Thursday, February 21, 2013

Marchers tear-gassed, invaders ‘embraced’

Joseph Tawie

February 21, 2013
BN leaders have 'lost the plot', says Sarawak PKR, alluding to the incursion in Sabah and the deportation of Aussie Senator Nick Xenophon.
KUCHING: Is it not ironical that thousands of Malaysians rallying for clean and fair elections were tear-gassed and hunted down like criminals, while 100 armed men in army fatigue who “invaded” Sabah recently are being dealt with “kid gloves”?
The double standard practised by the Barisan Nasional administration never ceases to shock, said Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian.
Blaming Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s “weak” administration, Bian also cited another irony –the detention and subsequent deportation of Australian Senator Nick Xenophon.
He said it was now obvious to all that the current leadership had “lost the plot”.
“A government that treats armed invaders in Sabah with kid gloves but deports a senator from a friendly neighbouring country has clearly lost the plot.
“Also, those of us who were tear-gassed, doused with chemical laced water and treated like criminals at the Bersih rallies want to know why our government is giving these invaders better treatment than what we received,” asked Bian, who is also Ba’Kelalan assemblyman.
He said Sarawakians were closely watching the developments in Sabah and were puzzled at the Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein’s dismissal of the “invaders” as being “neither militants nor terrorists”.
“The Home Minister said they [invaders] are neither militants nor terrorists but did not tell us what he thinks they are.
“The people know which party is the real threat to our peace and security and are puzzled about the government’s actions [in Sabah and against Xenophon].
“The people of Sarawak are wondering whether we will be next. If we are invaded, will the BN government defend us as it is duty-bound to do?” he said.
He was alluding to the situation in Sabah where the police have engaged the armed Royal Sulu army in gentle “negotiations” much to the anger of Sabahans who see the incursions as a serious security breach and an “act of war”.
Tengah ‘oversells’ Najib
On another matter, Bian took to task Second Resources Planning and Environment Minister Awang Tengah Ali Hassan for urging Lawas constituents to continue rooting for BN.
Lawas, Tengah had said, was still in need of infrastructure and public amenities and only BN could ensure this.
Pointing out the irony of Tengah’s statement, Bian said: “Firstly, he [Awang Tengah] called for Lawas to continue to be BN’s bedrock and in the next breath, he said that Lawas still needs much infrastructure and public amenities.
“If Lawas is still so lacking [in infrastructure] after almost 50 years of BN rule, why should the people give the BN another term?
“Where is the much-needed hospital, which the incumbent MP professes to be completely ignorant?
“Awang Tengah is correct about the opposition singing a tune of change, and he can rest assured that the public will be wise to the fact that the change offered will benefit them.”
Bian also urged Awang Tengah not to “oversell” Najib’s track record of delivering the goods in Sarawak.
“If I were Awang Tengah, I would not be so confident about the prime minister’s track record and the effectiveness of his ‘constant engagement with the younger generation and across the board’.
“After all, his latest attempt at engaging the younger generation in Penang was met by a resounding ‘no’, much as Dr Mahathir [Mohamad] and the BN leaders may deny it,” Bian said.
~ Free Malaysia Today

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