In an unusually fatuous speech about the Chinese community CM Taib disclosed more than he had, perhaps, intended to. Saying, arrogantly, that he could speak no Chinese he claimed to be “multi-racial” and went on to say he had to think for the Chinese! Don’t worry about it, Taib. Not only can the Chinese think for themselves; they have; and their future does not include you!
He did not leave matters there but went on to add that urban areas lost to BN in the election “might not get anything”. This crude threat of discrimination was described by him as “the rule of the game”. Nothing he could have said better describes his contempt for democracy and his blatant use of public funds, provided by Chinese and other taxpayers, to benefit himself and his cronies. Maybe he has finally decided that threats are cheaper than the bribery with which BN have won elections in the past.
Demonstrating that he has lost his grip on reality he described urban voters, by which he meant Chinese, as wanting to elect someone to bark at the government. In reality those elected will not bark but bite and Taib will be the victim! Even more foolishly he went on to claim that BN would be re-elected “probably with a two thirds majority” Dream on Taib! There will probably be such a majority but it will belong to Pakatan!
This speech was more important and interesting for what it did not say rather than for what it did. It made clear that Taib and BN have written off the Chinese vote. It is an admission that SUPP is a busted flush that will probably not win a single seat and it is, more significantly, an admission that BN can no longer claim to represent the Sarawak community as a whole.
As to the native electors there came not a word from their CM! He cannot be so stupid, and vain, as to believe that the people who he has allegedly robbed of their lands love him and intend to vote for him! The fact that he made no appeal for their support when admitting that he had lost that of the Chinese community shows that he is not sure of getting it and prefers to rely on well honed traditions of electoral bribery rather than appeals for solidarity and support.
How can this “Chinese New Year” message be rated? One out of ten, and that for cheek only. Taib can think only in terms of threats and bribes to maintain his position. They won’t work in Sarawak any more than they have elsewhere. Better get the citation loaded. Take off time is closer than you think!
HIS MASTER'S VOICE
Sarawak CM Taib is a worried man. He no longer speaks of a massive win in the State election that he must call very soon. Far from it, he has had to resort to calling in PM Najib to try to raise some support for BN in that election.
It is a measure of the desperation of both men that a rescue visit, previously unplanned, was arranged at the last minute. In Miri BN state assemblymen allegedly, submitted reports, allegedly long demanded by Taib, on the problems of their constituencies. That, if it proves to be so, would be a remarkable feat given that so few of them go anywhere near the places that elected them at any time.
If these reports actually exist they will either be full of fantasies about the alleged popularity of BN or they will acknowledge the truth that BN has totally lost the confidence of the electorate. To know that this is so it is necessary only to look at what Taib had to say to the Chinese community in his “New Year” message.
Another question. Why Najib? Why is it necessary that the federal PM should spend time trying to prop up a failed State administration? And, incidentally, spend taxpayers money on trying to do so. The answer is that Sarawak has no remaining confidence in Taib and if BN is not to be swept away in the election Najib will have to give reasons why this should not happen.
Here he is in real difficulty. The promises he made in the past have not been realised. A clinic without a doctor! Land reform but no proper funding to make it happen. Where is his credibility? Almost as near zero as that of Taib!
A waste of time. A waste of public money. A demonstration of BN's Sarawak death throes and a mirror for the future course of events when the federal elections take place. Will Najib risk everything to help Taib by calling simultaneous federal elections? Will he cut his own throat? Time will tell and the final outcome will be the same in either case. BN wipeout.
In a propaganda release, designed to try to justify the huge public expense of the “mission” by Taib to Arab countries to try to promote the Tanjong Manis halal hub, it is claimed that over RM 650 million has been committed by investors to projects in the hub.
Nonsense! Letters of understanding are no more than promises to look at possible investments at some future date. Worth no more than the paper they are written on and no kind of justification for the expense of the “mission”.
The real test will come when potential investors, if any appear, cost the projects puffed by Taib. No one will pay more than they have to for anything and this applies to halal foods as to any other product. The Arab countries need to import foodstuffs and they do so all the time. They have established and reliable suppliers and will not abandon these in favour of the hub unless the latter can provide continuous reliable quality products at lower prices than they are currently paying.
How can this happen when their actual food suppliers have already invested their capital and built up their market? Can Taib conjure billions from the sky to establish rival industries? Will he even be there to do so after the election? That is only one of the many questions potential Gulf investors will need the answer to. And they will certainly do nothing until they have it.
THE RULE OF THE GAME
These were the exact words of Taib speaking about the coming election. Those areas that don’t vote BN may not get anything, that’s the rule of the game said Taib; adding, inaccurately, that this is also the case in the USA. It seems that, despite his alleged billions allegedly parked in that country he knows very little about the US system of government.
There are, of course, rules for elections. Taib knows them well since he has totally ignored them in past elections, brazenly offering bribes and threats to influence voters to choose BN. That may have worked in the past but it will not work this time. Now the voters know what he, his large family and his cronies have been doing with the national wealth and would continue to do if they were foolish enough to put him back in power.
This time Pakatan will scrutinise the election very closely in all areas of the State. Evidence of election offences and bribery in general will be collected so that election results can be contested wherever BN appear to have got a majority. No matter that the Police, controlled by KL, may suffer temporary blindness during the polling; the evidence will still be there.
There is another rule of which Taib might be mindful. It is contained in the Penal Code and prescribes that thieves go to jail and major thieves go there for a very long time. Cell life is a lot different from palace life; as will be discovered.
Ever since the art of printing was discovered men have tried to influence others by printed materials, books, newspapers, magazines and so on. There is nothing wrong with that. Other people may be impressed by written words or may regard them with derision. It is an individual choice. That choice is exactly what dictators down the ages have hated and feared and tried by all means to remove.
Recent dictators, like Hitler and Stalin, and a multitude of smaller examples, have enjoyed considerable success in muzzling public opinion and expressions of popular thought. Print and broadcast media need fixed facilities to operate. Printing presses or broadcasting equipment, offices, distribution facilities and many other physical things that governments can control if they wish to. Anyone living in Malaysia today knows the extent to which the papers and the television are subject to government pressure and control. A raft of non democratic laws allows the government to control the news and/or lock up, without trial, those who refuse to conform to government instructions.
The adverse results of this ability to control public opinion have been seen in election results since the country first attained independence. Now all that has come to a shuddering halt. The papers still appear. The TV still broadcasts. But, for the first time in nearly 50 years the public has access to a new, uncontrollable, source of information; the Internet.
Electronic media are available to everyone instantly. They need no offices or printing presses. They need not be physically in the countries where they are seen, so they cannot be censored. They are not individual entities that can be bought over or bought out. In short there is nothing the dictators of this world can do to control them or what appears on them.
In Sarawak Taib Mahmud has been learning this painful lesson and he clearly does not appreciate it. Used to being instantly obeyed in whatever he orders he cannot stomach the electronic criticism and revelations of recent months. Most hurtful of all to him is the fact that there is nothing he can do about it.
Maybe this is why, when he does have a limited opportunity to censor something, he seizes the chance. It is certain that the recent disgraceful censoring of the official record of the State Assembly could not have happened without his approval, and probably on his direct orders. The remarks of an opposition Member detailing misconduct and illegalities were simply censored out of the record of that day’s proceedings and her complaints and demands for rectification have been ignored by the Speaker. Why would he persist in such improper conduct if not ordered to do so? And who can give such orders if not CM Taib?
Well, this outrageous conduct can be put right; and will be put right by the new Pakatan administration as one of the many, the very many, things that will have to be done and make Taib/BN no more than a scandalous unhappy memory.
This is the personal opinion of the writer, Apai M. This blog does not endorse the view unless specified.