whether the elections in Sarawak is credible is reflected by the heavy traffic from Sg Asap heading to Bintulu to cash the checque they received from the Land and Survey Dept just a day ahead of the Polling day on Apr 16th. The thought of the money must have weighed heavily in the mind of these voters who had been waiting for the compensation for their old house for a decade already. But they are also pressured to vote BN because they are still held back by the other half of the house compensation which was not paid…
Actually behind this rush to Bintulu there is considerable negative sentiment:
* they were told that the whole sum of the house compensation would be paid in this election-but only half was paid, with the other half not sure when it will be paid; may be for the general elections?
* there is a cut in the house assessment-every house is cut by a notable chunk of a few thousands ringgit.
* not all the residents received the compensation eg Rh Nyawing, Rh Lahanan, Rh Belur and Rh Badang-these houses known for higher opposition votes, have been given first, perhaps as a vote-buying strategy; others who are die-hard BN supporters, are still waiting;
*The residents have been waiting for 10 years for the compensation-yet there is no interests payment for the wait; on the other hand the payments are made with cut on unpaid water and electricity bills (many residents consider these free as promised before they moved here), and worse, cut to pay for the land premiums of their free house in Sg Asap and premiums for their 3 acre land;
* many illiterate residents may not have signed the documents by selecting to go for arbitration on the compensation amount;
So was it a free election when so many residents felt pressured to vote BN to try to get their compensation which is due to them anyway?