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Archive for August 31st, 2010

Reprinted from Hornbill Unleashed:

BRUNO MANSER FUND, BASEL / SWITZERLAND

30 August 2010
Logging giant threatens to suspend all transport services for locals unless Penan retract sexual abuse allegations

LONG AJENG,Malaysian logging giant Samling has threatened the indigenous Penan communities of Sarawak’s Upper Baram region with the suspension of all transport services provided for locals unless they retract sexual abuse and rape allegations against the timber companies active in the region.

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Sarawak’s CM taib Mahmud reportedly asked the people to choose carefully or else the development will stop in Sarawak. Does it mean that only his party can bring development -and that means being at the bottom 4th position as the poorest state in Malaysia, but with the wealthiest group of politicians?He reportedly said that election is not a contest for popularity-does that imply that he concede his own unpopularity currently? But he offer his capacity to bring development to exchange for another mandate to rule. But what he failed to do in the past 30 years-can he be trusted or given another opprtunity to try it for another 5? The Merdeka celebration should be a government function-not to be abused for party campaign-yet it would be unusual if he did not do it. There was a report that the PBB can’t even rally 1000 people for a recent function in the CM’s own constituency in Mukah!

Taib Mahmud: P’raya bukan pesta populariti
Ogos 31, 10 1:15pm

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Rulers like to rule for as long as they like. But people who may suffer from such rule may disagree. So a look into the pitfalls of over extended rule is in order-especially for Sarawak. Overall the problems is about democracy-or if the people’s voice can be effectively guide the government. These are the major problems as we see it:

1. Concentration of power -evidence: PBB as well as UMNO, allow the top leader, in this case the CM, to hold 3 major positions in the state cabinet-which combined to command about half the state budget! Such concentration of power often result in more political and expedient considerations behind policies compared to public interests; Abuses of power tend to occur-as the dictum by Lord Denning`Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely’; The great wealth of the top leader cannot be accounted for by their official pays through even the long years of their `service’;

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The issue is crucial if we consider the many `3rd world’ countries ended up being mis-ruled by many traditional or new elites who treat `their’ country as their own fiefdom. Is a platform better than none-to affect a better rule for the people? How do the people ensure that there is democracy under the rule of the old/new elites? If the issue is not addressed then it may end up as a change of face-with the old exploitation remaining the same! And the appeal for a unified 1-ethnic grouping seems to be the same formula from the BN-whose ethnic problems is open for all the world to see, even after 53 years in power! Should people be divided into ethnic groups and ruled from the top by ethnic elites who divided the spoils among themselves?  Some good discussion on the issue is started from the Borneo Forum below-from Horbill Unleashed:

‘1Dayak’ – Politics of the elite -Part 1

By Apang and John Riwang

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