Thursday, May 13, 2010

Christmas Comes Early to Sarawak

It is noteworthy to mention that in the Star yesterday, a BN component party leader, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Dr James Masing was lamenting the fact that the interests and welfare of the bumiputras living in the outskirts of Sibu in particular seemed to be neglected. Any sensible person can see that Sarawak suffers from unequal and lopsided development. Masing had highlighted this longhouse that is about 150 meters from the Sibu-Selangau trunk road, which was lined with electricity cables, but did not have electricity itself (p N6).

Then today, it was reported by The Malaysian Insider that Najib had handed RM15 million in financial assistance to Chinese schools as part of his attempt to win the Chinese votes. Wah, we got so much money for him to give away meh?

I just don’t get it! Rural Sarawak urgently needs investments in infrastructure – yet in this particular by-election campaign, the urban voters (read, Chinese) are set to benefit! When we consider that in Election 2008, the late Robert Lau Hoi Chew of Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) retained the seat for BN with the help of Malay/Melanau and Iban voters who form about 33 per cent of the constituency’s 54,695 voters – it clearly demonstrates that the non-Chinese vote has now been taken for granted, and that BN is shamelessly wooing the Chinese. Obviously, this is vote-buying at its most vulgar – it is no longer about sincerely giving aid to communities that are in genuine need. Is Najib so desperate to win? Cannot the Chinese in Sibu see beyond this obscene hypocrisy? Will they stand firm on the salient principle that votes are not for sale? Shouldn't the MACC go after the bribe giver?

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