PRESS STATEMENT 24 AUGUST 2012
POLITICS OF FEAR
Tan Sri James Masing has said that it would be political suicide to give the opposition a test mandate to govern the country (‘Perilous to give opposition test mandate – Masing’, Borneo Post 23 Aug 2012), supporting the former Prime Minister’s statement that giving the opposition the mandate to rule would be dangerous as many things could be destroyed.
Yes, it would be perilous indeed when the opposition takes over from the BN. Exceedingly perilous for those who have the most to lose, those who have taken advantage of their positions of authority to enrich themselves at the expense of the people, who have remained poor and stagnant for the past 50 years.
Perilous for the BN elite who done nothing of substance to advance the lot of the common people but who resort to giving away insubstantial sums of money nearing election time in the guise of the ‘caring’ government.
Perilous for the corrupt politicians and their families who have their greedy hands in every project and contract even though they do not know the first thing about the business concerned.
Imminently catastrophic for the selfish leaders and their cronies who have taken away the lands of the natives, cut down their trees for profit of billions of ringgit and drowned the lands in their insatiable quest for even more wealth, all in the name of ‘development’.
These are the people who will see the destruction of their parasitic way of life and easy money as they have known it. Their misdeeds will be revealed just as the cowgate and Scorpene scandals were uncovered. Investigations will be carried out on these people and their leader, a man and his family members who are said to be stakeholders in more than 400 companies in 25 countries, worth several billion US dollars, robbed from the people of Sarawak.
What do the people have to lose by giving a mandate to the opposition? They have already lost their lands, their livelihood, their pride, their chance for advancement and now their patience with a government lacking accountability and transparency. The BN government has had 50 years to run the country and if indeed they have done such a sterling job, they should have nothing to worry about; they should be able to let the record speak for them. Unfortunately for them, among their more memorable achievements are a dangerously high national debt, a soaring crime rate (and a police force that manipulates the statistics to fit the KPI), a rakyat fearful for their safety, a culture of rent seeking, cronyism and corruption, ministers mired in kickback scandals, murder allegations, bailout of family companies using public funds and many more of similar unpalatable nature. In contrast to that, the Pakatan Rakyat is offering the very positive track record of the opposition-run states and the promise to put in place a federal government that is competent, accountable and transparent.
That is why are we now seeing BN politician after BN politician, day after day in the mainstream press trying to instill fear into the rakyat by giving silly warnings about what would happen if there is a new government. The rakyat are now mature enough to discern that the current crop of leaders do not have any sound policies to sell nor any track record to back them up, hence they resort to selling fear. After all, fear is in plentiful supply within the BN clique, and the fearful are eager to spread the fear. However, in their attempt to do so, they come across as tired defenders of a government that has let the people down time and again. Even now, in their bid to restore some credibility, the Najib administration has nothing original to offer but instead has been implementing or promising to implement policies borrowed from the Pakatan Rakyat manifesto. Examples are the abolishment of the ISA, the implementation of the RCI on illegal immigrants in Sabah and ‘Project IC’ and the proposal to lower car prices.
OIL ROYALTY PAYMENTS
The example most pertinent at the moment is the proposal to increase Oil Royalty payments. Of course I welcome the announcement by the Chief Minister that he agrees that the royalty should be increased. But why is it only now that the CM is agreeing to pursue the matter? One can’t help but think that it is because this is an issue very close to the hearts of the people, an issue which Pakatan Rakyat has promised to address. Obviously there has been no political will on the BN government’s part over the last 30 or so years to seek a fairer share of the royalty until now when they are realizing there is a real possibility that the rakyat will vote them out in the coming elections. I am also curious that the CM should think royalty negotiations are better done in private. Why is that so? The oil and gas in Sarawak is not the property of the CM – it belongs to all the people of Sarawak, hence we have a right to know what is being discussed. Sarawak has been lagging behind West Malaysia in every aspect you care to name. Roads and infrastructure, education, healthcare, jobs, transportation, industry and development. One could say that West Malaysia and many individuals have prospered or benefitted via Petronas at our expense. Sarawakians now say ‘Kini masa balas budi’ to quote a line from the infamous BN Merdeka theme song 2012. We want to know what the Chief Minister intends to do about it, and we remind him that he is a servant of the people and is accountable to them.
The former PM, in a Freudian slip, had referred to the current administration as the ‘devil’ and the opposition as the ‘angel’. That in itself says it all.
I trust that the rakyat are astute enough to judge for themselves whether to choose more of the same or to give themselves the hope of a better and brighter future with the Pakatan Rakyat.
N70 Ba’ Kelalan/
Chairman PKR Sarawak