Opposition reps hit out at Sarawak chief minister for threatening the voters of Balingian that their constituency would not get funds if they failed to vote for the BN
KUCHING: Chief Minister Adenan Satem’s ‘tulah’ (cursed) remark drew angry reactions from two Sarawak PKR leaders who criticised him for using the word and threatening voters of Balingian ahead of next weekend’s by-election.
“I am very disturbed by Adenan’s uncalled for threats that if the voters do not for the BN-PBB candidate then they will be ‘tulah’ (cursed),” said state PKR chief Baru Bian.
The by-election which was called after former Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmudresigned on February 28 and his quit as Balingian assemblyman, is being contested by BN-PBB’s Yussibnosh Balo and Pakatan Rakyat-PKR’s Abdul Jalil.
Yesterday Adenan was reported to have told Balingian voters that Taib Mahmud, who was the Balingian assemblyman from 2001 to February 2014 and is now Sarawak Governor, had asked him to convey this message to the people of the Balingian.
“Before he retired he told me to remind you of what he has done for the people of Balingian and to remember what he had contributed to the people in the area, as well as to the whole state.
“So I have to tell you this that if you really appreciate him, he wants you all to vote for the BN-PBB candidate as it is also his party.
“But if you disregard his advice, it means that you will be ‘tulah (cursed) because he has done so much for you,” Adenan was reported as saying.
This is Adenan’s first test of leadership since he took over as chief minister on February 28.
Condemning Adenan for the remark, Baru, who is also the Ba’Kelalan Assemblyperson, described the statement as “very bad”.
“It is very irresponsible for Adenan to use political threats (and) holding the people to ransom. I am very disturbed with his threat.
“Whatever money spent for development, if there was any development in Balingian, it is not Taib’s money. It is the people’s money so they do not owe any obligation to Taib.
“Obviously, the people are unhappy about the lack of development in Balingian sub-district even thought the former Chief Minister was their representative,” said Baru.
He said that there was no such thing as a curse if the people did not vote for BN so the people should not be scared.
“If you look at Selangor and Penang where the people voted for Pakatan Rakyat, instead of being cursed, they are being blessed with better results in development with a better government.
“Where is the curse? So the people should not be taken by this kind of threats,” he added.
“By using political threats, it is obviously they are trying to make up for their failure for the past 50 years, because this is the time that the voters may punish them and vote for the opposition knowing very well their track record in Balingian, especially that of the former chief minister, leave a lot to be desired.
“The BN is certainly under pressure,“ he said.
Baru’s colleague See Chee How, who is the PKR vice-chairperson and PKR director for the by-election, asked the BN to be more sensitive, pointing out that Adenan’s remark had already crossed the line of election rules and regulations.
“Adenan’s remark is amounting to corruption. It is very clear in the electoral roll you don’t use threat that if they vote for the opposition then they will get zero funds.
“As Chief Minister, Adenan should not threaten the people as the money is public money. As a government, you should treat the people equally.
“Don’t use threat and inducement as this is breaching the election laws of the country, said the Batu Lintang assemblyman.
“It shows they are very desperate to win after neglecting the constituency for the past 50 years, so much so that they have to resort to threats and inducements,” he added. -JT
~ The Borneo Insider