TV Sarawak Bebas #2 has been released today! See trailer here. You are welcome to order it on-line as a way to help subsidise its rural distributions! The content this time focus on land grabs issues in Kg Gran, Long Terawan, Pulau Bruit and Lawas. The 5th issue is about the lack of hospital services which force many seriously injured patients to lose their life on the long way to Miri, usually sent by ambulances which break down often.
Archive for December, 2010
Before every election there seems to be a coincidental bear market in the stock exchange-and so Sarawak state elections are expected to experience one soon, if not already! A Maybank report said that the peak of the market is reached within 3-4 weeks before polling. Which share to buy? The banks identified 5 big companies linked to the Chief Minister to lead the charge: CMS, UBG Bhd, Encorp, HSl & Weida. Outside of these big 5, there are a few others to watch and buy: KKB, Naim Holding, Putrajaya Perdana Bhd, Loh & Loh Bhd, Dayang Enterprise, Sarawak Plantations, Sarawak Cable & SIG Gases. The shares will go up due to the releasing of projects to these companies with good `cables’ to the politicians by the Federal and state government before the elections. The calculation is simply to hope that the bear market will make the share holders so happy that they will continue to vote BN. Will this calculation works now that the urban voters can buy the shares and still vote the other parties!
Sarawak only managed to collect 18% of revenue from logging the rainforest compared (poorly) to Indonesia at 26%, and Sabah, at 88%! The difference is said to be diverted to the pockets of the head of government to partly finance their re-election! This means that the head of government has subverted the government institutions headed by or entrusted to them. The untold diverted revenue may explain why infrastructure in Sabah, Malaysia’s poorest state, compare more favourably to that of Sarawak. It is like a Bakun dam of revenue impounded by the head of government. So: who is this very selfish head of government which compare unfavourably to notoriously corrupt Indonesian and Sabahan head of governments? Taib Mahmud will have to answer this question since there is no one else occupying the head of government position longer during the entire period of this academic study(1970-99) by David Walter Brown , published in 2001. In light of this: who is the biggest `anti-government’ here?
University of Washington
Why Governments Fail to Capture Economic Rent:
The Unofficial Appropriation of Rain Forest Rent by Rulers
In Insular Southeast Asia Between 1970 and 1999
David Walter Brown (For full paper go here)
The Radio Free Sarawak takes a break for the X-mas -New year holidays-and vow to come back with more exciting new format from Jan 5th! This will involve moving the morning session to evening at 8-9pm local time on 6205kHz.. This is done partly to improve the reception of the radio in Sarawak. Another improvement is: under popular demand the radio is hiring more staff so that more programing is possible, and expansion of the broadcast to 2 hour each session can be accomplished. Already there are requests, from the comments section, to have news reading and other locally recorded stories. As of now RPK-the popular blogger now a self-imposed fugitive in London, has joined the radio as a daily commentator.
Due to numerous cases of Opposition figures and NGO activists being stopped from going into Sarawak, and Sarawakian NGOs stopped from leaving Sarawak there is a fear that the state government in its desperation to hold on to power, may once again stop the entry of the Opposition leaders and the few NGOs from West Malaysia from campaigning in the coming state elections.But until the election there has been few West Malaysians working here from either the opposition or NGOs platforms. Though who are have to keep their head low, very low. But is this immigration restriction justified? A prominent Sarawakian exposed that the immigration power was predicated on socio-economic concern and not political. In any event the states themselves sell out on this socio-economic control by letting in significant number of illegal economic immigrants to an extent that the original communities are threatened. Again the reason behind this is political-another abuse!
Tear down Sarawak’s bamboo curtain
Sim Kwang Yang
The banned entry of PKR MP N Gobalakrishnan into Sarawak on Christmas Eve of 2008 has stirred up a mini-storm in both the Land of the Hornbills and the alternative media in West Malaysia.
Once again, the question on the mind of many Malaysians is this: why should a citizen require a passport or a permit to travel to a territory within the Federation of Malaysia?
To answer this question, we have to revisit the early days shortly before the formation of Malaysia in 1963.
The paternalistic rhetoric is out again-this time with an audacity which frightens more than it assures, that taking land away from the natives of Sarawak is for `development’ -not due to politicians/businessmen’s greed. Will these few words convince the natives to give away their lands which they depend on for everything? The audacity behind such rhetoric reflect the arrogance that politicians in Sarawak had acquired due to their easy success thus far to acquire lands from the natives. A simple calculation may really frighten the folks: There are some 250 challenges to land acquired by the state government in court for the last 30 years under the current Chief Minister. In a land acquired by the government -and given to Taib’s family or himself on the cheap, the land would very soon be sold to a real land `developer’ at market price-giving eg Rm40mil profit to Taib and/or cronies in the land sales in Pulau Bruit (15 ooo Hectares). Multiply this by 250 land sales =Rm10bil! This is only part of the great wealth of the Taib’s family as usually the land sold by Taib will not really be sold cut and dry- the Taib family will insist on keeping some big shares in the company that pay to buy the land from `them’! So the land `developed’ by Taib’s government is really forcibly taken from the natives to make money for the CM’s family. How a politician like Masing would defend such day-light robbery is truly a measure of how their interests are bound together through some `profit sharing’ or loot splitting!
The strange thing has happened: the polling date of a by-election is not at the earliest possible within the 60 days allowed by law-but after the half way mark! This had happened many times during the by-elections after the 2008 general elections-when BN’s chances seems not so good. In fact they almost lost all the first half a doz of by-elections then. So does the delay in the polling date reflect some diffidence of BN this time around? Some factors which may undercut its confidence at this fortress of BN in Johor is: The MCA’s president whose reputation is t stake this time-he will have to deliver in his previous constituency, has a sex scandal stuck to his record like a birth mark. He is vulnerable to attacks should his sex DVD is circulated again in the relatively conservative constituency. This weakness has caused him to keep a low profile in all previous by-elections. Could he make a change in posture this time?In campaign terms the Women’s wing of MCA-who chief has not been made a minister as before, will not be its wholehearted foot soldier this time around. The previous Wanita chief resigned on principle after Chua Soi Lek muscled himself to the President post despite his notoriety.
Another front is the records of FELDA-where some 2nd and 3rd generations of Felda settlers make up 4000 of the 14k voters in Tenang. FELDA have been taken to court by the settlers and LOST. Such records would cause some serious damage to the FELDA settlers-especially those who are of the younger generations. So FELDA voters are not all safe-deposit material anymore. Does that explain why the by-election date need to take 1 month of preparation by the BN? In fact the Feb 3rd Chinese New Year, if it were later, would allow further delay of the poll.
Ex-Suhakam vice-chairman Simon Sipaun cautions that Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud will not hesitate to use the immigration powers of the state to keep out “prying eyes” from the state.
This is more a case of abusing rather than using the immigration powers of the state as intended under the federal and state constitutions, he added.
“It’s a fact that Taib has a lot to hide.(Ed: See a video here)
“He has no choice but to appear to seek shelter behind the state’s immigration powers,” said Sipaun, who is currently one of the 12 advisors appointed by the King to the board of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
It is provided by the law that all Malaysian students studying overseas are entitled to register as absentee voters. De Facto Law Minister Mohd Nazri has also confirmed that there is no distinction made between government sponsored students and non-government sponsored students. But the EC is still dragging their feet-even though the no.2 Dato Wan Ahmad had reportedly expressed his sympathy for the students who have thus far been denied their voting rights. There are close to 1mil of these overseas Malaysians by some estimates. So if some students who register now ie by Dec 24th, with the EC they expect to get registered by end of January. Failing this deadline they should be registered by the next quarter ie end of March. If they are not registered by then they have a case to bring the EC to court to reclaim their Constitutionally guaranteed voting rights. Some students campaigning for their voting rights in UK has planned to do exactly this, according to their organiser. So EC need to respond ASAP to avoid being sued for dereliction of its statutory duty towards the citizens!
Violet Yong the DAP Assemblyperson for Pending make some inquiries about the land grabs in Sarawak eg the Bako issue-but the inquiry was not recorded in th4 state assembly official record-the Hansard. But surely they can’t cover up the inquiry-so we reproduce her speech here. A note is: the Bako issue give the urban folks a taste of what interior folks have been suffering for decades. May be the urban folks will find a common ground to fight for relief with the interior folks?
Monday, November 8, 2010
Dewan Speech delivered on 4.11.2010 touching on CM’s family’s wealth and Sarawak Report
Attending DUN is always considered one of a vital duty for me as a people’s representative. This is the time when I would forward the grievances of the people to the Government. It has always been a challenge for us few in the Opposition to tell the unfair policies, point out the wrongs of the government and to ask for the people’s needs as we are the minority.