have mentioned in my recent Robin Hood post: you can be any of  Robin Hood's merry men and take on the quest to rid corruption and tyranny on Sarawak that is Nottingham - your adventure in the making that you should seize the advantage. This time, there is no more - "Another 5 years then change" thing. By that time, it will be already too late, never to go back and take what would be lost.

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