BN is spending huge sums of money attempting to promote a democratic image worldwide. But, for free, the Pantai Damai assemblyman, Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, has undermined such careful PR with a series of outrageous statements.
His remarks, which were faithfully reproduced in the BN mouthpiece, The Borneo Post, on April 28th under the title “It is not fair to bite the hand that feeds you”, were directed against members of his own constituency, who had had the ‘audacity’ to vote against BN in the recent elections.
BN YBs badly need lessons in democracy
Unlike a genuine democratic politician, who would acknowledge that he had not succeeded in convincing everybody that he was the man to vote for and would commit himself to try harder next time round, this fellow chose instead to chastise and threaten his constituents! Worse, he made it clear that he was prepared to corruptly abuse his position by withdrawing legitimate state aid from individuals who had voted for the opposition!
“Our approach in Pantai Damai will be … If they insist on supporting the opposition, then maybe they should ask the opposition for aid.”, announced the cheeky Assemblyman.
Junadi is their representative not their boss!
Abdul Rahman Junadi should remember that it is the people who feed HIM, through his salary as an Assemblyman. The fishermen he was addressing also put food on his table. It is therefore HE that should remember not to bite the hand that feeds him and not the other way round. How dare he threaten his constituents in such a way?
The occasion on which Junadi made these remarks was a disgrace in itself. The man had strutted into the community to make a public handout of benefits from the federal government to the fishermen, who were entitled to it. These individuals should, of course, have been allowed the dignity of a completely private distribution of state support and not have been forced to grovel for it in public in front of this rude and threatening man.
Indeed, who is Mr Junadi to make a big public occasion out of personally handing the fishermen their benefits? Was this money that Mr Junadi had himself earned that he was so kindly passing to them? No, of course it was not! This was Malaysian taxpayers’ money and money raised from the people of Sarawak and he has no right whatsoever to pose as the generous person handing it out.
Neither should Junadi attempt to pretend that it is his party BN that is donating the money. The only role the BN has in a genuine democracy is the responsibility over a limited period for making sure that the people who elected them (the real bosses) get the best value for their money. It is a position of trust, not of authority.
BN occupy a position of trust, not of authority
Like Junadi, BN has not provided any of the money that is being distributed. Rather they live off this taxpayers’ money themselves.
It is because they divert far too much of the wealth of Sarawak into their own pockets and far too little into the pockets of citizens such as the fishermen of Pantai Damai, that so many in Sarawak are still so poor.
These fishermen do a hard and dangerous job providing Junadi’s table with fish. He should rather have concentrated on thanking them for their role and apologising on behalf of BN that they receive so little for their pains that they have to rely on such income supplements
This was the reason his constituents quite understandably voted in large numbers for the opposition, which has promised a far fairer distribution of Sarawak’s wealth. Junadi and BN should take note of the 45% of (officially proclaimed) votes that went to the opposition and humbly change their ways. He should work to make sure more is offered to the fishermen, not threaten them with the removal of the money that is rightfully theirs!
Just one example out of many
Junadi’s outburst is of course just a single example of numerous such threatening and patronising remarks that have been made by BN politicians in the post election period. The recent cancelling of the Borneo Cultural Festival in Sibu, just because BN lost the seat, is another.
Clearly BN’s YBs have no clue about democracy. They don’t even realise that a basic rule of democracy is that the chosen representatives and the winning party have a bounden duty to represent ALL of their people equally. Yes, that means even the ones who did not vote for them in the election!
Indeed, no genuine democratic party would act in such a way for fear of losing even more support next time. Already the petulant gesture has backfired because DAP have now stepped in to say they will ensure the event will be financed, despite BN’s bad behaviour.
The truth is that BN have corruptly kept themselves in power for so many decades they do not bother to think very much about what democracy is really all about.
People like Junadi know that their election success does not rely on convincing and attracting the support of his constituents.
BN electoral success rather relies on blackmail, such as his own threat to remove benefits from communities who do not vote for him, combined with bribery, gerrymandering and outright cheating.
Only around half of the people who should be entitled to vote have been enfranchised in Sarawak and only those in the cities get a chance to do so without major bullying and intimidation. This is how BN has kept in power for a solid 50years. They are not democrats, they are dictators as Mr Junadi’s remarks have so amply proved.
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