MEDIA STATEMENT 5 MARCH 2012
I am appalled by reports that the Junior Minister of Agriculture Mong Dagang had issued a directive to the Sri Aman Agriculture office to stop aid payments to En Frusis Lebi because of his support for the opposition during the last state elections. En Frusis Lebi has confirmed that the aid he had been receiving was indeed terminated. It was reported in today’s Sun Daily that Mong Dagang has insisted that his instruction was correct. "As a man of principle, I am not going to back out… We cannot continue to give the welfare assistance and subsidies because he is a strong Opposition supporter," he is reported to have said.
Such high-handed and oppressive action by a junior minister clearly shows that he is woefully ignorant of the principles of democratic governance and the functions of an elected representative. As an elected representative, he is a SERVANT of ALL the people and his political affiliation should have no bearing on his actions and decisions. As a servant of the people, he is there to serve them and try to to make their lives better. However, instead of carrying out his duties, Mong Dagang seems intent on seeking out citizens who support the opposition so that he can inflict punishment on them. This is a heinous act of intimidation of innocent people who had exercised their democratic rights. The fact that the victim is an ‘orang kurang upaya’ (a less abled person) makes this vindictive bullying all the more repulsive and reprehensible. Mong Dagang appears to be another classic little Napoleon in the making and his actions must be condemned by all right thinking individuals.
Being in government is not a playground game for small-minded and silly schoolboys who have not gained maturity in thought and actions. It is not about reward and punishment. It is the serious business of running a country and those who are chosen to carry out this task should ideally possess positive characteristic such as selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability and leadership. The actions of this junior minister clearly prove that he is severely challenged in these attributes. I have a horrifying vision of Mong Dagang (and other YBs of the same ilk) carrying out their first official act in office – calling for a list of opposition supporters and thinking up ways to suitably punish them. This abuse of power and authority sadly happens more frequently than is reported. It brings shame and disrepute to the ‘august’ State Legislative Assembly.
The state BN leaders have kept very silent on this matter. Is everyone hoping that the issue will fade away and all will be forgotten? Is Mong Dagang the kind of minister the BN is grooming to be a future leader of the state? We want to know the stand of the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister on this indefensible matter. We want to know what the Parti Rakyat Sarawak chief James Masing has to say about the words and actions of the party Youth Chief. Clearly he is a man of suspect principle and a huge liability to the BN. The Prime Minister has made a vague apology for past mistakes of UMNO but obviously Mong Dagang is too arrogant to admit that he has made a major blunder. The CM, DCM and James Masing owe the people an explanation. Do they condone this man’s actions? Will they hold him accountable?
If Mong Dagang is a man of principle as he claims to be, he must apologise for his error in judgment and retract the directive made on 8 December 2011. The aid that En Frusis Lebi had been receiving (that is paid out of taxpayers’ money, and not from Mong Dagang’s pocket) must be restored and backpayments made where due.
I assure Mong Dagang that when the PR takes over government, we will not treat him in this shabby manner or subject him to his type of tyranny. We will not go on a witch hunt for BN supporters to harass them and punish them. Incidents such as this only strengthen our resolve to save Sarawakians from the likes of this man and his BN cronies. Voting the BN out is the only way to ensure that these embarrassing and shameful dishonourable acts by ‘honourable’ YBs will be a nightmare of the past.
N70 Ba’ Kelalan /