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Archive for August 24th, 2010

Is Taib signing off finally?

After 29 years in power as CM of Sarawak Taib Mahmud finally admit that a lot of people think that they don’t need him anymore, according to a Bernama report. He reportedly said he is willing to leave if the people don’t want him anymore. However he had said the same thing in 2006-where he stayed on on account of the people somehow want him to. A question is: how did he come to the conclusion that the people don’t need him anymore? Will a change of face improve the BN chances in the state elections? The question is whether this is merely a tactical change or anything deeper?

A strong clue why he said so is here:

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It is encouraging that political parties put forward their policies in the greatest possible details for the voters to make informed choices. DAP has produced an alternative budget that exposed the `black hole’ in Sarawak’s budget which amount to half of the entire expenditure of the state government over the last 3 years-and also propose that the finacial control be devolved away from the 3 ministries controlled by the CM himself. The alternative budget should make good reading for all who are concern about Sarawak as well as the role that Sarawak can play in malaysia’s democratisation! The DAP’s budget can be read here.

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Suspension bridge before Rh Sembop an excitement if not for the rain!

3 participants, Anthony Lawai from Miri, Casey from KL, and I, went to Sg Asap from Aug 20th-22nd to register voters who were missed out in our last 2 visits. Over 50 voters were registered in the short visit-an encouraging development. The long houses visited were mainly Rumah Kelep and 2 long houses-Rumah Sping and Rumah Sembop, which were out of the 3 original communities in Sg Asap. The 3rd community is Long Bagan which we visited before in the 1st visit here.  The visits turned up to be very fruitful in terms of voter registration!

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It is a usual prejudice to demand Sarawakians to wake up on account of their oppression by the BN government. However there are 2 sins here: Sin of commission-why West Malaysians keep electing the BN government that oppresses the East Malaysians? Then there is another sin of omission: What have West Malaysians done to help those East Malaysians who are said to be oppressed?   For the latter numerous excuses have been given by real people: don’t celebrate Malaysia Day because it is too close to the Hari Raya holidays! Don’t register voters in Sarawal because it is a waste of money and time! these words come from the lips of academics and YBs! It does not serve the cause of democratic values if the people are seen as 2 unequal groups due to geographical and historical backgrounds. Go figure out the Penisular-centric prejudice behind such utterings! Given this point made here read for yourself the speech by Zaid Ibrahim in Kuching below:

Sarawak: Wake Up

( From Hornbill Unleashed )

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Sarawak Road Show's July volunteer Joshua, an insurance agent, and wife ventured up river from Tatau to register 120 new voters -why can't the willing and able civil society members like this be given voter registration forms to help register more voters?

The EC or SPR has a strange strategy for voter registration which escape most people’s attention: the plan unfolds over such a long time and scattered all over the place such that it is easy for the unfocused observer to miss it completely! This is an attempt to piece the almost Machiavellian plan together for the readers’ interests:

Firstly the EC openly admitted its failure to register close to 5 million eligible citizens as voters. It is disarming to hear that except for those who remember the same being repeated  for umpteen time before! Of that Sarawak, with close to half a million unregistered citizens or 33.8% of unregistered eligible citizens, has the lowest among all states-excluding the Federal territories. Of course the official figures do not look closer at more than half of interior citizens who are not registered as voters.

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Unattended farm stalls along the Lawas roads-but democracy cannot be left unattended!

Sarawak Road Show to Lawas(Aug 9th-19th)

* Lawas-Sarawak’s district without the signature long houses

* Lawas’ discontent videos start here

* Hotel rooms booked out!

*Lun Bawang –the pastors exporter!

* Into the logging camps!

* Extremely bad roads to Ba’ Kelalan

* Dog-eat-dog world!

* Hot Spring surprise: 1’s pain become another’s fun!

* Notorious road to Ba’ Kelalan-fun for some!

* Bad road could be an election liability for ruling party

* Sparks of self-reliance in isolated village

* Buffalos country

* Running into a wild boar!

* Mystery of missing voters

* Lawas –challenge for voter registrations

* Stuck at Sarawak border check point!

Aug 9th

Lawas-Sarawak’s district without the signature long houses

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