30 Jun 2012

Democracy Versus Rigged Elections In Sarawak!

Democracy Versus Rigged Elections In Sarawak!

This post is also available in: Iban, Malay

Vote rigger

Many of the world’s worst dictators try to claim legitimacy through the ballot box, so that they can proudly claim that they are voted time and again into office by their ‘loving’ people.

In fact, they cheat.

Taib is one of these and probably the only person he is fooling is himself.

The methods Taib uses to cheat in elections have become legendary and would often be entertaining, were the consequences not so pernicious.

Already, in advance of GE13, Radio Free Sarawak has recently unveiled cases where the Election Commission has been slyly changing the locations of Sarawak polling stations from nearby places that kampung folk are familiar with to far away locations they haven’t heard of!

No warning given, of course, except to reliable BN voters.

Ultimate insult - this headman was bribed with a cheque that bounced!

And in June, before Najib lost his nerve and delayed the election once more, BN’s business cronies were again seen drawing up at Taib’s home in Demak Jaya carrying suitcases of bribery money for handing out to voters – RM50 for any voter who could demonstrate they had voted BN!

And of course there are the endless cases of ballot box stuffing, false names on the register, threats against teachers and civil servants and people who need state benefits even.

One favourite story from the last election was the trick against one entire longhouse that had threatened to vote for the opposition.

Officials informed them that the polling station would be open only in the afternoon and they were encouraged to drink and celebrate in the morning.

But, when the tipsy folk finally went out to cast their votes it turned out the station was shut – it had only been open in the morning!

Sarawak’s gerrymandering

However, such bribery and bad practice during the election itself form just part of the anti-democratic system that Taib has built to ensure only a minority of people, whom he can control, get a chance to cast their votes.

The Election Commission itself revealed the shocking truth of the situation in its latest report on voter registration in the State of Sarawak.  These official figures tell us all we need to know about what has been going on.

A full 28% of the adult people in the state are still not registered to vote!

Too hard to find or just too angry with BN? - most of the native people have not been registered

In fact the whole electoral system has been rigged to ensure that the forest people and the Dayaks have just a handful of voters and only a few of those actually get to the ballot boxes.

Areas where native customary lands have been stripped bare by Taib’s loggers and land grabbed by Taib’s planters are notably places where the BN government have made least effort to give people their identity cards, register them to vote and in many cases even to grant them birth certificates.

For example, according to surveys by the NGO Mafrel (which fights for free and fair elections), in Lawas where there are 30,000 potential adult voters only 6,000 are registered to vote.  Nevertheless, in the last state elections those people of Lawas stood up for themselves and booted BN out.

Likewise, in Batang Ai, where lands have been flooded by the dam and huge areas taken by SALCRA’s palm plantations, which have done nothing to help the local people, but much to make Alfred Jabu’s family rich, there are 22,000 people but only 8,000 voters.

And in Belaga out of 23,000 people there are 7,000 registered voters.

These are what are known as rotten constituencies, where Taib has made sure that only a small number of people get a chance to vote – people that BN politicians expect to bribe and influence.

Figures provided by Sarawak Report to UN staff in 2011

After 30 years of Taib his feeble excuse has remained that these people are ‘hard to reach in order to register them’!  Yet, it was not hard to reach their trees to cut them down or to reach their lands and plant them with oil palm.

The truth is that the last thing Taib wants is to expand the size of Sarawak’s electorate, because he would lose control of the voters.  This is why before the last election the Election Commission, which should be independent, but is notoriously controlled by BN, rejected 90% of the new submissions for voter registrations in Sarawak with no reason given!

These applications had been painstakingly gathered by people who wanted to help the rural folk have their voice in the elections.  However, Taib was determined this should not happen.

Urban seats

The scandal of Taib’s gerrymandering (rigging of the voting system) also applies to hundreds of thousands of urban voters.  BN have long since lost the support of Sarawak’s sophisticated urban electorate and youth vote.  These people have access to information from the internet and learn matters via each other, even though Taib attempts to control the news media.

The populations of Kuching, Miri, Sibu and elsewhere are fed up with corruption, greed, environmental degradation and incompetent government by BN.

So, how does he marginalise them?  He does it by giving all these huge numbers of people just a handful of seats between them.  While an urban seat may contain 30,000 voters a rural seat, where Taib can bribe and threaten a limited number of registered longhouse folk, may only have 5,000 voters.

Just look at how this worked out in the Sarawak State election.  Even after the cheating, bribery and ballot box stuffing by BN the opposition still managed to win 41% of the official vote.  Yet, because so many of their voters were in the urban areas they ended up with only 21% of the seats, leaving Taib to hang on to his power-giving domination of over 2/3 of the seats in the Assembly.

Democracy? Even after monumental cheating Taib could only secure just over half the official (rigged) vote. In his own constituency, where his relatives were handing out bagfuls of money his majority was slashed by 2/3.

Of course the huge swing of voters, especially in the towns, to support the opposition was a terrible fright to Taib. Even though he had managed to mask the disaster by securing so many rotten seats.

This explains why the old dictator went scurrying to the office of the ancient Governor in the middle of the very night of the election to make sure he got sworn in before an angry urban mob decided otherwise!

After all, many times in history when townspeople have had enough of cheats like Taib, they have done just that and prevented imposters from remaining in office!

Fixed deposit

Radio Free Sarawak - highlighted by The Economist as one method for bringing information to the people in the longhouses. But, how many of them have been allowed their right to vote by Taib Mahmud?

It is not just Sarawak Report which is pointing out these matters and bringing them to world attention.  This matter of Taib’s outrageous and blatant gerrymandering has recently been remarked on by the leading international business magazine, The Economist.

The Economist article substantiates and supports all that we have complained about concerning Taib’s cheating and vote rigging to stay in power.

He has shamed his people with his sham democracy in the eyes of the world, so surely it is time this dirty old dictator moved out of office and took the exploitative BN with him?

 

 

 

  • BunyiPutra

    According to Dayak clown story-teller Masing, money politics is both good and bad:

    1. Money politics is GOOD if works WELL for BN

    2. Money politics is BAD if works AGAINST for BN

    Anyway, the final excuse to throw away Money politics crap is to use ‘DAYAK UNITY’ slogan

    Yes, ‘Dayak Unity’ slogan absolutely effective excuse to justify Money politics!

    HE HE HE That’s how funny democracy works in Boleh Land

    _____________________

    PRS files election petition over Pelagus seat

    The party had “very good reason to believe that money politics was involved there in the state election”.

    Borneo Post, Friday May 20, 2011

    SIBU: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) has filed an election petition to nulify the result of the contest for the Pelagus seat in the April 16 state election.PRS Pelagus division chief Philimon Nuing accompanied by party Information chief Wilson Nyabong and lawyer Sim Hoi Chuan filed the petition at the Sibu High Court today.

    According to Nyabong, who is the Pelagus seat director of operations, the party had “very good reason to believe that money politics was involved there in the state election”.

    The petition was filed before senior assistant registrar Suhailla Selag.

    In the election, PRS/BN candidate Stanley Nyitar @ Unja ak Malang was involved in a three-cornered fight with Edward Sumbang of Parti Keadilan Rakyat and George Lagong who stood as an independent.

    George won the election with a 2,837-vote majority.

    He garnered 5,740 votes against 2,903 obtained by Stanley and the 1,171 obtained by Edward.

    The voter turnout was 9,986. This is the first petition filed after the election. – Bernama

    ____________________

    BN-PRS rep: We don’t pay, they won’t vote

    Malaysia Kini, Saturday, 28 May 2011

    Payments to voters cannot be considered vote-buying because it was for their transportation, says a BN MP in Sarawak.

    Tamin BN assemblyperson Joseph Mauh Ikeh has vehemently shot down any allegation of vote-buying during the Sarawak state polls.

    He clarified that the payments to voters was ‘transport allowance’ otherwise they would not come out to vote.

    Besides the transport allowance, some of the voters were paid for campaign work like putting up posters, according to the Parti Rakyat Sarawak vice-president.

    “This is normal. It is not vote-buying. We paid the voters for them to buy petrol because they came to vote at their own expense, or else they would not have come out to vote,” he told Malaysiakini when contacted today.

    “If no money was paid, nobody would come to vote, then who is going to be elected as YB (assemblyperson)?” he asked.

    His statement was in response to the polls watchdog Malaysian Election Observation Network’s (MEO-Net) allegation yesterday that some Tamin voters were paid RM50 on April 14, two days before the polling day.

    ‘Everybody is doing it’ argument

    MEO-Net had released a short video recording showing stacks of cash purportedly being distributed to voters at the Rumah Unban Anak Endu longhouse located at Tenting Terentang in Nanga Selangau.

    The three-term MP and two-term state assemblyperson claimed that the opposition was doing the same to get the electorate to vote.

    “Eveybody did that, the opposition also did that. We also have proof of the other side (opposition). They gave RM10, RM20 and even RM100 to the voters.

    “Both opposition and BN paid the voters throughout Sarawak in all 71 constituencies, he added.

    Joseph Mauh also stressed that the law allows each candidate to spend up to RM100,000 in an election.

    “We paid them but they still had the freedom to vote. That’s why over 3,000 had voted for the opposition.

    “This is not vote-buying, please, this is just something like saguhati (consolation),” he said.

    Joseph Mauh retained the Iban-majority seat with 4,998 votes, a 1,292-majority over PKR’s Mengga Mikui who bagged 3,706 votes.

    MEO-Net has been furnishing evidence of alleged vote-buying, intimidation and abuses of government resources during the 10-day Sarawak election campaign period.

    The watchdog claimed money politics was so rampant that were all allegations investigated extensively, they are likely to nullify the state election results.

    According to MEO-Net, giving money to voters is an offence under section 10(a) of the Election Offences Act 1954.

    __________________

    Decision taken for the sake of unity – PRS man chief

    PRS’ decision to withdraw the Pelagus election petition last Friday is a ‘collective party decision’.

    Borneo Post, Sunday 17 July 2011

    KUCHING: PRS’ decision to withdraw the Pelagus election petition last Friday is a ‘collective party decision’.

    Its information chief Wilson Nyabong said the party did not want to see disunity in Pelagus.

    “We have no desire to proceed with the case and we want to give George Lagong (Independent Pelagus assemblyman) a chance to deliver his election promises to the people of Pelagus in the next five years,” he said when contacted yesterday.

    Last Friday, Stanley Nyitar, the defeated BN candidate during the April 16 polls, filed an application at the High Court here to withdraw the election petition.

    The petition, alleging money politics, was filed on May 20 to nullify the result in Pelagus.

    On June 14, Lagong filed an application to have that petition struck out.

    But last Friday, he too filed an application at the Sibu High Court to have the case struck out.

    Judge Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli has fixed Aug 12 for the hearing of the applications.

    Meanwhile, PRS secretary-general Datuk Wilfred Nissom did not deny the decision was made after considerations were made on the current political situation.

    “Party president Tan Sri Dr James Masing may have had a discussion with top BN leaders of which I’m not privileged to. And besides, we also want to give Lagong a chance to deliver on his election promises,” he said.

    Nyitar, the BN-PRS candidate in Pelagus, lost to independent candidate George Lagong in a three-cornered fight when he secured only 2,903 votes against Lagong’s 5,740 votes and PKR Edward Sumbang Asun’s 1,171 votes. Pelagus is the only seat lost by PRS in the election.

    Lagong had made himself clear that he is a BN-friendly independent after he stated his support for the Pehin Sri Abul Taib-led government in his press statement distributed during the recently-concluded State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting.

    He even surprised a lot of people when he attended the BN Backbenchers (BNBBC) post-DUN sitting dinner on June 29 despite being technically an opposition member.

    Lagong is also the uncle of Larry Sng, the former assemblyman of Pelagus from 2001.

  • BunyiPutra

    No matter how anti-BN a Dayak YB can be, slowly Money politics will BUY his soul

    One by one Money politics corrupted even more Dayak YBs as Taib always have the final laugh HA HA HA HA

    ____________________

    Dr. Jerip denies leaving STAR for Barisan Nasional

    “STAR denounces the politics of patronage, nepotism and corruption.”

    17 October 1998, STAR Press Release

    State Reform Party Sarawak’s Deputy Secretary General Dr. Jerip Susil categorically denies that he has joined any Barisan Nasional (BN) component party. “My political involvement in the state is only through STAR. I am a founder member of STAR and still the Deputy Secretary General of the party.”

    He added that he believes in the political reforms expounded by the party for Sarawak and remains proud to be in the struggle. “STAR denounces the politics of patronage, nepotism and corruption.”

    Although Dr. Jerip had been approached by people from several BN component parties, he had declined their offers.

    ___________________

    Opposition STAR YB Jerip has applied to join BN SUPP – Yap

    The Borneo Post, Monday 13 August 2001

    KUCHING – The Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Publicity and Information Secretary Alfred Yap Chin Loi today confirmed that State Reform Party (STAR) ex-deputy secretary general Dr Jerip Susil had applied to join SUPP.

    “Whether he is to be accepted into the party depends on SUPP’s decision,” he said after officiating at the health screening exercise organised by the Kuching Batu Kawa Road Community Association this morning.

    Pointing out that Dr Susil sent in his application last week, Yap was however unable to comment on the status of Dr Susil’s application. “It has not been announced yet… the president (Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr George Chan) will announce it later,” he said.

    On the speculation that Dr Susil would replace incumbent William Tanyuh as the SUPP candidate for Bengoh, he said that would first depend on whether Dr Susil was to be accepted into SUPP.

    “Even if he was accepted into SUPP, his standing as a candidate for the party would have to be the decision of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government,” he added.

    Yap, who is also the Planning and Resource Management Assistant Minister, noted that the candidate for Bengoh had not yet been finalised but declined to provide further details.

    Dr Chan had on Friday declined to name the new candidate for Bengoh when announcing that SUPP, the second largest component of the State BN, had confirmed that its candidacies would have at least five new faces including Tanjung Datu, Padugan, Meradong and Bukit Assek.

    ____________________

    Dr Jerip going places

    Taib said Dr Jerip, who once fought the BN government, was now a ‘champion of the BN coalition’ and a promoter of his politics of development.

    by Samuel Aubrey, Borneo Post, July 11, 2011, Monday

    KUCHING: Speculations are rife that Bengoh assemblyman Dr Jerip Susil might be a member of the State Cabinet soon.

    Hours after Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud hinted at a function in Kota Samarahan on Saturday that Dr Jerip could expect some good news soon as a reward for his loyalty

    to BN, the good doctor represented an assistant minister to officiate at an event.

    This is considered ‘unusual’ because the function, which was held at a hotel in Kuching, is outside his constituency of Bengoh.

    Dr Jerip was tasked to represent Assistant Minister of Water Supply Sylvester Entrie Muran at the ‘DUN Muara Tuang-level Ngiling Tikai dinner (closing of Gawai)’.

    Among those present were Muara Tuang assemblyman Dato Sri Mohd Ali Mahmud, former Nangka assemblyman Datuk Awang Bemee Awang Ali Basah, political secretary to the Chief Minister Awangku Jamudin Pengiran Kon and Samarahan Resident Rodziah Morsidi.

    Dr Jerip did not reveal anything about the possibility of becoming a minister or assistant minister in his speech.

    He merely talked about the dangers of street politics which could bring chaos to the state. Dr Jerip continued to remain coy yesterday. Attempts to get his comments on Taib’s statement were futile.

    He had, in past interviews, said he would leave this matter to the chief minister because he (Taib) had the prerogative to make such a decision. But Bidayuh community leaders have been voicing their support for Dr Jerip’s inclusion in the State Cabinet following his victory in the April 16 state election.

    Taib, when officiating at the ‘Samarahan Division’s 25th anniversary’, had sung praises of Dr Jerip in his speech.

    Among others, he said Dr Jerip, who once fought the BN government, was now a ‘champion of the BN coalition’ and a promoter of his politics of development.

    “He has realised that it is better to serve the people with deeds than by words only. And that’s the difference in Dr Jerip of yesterday and Dr Jerip of today. Bigger things will come to him because of his conviction.”

    Taib, however, has been tight-lipped on when he would announce a Cabinet reshuffle or who would make it into the new lineup.

    Dr Jerip, a former State Reform Party (STAR) member, had once contested as an independent in Bengoh.

    But in the 2001 state election, he joined SUPP and won Bengoh for the BN. He successfully defended the seat in 2006.

    In the April 16 polls, he won again for the third time with a 3,646-vote majority in a four-cornered fight.

    But the recently-concluded 10th state election is special in a way because Dr Jerip is only one of six SUPP assemblymen who had won following a humiliating performance by the party which saw it losing 13 of the 19 seats it contested in.

    Among those defeated was party president Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan. There are only four Bumiputera assemblymen in SUPP.

    Many political observers have opined that the time has come for Dr Jerip to be made a minister or at least an assistant minister.

    Dr Chan had said before that he had made strong recommendations to Taib to have SUPP’s Bumiputera elected representatives to be appointed to the State Cabinet. But Dr Chan did not disclose the names of those he had recommended.

    __________________

    Taib: Wong Judat’s SPDP inclusion a unique case

    The Star, Saturday, February 01, 2003

    KUCHING: State Barisan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud has described the admission of independent Meluan assemblyman Wong Judat into the coalition through the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) as a unique decision.

    “He is quite lucky to have been admitted as his entry into the SPDP is before the admission of the party into the Barisan Nasional,” he said.

    SPDP, headed by state Environment and Public Health Minister Datuk William Mawan Ikom, replaced deregistered Sarawak National Party (SNAP) in the coalition.

    Taib, who is the Chief Minister, was asked to comment on Judat’s acceptance as a SPDP member after he received a cheque for RM25,000 from Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd at his office in Menara Pelita here yesterday.

    The money given out under Skim Takaful Pelajar Sekolah Malaysia was to the families of the five schoolchildren of SK Iban Union in Ulu Balingian, Mukah Division, who died in a hostel fire recently.

    Taib said he would have objected to Judat’s admission into any other component party because that would be like taking away the seat quota of another Barisan partner.

    Judat resigned from Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) and contested against SNAP-nominated Barisan candidate Geman Itam in the last state polls, and won.

    Taib said he was pleased that former SNAP senior vice-president and Limbang assemblyman Richard Wong Shoon Fook had joined the SPDP, and hoped that more ex-SNAP members would follow suit.

    On the retirement of the last SNAP president Datuk Amar James Wong Kim Min, 81, from politics, Taib said Wong deserved the respect of the people as the longest serving member of the state assembly.

    The SPDP now has seven assemblymen in the 62-seat state legislature.

    The state coalition’s backbone, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Persatu (PBB), has 30 assemblymen, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) 16 and Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) eight.

    DAP assemblyman for Kidurong Chiew Chu Sing is now the only opposition member.

    Mawan said the two “Wongs” would be eligible to contest for the post of vice-president in the party’s inaugural general assembly here on Feb 8 and 9.

    Consensus has been reached that there will be no contest for the posts of president and deputy president and two senior vice-presidents.

    ___________________

    Former SNAP And Independent YB Dr Rayong accepted into BN fold

    Borneo Post, Monday 1 November 2010

    KUCHING: Engkilili assemblyman Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa is now officially a BN man, after more than four years as an independent.

    Yesterday, he attended his first BN pre-Council meeting, which is usually held a day before the State Legislative Assembly sitting, at the PBB headquarters here.

    Dr Rayong has been knocking on BN’s door after he won Engkilili in 2006.

    Reached for his comments, Dr Rayong said he was very happy to finally become a BN backbencher.

    “The Chief Minister (Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud) declared that I am a BN member during the meeting… now that I am accepted into the BN, I can do my work smoothly as people will no longer have doubts over my position,” he said.

    Dr Rayong added that his application to join SUPP was approved by the party’s Central Working Committee (CWC) last Sept 20.

    “From my understanding, there were no objections against me to join SUPP,” he said.

    Dr Rayong was formerly the pro tem deputy president of the proposed Malaysian Dayak Congress (MDC) which had its application turned down by the Registrar of Societies.

    In 2006, he stood under the Sarawak National Party (SNAP) ticket and he defeated Jonathan Krai Pilo (BN-SUPP) by a slim 426-vote majority in a straight fight.

    After his win, he declared his intention to join the BN and was often seen mingling around with BN leaders. He was also accorded privileges such as presenting minor rural project (MRP) grants in his constituency.

    He had previously submitted his membership application to join SUPP but the move was opposed by several SUPP leaders in Engkilili, including former assemblyman Toh Heng San who represented the area from 1991 to 2006.

    Suggestions then started to surface over possible seat-swapping arrangement with other BN component parties to resolve the problem, but this was also opposed by SUPP leaders in Engkilili.

    Last Oct 17, Utusan Borneo reported that Dr Rayong’s SUPP membership application had been accepted and approved.

    It quoted SUPP Engkilili secretary Nyambong Maweng as saying that he had received a letter from SUPP headquarters to inform the branch of Dr Rayong’s membership status.

    Nyambong claimed that the letter also mentioned that Dr Rayong is the best candidate for BN and SUPP in Engkilili for the state election which is due in nine months time.

  • BunyiPutra

    Another Dayak clown Manyin said BN got not much money for roads but JKR keep on awarding RM Billions projects to lucky sons cronies!

    ________________________

    Sarawak has no money to build dual-carriageway trunk road

    The Star, Sunday July 1, 2012

    SIBU: The state government wants to build good roads that are on par with those in Peninsular Malaysia but it lacks money.

    “It is the responsibility of the government to provide good infrastructure but we always lack of fund,” Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin said at the launch of JAC Light Commercial Truck Assembly Line here yesterday.

    The RM10mil facility, which is located at KM13, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, is owned by NB Heavy Industries Sdn Bhd (NBHI).

    It employs about 150 workers and has the capacity to assemble 6,000 trucks annually.

    Manyin said he was aware of the many complaints and suggestions from various quarters regarding the upgrading of the state trunk road to a dual carriageway highway.

    “Unfortunately to build a dual carriageway from Lundu to Miri would cost RM16bil,” the minister said.

    He disclosed that his ministry had conducted studies on the roads in Peninsular Malaysia and found that most of the international standard roads there were toll roads.

    Manyin said while it was not difficult to get takers for toll roads in Peninsular Malaysia, it was not easy to get the private sector to build them in Sarawak.

    “Moreover the Government must provide an alternative as it cannot force people to use toll roads,” Manyin stressed.

    He also said studies showed that a lot of accidents on our roads were caused by speedingon good, straight roads.

    He disclosed that 1.2 persons died every day in road accidents in the state compared to about 19 persons in Peninsular Malaysia.

    Manyin appealed to all road users to drive within the speed limit and always make sure that their vehicles were road-worthy at all times.

    “We can’t afford to compromise road safety,” he stressed.

    Then he praised NBHI, a subsidiary of NB Motors Group, for its initiative and far-sighted vision in giving skills training in the motor industry for local workers.

    The group evolved from a humble automobile repair company established by Ngu Chung Beng and his five sons in 1971.

    It gradually expanded and diversified into auto parts, manufacturing and distribution of motorcycles and commercial vehicles, distribution of passenger vehicles, machinery and equipment.

    Today, it is a leading automobile company in the state with branches throughout the country.

    NBHI executive director Johnnie Ngu said the misconceptions about China-made vehicles as being inferior and low quality were proven wrong with the solid reputation of JAC Motors, a leading automobile manufacturer in China.

    Ngu said JAC Motors, which was founded in 1964, manufactured more than 700,000 units of world-class light, medium and heavy-duty trucks, vans, MPV, SRV, sedan and buses annually for export to over 100 countries.

    Also presented at the launch were NBHI chairman Datuk Ting Ong Hua, managing director William Ngu, JAC Motors vice general manager David Zhang, Road Transport Department director Ibrahim Othman and director of Automotive Engineering Division and Road Transport Department in the Ministry of Transport, Mohamad Dalib.

    _____________________

    Taib’s son awarded billions in govt contracts

    by Joseph Tawie, FMT, November 7, 2011

    Most of the contracts were awarded without an open tender being called, claims the DAP.

    KUCHING: For the past five years, Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s son Abu Bekir has been the main beneficiary of millions of ringgit worth of government contracts awarded by the state government.

    Confirming widely speculated rumours here, the state government recently disclosed in its written answer to a DAP assemblyman that most contracts were awarded without an open tender being called.

    The contracts were awarded to two companies – Titanium Project Management Sdn Bhd and Woodville Construction Sdn Bhd.

    Titanium is linked to Abu Bekir.

    The revelations, according to Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen, were “really shocking”.

    “These details which are contained in the answers to my questions (submitted to the State Legislative Assembly) are really shocking,” he said.

    Chong, who is also state DAP secretary, had put in his questions during the assembly’s June sitting.

    He had written to ask the State Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister for a list of all contractors awarded by the state and federal governments for the construction and completion of bridges in Sarawak in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

    He had also asked for the respective contract sums and actual sums of each bridge.

    Contracts to Titanium

    Chong also wanted to know whether the awards of these contracts were carried out pursuant to an open tender process and, if so, what were the criteria and consideration for appointment of these contractors as the main contractors for these bridges.

    “Basically, there are two companies given the state projects to build bridges in Sarawak without open tender.

    “One was Woodville Construction which is owned by Shin Yang group of companies and the other was Titanium Project Management which is owned by Abu Bekir, son of the chief minister,” he said.

    Woodville Construction was given two projects worth RM217,500,000 while Titanium Project Management was awarded one contract.

    In 2008, the Titanium Project Management was awarded a contract to design, construct and complete bridges and culverts to replace temporary and semi-permanent council bridges and some Public Work Department bridges in Sarawak.

    “Under this contract, a few hundred bridges were given to Titanium Project Management to construct, and the value of the contract is RM1,178,410,000,” he said, pointing out that this was “almost a monopoly” in the construction of bridges.

    “What is shocking is that the state projects were awarded to Abu Bekir and Shin Yang companies not through open tenders unlike the federal projects.

    “This is totally against the principle of fairness and transparency in awarding government contracts.

    “If you remember in 2001, the government contract was given to Titanium Management to construct 384 bridges at the cost of RM500 million.

    “In 2006, the company constructed only 332 bridges or about 80 percent of the bridges, but the government has to pay the company RM948 million,” he said.

    Corrupt practices

    According to Chong, in 2008 the government again awarded another contract to Titanium.

    This time the contract was awarded to Titanium Project Management.

    “Although it is a different name, it is the same company with the word ‘Project’ added to its name with the same constitution and the same shareholders.

    “This is an abuse of power and an unfair government practice that is cutting off other contractors from doing government works.

    “I think the State Infrastructure Development and Communication Minister Michael Manyin has a lot of explanation to make to the people of Sarawak,” said Chong.

    He described the whole process of awarding these contracts by the state government as “smacking of corrupt practices”.

    When asked if the opposition would lodge a report on the issue with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Chong said: “Is there any use?

    “There is no point to lodge a report as MACC has made its position very clear that binoculars that could be purchased for RM5,000 each and were charged at RM50,000 apiece is not corruption.”

    Chong was referring to the Auditor-General’s Report 2010 which disclosed that binoculars purchased by the Marine Department was charged RM50,000 each instead of RM5,000 as it should have been.

    “If that is not corruption, I don’t know what corruption is. But the MACC ruled that it is not corruption,” he said, drawing a comparison between this issue and the Teoh Beng Hock case.

    ‘MACC, a BN political tool’

    Chong said Teoh had allegedly spent RM2,000 to buy and distribute Malaysian flags and the MACC interrogated him throughout the night and forced him to commit suicide.

    “If you compare this case with Teoh’s, you can see a stark difference in the treatment,” he said.

    Chong said that although there was a prima facie corruption case, the MACC did not open any file or investigate.

    “They just brushed off the case.

    “Judging by the way it (MACC) conducts itself, it appears that MACC is a political tool of Barisan Nasional to oppress the opposition, while condoning such acts of abuse of public funds by the BN government,” he said.

    _____________________

    Sarawak BN Best Kept Secret ?

    In previous DUN Sarawak sitting 2007, DAP YBs made several enqueries most notably on some of state’s best kept secret:

    1) 1st Silicon Sarawak and

    2) Titanium bridge project.

    Part of the DUN proceedings was from DAP YB Wong Ho Leng’s DUN diary [yippeego.com/ypwordpress/?p=133] but the point is how BN YBs either simply no reaction, slow reply, laugh it off, silence on such possible mega losses suffered by both state and federal government funds.

    Why did the JKR Director clarified on behalf of Titanium?

    We all know how swift the state JKR director issuing clarfication later in Borneo Post on Titanium issue which is quite bizarre for top civil servant to deny the clearly lopsided contract and payment sums to Titanium out of public funds.

    Thanks to YB Wong’s diary, at least we know some of the proceedings that Borneo Post or other media seems to be reluctant to publish.

    We all know who own Titanium – refer Aljazeera 101 East Program.

    These two issues however might not catch much attention now in 2009 or 2010 but the stain of abuse remains. This is no longer issue of DAP making noise or Dayak YBs some of them debate-shy be it in Dewan Rakyat or DUN but this involves all of our money being robbed.

    1) 1st Silicon/ X-Fab Silicon Sarawak: RM3 billion scam?

    “Chong also spoke on the nerve spot of the Government investment arm – 1st Silicon.

    Without even hearing anything yet, the Speaker wanted to stop him, saying much has been delved on it in the previous sitting. No, said Chong, he had further information, and proceeded.

    Massive debts to the tune of RM3,152,725,672 had been transferred to the X-Fab Silicon Sarawak Sdn Bhd, a state owned company. Every single sen comes from the state coffer.

    Approved agencies trust Fund

    Has the administration told us about this? BN did not bother to ask. Yet, these expenditures appeared in our Budget under item Government’s contributions toward approved agencies’ trust fund.

    Why no names of recipient mentioned? It is Sarawak MONEY!

    No beneficiary was ever mentioned, just investment in high tech industry. There was absolute silence in the Dewan, despite Chong’s strong words that they all sit there and took all these from the administration.

    1st Silicon was bailed out – the BN government got con

    Calling it the prodigal son of Sarawak, Chong said RM1,719,083,100 was used to bail out 1st Silicon. The Accounts showed that since its inception the accumulated loss of 1st Silicon was RM2.5 billion. Chong suggested for a white paper to be presented on 1st Silicon – why 1st Silicon lost so much?

    Who was responsible?”

    2) Sarawak Bridge Replacement Project: RM240 million scam?

    “Chong proceeded to go to another area highlighted in the Audited-General’s report.

    Titanium awarded RM$551.02 million contract

    In 2000, a contract to build 384 bridges had been given to Titanium Management Sdn Bhd for RM551.02m. The contract was awarded without tender.

    One stroke of a pen, Chong said, though at the time of the award, the company was less than 2 years old; It being formed in 8.10.1998. After a few years of implementing, there was a cost overrun by 76%.

    Titanium claimed RM947.84 (who is the Finance Minister?)

    Only 322 bridges were built as opposed to 384. Titanium claimed RM947.84m. The Government agreed to pay. The Auditor-General made comparative study between 2 similar bridges, one by direct negotiation, and another by open tender. As Chong went through the figures, the BN listened in absolute silence.

    It was of course, less costly by open tender.

    Why did the Government award the contract in this manner, to one company?

    Because of this cost-overrun, the Government could not come out with the money in time to pay Titanium. The Government as at Dec 2006, owes Titanium approximately RM240m. Under the contract, our state Government has to pay interest calculated at 3.8% per month on the debt.

    Loan shark rate

    Soon Koh was laughing at what was said. Chong said that rate was loan shark rate. Soon Koh stood to say that Chong’s reading of the Report was wrong. But like all ADUNs, I am eager to seek the truth. I hope Soon Koh would be very enlightening.

    Titanium is owned by Pehin Sri Taib’s son

    Chong said the state Government said the bridges were awarded to Titanium based on track record. What track record has Titanium got? Chong asked whether the only record was because the majority shareholder of Titanium was the Chief Minister’s son?

    Also, he said, all the bridges were built by Sub-Contractors.

    Something is very wrong.

    The Minister should offer a truthful explanation. Jabu said he would, and insisted that all Opposition members be present to hear his explanation. He can be assured that the DAP will turn up in full force to hear him.”

    WHERE IS THE EXPLANATION?

  • PucauPutra

    Aiyah very easy to win election lah

    Just follow this proven theory:

    Free Beer + Janik babi BBQ + RM50 cash

    Free Beer + Janik babi BBQ + RM50 cash

    Free Beer + Janik babi BBQ + RM50 cash

    Very simple secret that serves BN well surely for another 200 years lah OHHHHAAAAA WOOOHHHOOHHH

    ___________________

    Quoted from:

    Title Why governments fail to capture economic rent: the unofficial appropriation of rain forest rent by rulers in insular Southeast Asia between 1970 and 1999

    Author David W. Brown

    Publisher University of Washington, 2001

    Original from the University of California

    Digitized Jul 26, 2008

    Length 724 pages

    …..The Ming Court affair (April 1987, pre-Sarawak snap election) is perhaps the most visible instance of the use of the state’s timber resource to achieve political objectives. However, timber rent is used in more direct ways to achieve political objectives, such as buying votes at election time. Elections in Sarawak are expensive.

    To illustrate the high cost of buying elections, the ruling party BN spent about $400 per voter, or $4 million to defeat a candidate (eg.opposition DAP) for the state assembly, Chiew Chin Sing (DAP candidate), who would have represented only about 10,000 voters. During the weeks approaching the election, ten different teams of senior Sarawak Alliance (Sarawak BN) officials, their officeholders and retinues visited all of the 180 longhouses in the district, holding parties each night in ten different longhouses. Chiew explained how these 10,000 voters were wooed:

    Expenses were as follows: most members of the traveling parties were paid a salary. For each longhouse party that was held, five pigs and fifty cases of Heineken beer were purchased. In addition to the good times at the parties, where many promises were made, each family was given RM1,200($480) to vote for Chiew’s opponent.

    The ruling coalition ensured that a family whose head received a $480 bribe would actually vote for the ruling coalition candidate by paying only $240 per family up front, with the remaining half to be paid only if the ruling coalition candidate carried a large majority in that longhouse.

    To pay the second installment, the ruling coalition rented out as campaign headquarters the entire Lee Hua hotel in Sibu, the large city downriver from Chiew’s largely rural district. Chiew said after the election, the headman from each longhouse would travel to stay at the hotel, and collect the second installment of the bribes for the families in his longhouse. In that particular election the ruling coalition candidate defeated Chiew by a vote of 6,938 to 1,457 (19 July 1997 interview with Chiew Chin Sing).

    Charges of vote buying in Sarawak were confirmed in a review of Malaysian politics:

    [T]he High Court made political history when it declared an election victory by the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition null and void due to vote buying. The judge ruled that “vote buying was so extensive [that] it had affected the election result” in the Bukit Begunan constituency in the September 1996 Sarawak state election. Although vote buying by the BN is widespread in Malaysia, hitherto it has been almost impossible to prove it in court. In this case, however, there was clear evidence including photographs showing cash being handed out by BN campaigners to voters just prior to election day. In the subsequent by-election, the same BN candidate from Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) who had won in the voided election easily won the seat again (Asian Survey 1997).

    Another source who was in Sarawak for the 1996 state elections said that on the final day before polling, he saw RM660,000 ($264,000) in bribes being given out to voters in a single location. The bribes ranged in size from RM600($240) for each indigenous voter to RM2,200 ($880) for each Malaysian Chinese voter (1 October 1996 interview with a knowledgeable Sabah-based source).

    In Sarawak, much of the money to buy votes comes not from timber rent appropriated by the chief minister but from that of his political supporters, who have been given timber concessions for that purpose. Sarawak Alliance party operatives and Sarawak Alliance state assemblymen are awarded timber concessions provided that they make cash available during election time. Similarly, politicians who can secure large majorities for the Sarawak Alliance in their areas can prevail upon the chief minister to award them timber concessions (26 May 1997 interview with Lao Siew Chang).

  • PucauPutra

    “Do as I say, not do as I do”

    Here SUPP is a bad preacher of anti-money politics

    “Cakap tak serupa bikin”

    ________________

    SUPP free from money politics, says Chan

    By Azam Hj Zawawie, Sarawak Tribune, Monday 18 June 2001

    MIRI – The Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) is free from money politics and will continue to ensure that such an evil practice will not rear its ugly head in the party.

    “SUPP has always been about the people and as far as money politics is concerned, we have a strong detest for it ,” Party president Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr George Chan told re-porters after opening the RM95,000 National Unity Department kindergarten in Tudan yesterday.

    He added that the party’s tradition of focusing more on the people’s welfare and interests had enabled it to stem out such a practice among members. “Even in an election that (money politics) has never been an issue because the people’s well-being comes first.”

    Dr Chan said the party’s prudent monetary policy had also prevented party members from adopting such a culture.

    On what action would be taken if some members were found to be involved in such practices, Dr Chan said the guilty ones would definitely be dealt with severely by the party’s disciplinary committee.

    Dr Chan said the party did not welcome people who used money to attain political mileage and stressed that such people were not needed at all by SUPP.

    Earlier in his speech, Dr Chan said that the country had been very peaceful and stable over the years, adding that through the kindergartens racial harmony and religious tolerance could further be promoted and enhanced among the younger generation.

    He reminded parents to play their role by strengthening the family institution. “If the family institution is well established it will eventually create to a strong, stable and harmonious society.”

    He also reminded the kindergarten teachers to make full use of the technological advancement to educate the children.

    “This will make learning more enjoyable and effective and will establish a strong foundation for these children as they proceed to the next level of education,” he added.

    At the same function Senadin State Assemblyman Encik Lee Khim Shin handed over a cheque for RM3,000 to the Rukun Tetangga (RT) committee of Tudan.

    Also present at the function were Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui, Senator Abdillah Haji Abd Rahim, RT Tudan Chairman Encik Chong Chee Ping, State Director of Welfare Encik Law Hieng Chong and Resident Encik Romie Sigan Daniel.

    _____________

    Ex-Kuching MP: SUPP tried to bribe me before

    A prominent member of the state BN would arrange for a large sum of money, precisely RM3 million, to be transferred to my name, plus a few million mining shares.

    By Sim Kwang Yang, Malaysia Kini, October 3, 2011

    The BN, with their superior financial resources, can easily induce political defection from the opposition forces by offering huge financial rewards to the turncoats.

    From time to time throughout history, elected reps have been induced to switch sides to the BN in the middle of their terms, in order to change the balance of power in state assemblies and as well as in Parliament.

    The most recent furore involves the change of the state government in Perak in 2008.

    Because of the defection of three state assemblypersons to the BN, Pakatan Rakyat lost their hold on state power, causing a change of the state government in the middle of their term of office.

    Generally, such changing of sides can be effected by the offer of money and political positions to the defectors.

    As an MP, I personally experienced an attempt to induce me to switch from the opposition DAP to the BN side, through a clandestine deal.

    When I was elected to be a member of Parliament, representing my home constituency of Bandar Kuching, I was the sole opposition member in the house.

    One day, I was approached by a personal friend from the SUPP, a component of the ruling BN. I had known him personally for some years So, when he requested a confidential meeting, I consented.

    He had a proposition for me.

    Money for hopping

    “You are well respected by electorates from both sides of the fence,” he said.

    Even SUPP members expressed their admiration for my performance, he confided. Would I not therefore consider jumping ship in order to offer better service to my rakyat?

    This is the deal that he proposed to me in great secrecy: I did not even have to resign from my party, all I had to do was to take a long leave of absence from Sarawak and to allow events to take their subsequent course.

    A prominent member of the state BN would arrange for a large sum of money, precisely RM3 million, to be transferred to my name, plus a few million mining shares.

    My part of the bargain was to disappear from the active political scene in Sarawak, and move to England, for an academic course.

    I had of course heard of political ‘under-the-table’ deals like that, but it was still quite a shock to me when the offer was made to me personally.

    Wishing to find out more about how that deal could be closed, I asked my friend how the payment of the bribe was going to be performed.

    All expenses paid

    The transaction was to be sealed in Singapore, I was told, where the money was going to change hands. In return, I was to sign an undertaking, promising never to be involved in politics again for the rest of my life.

    In Singapore, I would be given VIP treatment, where everything would be paid for by my friend’s political masters.

    I pondered over this conversation, and let my party chief know about the Faustian bargain. I immediately told him that I would not accept that offer, principally because I was not in politics for the money.

    To my great surprise, my friend from the SUPP approved of my refusal to cut a deal, when I told him of my decision. It would by a great pity, he said, if I had sold out my principles.

    He supported my rejection, even though that decision meant he had lost his cut; that he had missed out on RM300,000 in commission. We parted as friends.

    Every time I hear a defection from the opposition to the BN, I know some agent would get rich in the process.

    In some countries like India, they have anti-hopping laws to forbid switching of elected representatives from one side to another.

    I am sympathetic to that kind of legislation, especially when party-hopping can be rampant on occasion.

    Reject party hoppers

    Just last week, we heard of an attempt, in Johor, of the BN trying to induce such hopping in the state assembly.

    Unfortunately, I believe in the adage that morality cannot be legislated in politics.

    Still, in the long run, we need our politicians to respect the wishes of the electorates, after they had been elected into office. Party-hopping from the opposition to the government is hugely unpalatable and should be banned.

    Malaysia is a young democracy and we have to build up our political institutions over the passage of time. The best way to stamp out unprincipled defections is to reject opportunists who practise party-hopping, through the ballot box, if they stand again for election.

    In the state of Perak, we have to depend on the voters to do the right thing in the next round of general elections, by voting out party hoppers. It would take a long time but eventually, we hope to build up a healthy political culture in Malaysia, in which only people with integrity will be elected as the people’s YBs.

  • STAR Saya Tak Ada Rambut

    RM2 million saga: So close yet so near

    That’s what RM2 million in 1987 could do and kicked BN from power. But I got kicked from BN instead eventually

    I said, “I never left BN but I was kicked out.” This is a pure statement of the fact that it was BN who kicked me out. I further said that I could not go back because STAR is in BN. If there is an invitation, we will consider. “WE” was what I used not “I”. We means “Party STAR”. Similarly if PR sent us the invitation we will also consider.

    I was asked to support BN. If BN really change for the better and “stop committing political suicides by selling NCR lands, etc” why not? If they only talk why should we?

    This has been my stance since Taib invited me to join him in PBB since 1981. I told him then not to worry whether I join PBB or not for if what he does is good for Sarawak, he does not have to worry about my support. Actually I could not and cannot join PBB ever because I am “not born to sing praises in Choir”.

    Things are not as rosy because it was the 19 CEC members who betrayed SNAP in 1995 by suspending me INDEFINITELY from the Party telling me not to attend any SNAP meeting, etc. But it was BN and SNAP leadership who put me in a Catch 22 situation in 1995 – damned if I do, but also damned if I don’t. When Peter Minos was asked to tell to help BN campaign at one village on a specific date, he never contacted me but claimed he did. It was their BN fixture to fix me. But to me in politics, these do make me a sour grape.

    Why I do what I do to-day? It is my show of gratitude to all Malaysian taxpayers who pay me every month without fail so far. Why should I care about SNAP struggle? It is because it is SNAP that gives me the opportunity to serve and getting the taxpayers. Why should I care about Sarawak? Because I owe Sarawak, my life and my dreams. I need to pay back what I owe.

    Do I owe BN Sarawak anything? NO NO NO because I helped to save it from Kumpulan Maju in 1987! PBB and SUPP would be in the opposition if Tun Rahman were able to pay a SNAP leader cash two million more. Because according to JC Fong, I would have failed in my efforts to bring SNAP back to support BN if only two million was paid in. This is why BN Sarawak still owes me till today their life. Should I be a sour grapes and curse them like most former supporters? No also, because I come in to serve. I can also serve as the “left” hand. I can talk without talking. I can move without moving.

  • BunyiPutra

    According to Dayak clown story-teller Masing, money politics is both good and bad:

    1. Money politics is GOOD if works WELL for BN

    2. Money politics is BAD if works AGAINST for BN

    Anyway, the final excuse to throw away Money politics crap is to use ‘DAYAK UNITY’ slogan

    Yes, ‘Dayak Unity’ slogan absolutely effective excuse to justify Money politics!

    HE HE HE That’s how funny democracy works in Boleh Land

    _____________________

    PRS files election petition over Pelagus seat

    The party had “very good reason to believe that money politics was involved there in the state election”.

    Borneo Post, Friday May 20, 2011

    SIBU: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) has filed an election petition to nulify the result of the contest for the Pelagus seat in the April 16 state election.PRS Pelagus division chief Philimon Nuing accompanied by party Information chief Wilson Nyabong and lawyer Sim Hoi Chuan filed the petition at the Sibu High Court today.

    According to Nyabong, who is the Pelagus seat director of operations, the party had “very good reason to believe that money politics was involved there in the state election”.

    The petition was filed before senior assistant registrar Suhailla Selag.

    In the election, PRS/BN candidate Stanley Nyitar @ Unja ak Malang was involved in a three-cornered fight with Edward Sumbang of Parti Keadilan Rakyat and George Lagong who stood as an independent.

    George won the election with a 2,837-vote majority.

    He garnered 5,740 votes against 2,903 obtained by Stanley and the 1,171 obtained by Edward.

    The voter turnout was 9,986. This is the first petition filed after the election. – Bernama

    ____________________

    BN-PRS rep: We don’t pay, they won’t vote

    Malaysia Kini, Saturday, 28 May 2011

    Payments to voters cannot be considered vote-buying because it was for their transportation, says a BN MP in Sarawak.

    Tamin BN assemblyperson Joseph Mauh Ikeh has vehemently shot down any allegation of vote-buying during the Sarawak state polls.

    He clarified that the payments to voters was ‘transport allowance’ otherwise they would not come out to vote.

    Besides the transport allowance, some of the voters were paid for campaign work like putting up posters, according to the Parti Rakyat Sarawak vice-president.

    “This is normal. It is not vote-buying. We paid the voters for them to buy petrol because they came to vote at their own expense, or else they would not have come out to vote,” he told Malaysiakini when contacted today.

    “If no money was paid, nobody would come to vote, then who is going to be elected as YB (assemblyperson)?” he asked.

    His statement was in response to the polls watchdog Malaysian Election Observation Network’s (MEO-Net) allegation yesterday that some Tamin voters were paid RM50 on April 14, two days before the polling day.

    ‘Everybody is doing it’ argument

    MEO-Net had released a short video recording showing stacks of cash purportedly being distributed to voters at the Rumah Unban Anak Endu longhouse located at Tenting Terentang in Nanga Selangau.

    The three-term MP and two-term state assemblyperson claimed that the opposition was doing the same to get the electorate to vote.

    “Eveybody did that, the opposition also did that. We also have proof of the other side (opposition). They gave RM10, RM20 and even RM100 to the voters.

    “Both opposition and BN paid the voters throughout Sarawak in all 71 constituencies, he added.

    Joseph Mauh also stressed that the law allows each candidate to spend up to RM100,000 in an election.

    “We paid them but they still had the freedom to vote. That’s why over 3,000 had voted for the opposition.

    “This is not vote-buying, please, this is just something like saguhati (consolation),” he said.

    Joseph Mauh retained the Iban-majority seat with 4,998 votes, a 1,292-majority over PKR’s Mengga Mikui who bagged 3,706 votes.

    MEO-Net has been furnishing evidence of alleged vote-buying, intimidation and abuses of government resources during the 10-day Sarawak election campaign period.

    The watchdog claimed money politics was so rampant that were all allegations investigated extensively, they are likely to nullify the state election results.

    According to MEO-Net, giving money to voters is an offence under section 10(a) of the Election Offences Act 1954.

    __________________

    Decision taken for the sake of unity – PRS man chief

    PRS’ decision to withdraw the Pelagus election petition last Friday is a ‘collective party decision’.

    Borneo Post, Sunday 17 July 2011

    KUCHING: PRS’ decision to withdraw the Pelagus election petition last Friday is a ‘collective party decision’.

    Its information chief Wilson Nyabong said the party did not want to see disunity in Pelagus.

    “We have no desire to proceed with the case and we want to give George Lagong (Independent Pelagus assemblyman) a chance to deliver his election promises to the people of Pelagus in the next five years,” he said when contacted yesterday.

    Last Friday, Stanley Nyitar, the defeated BN candidate during the April 16 polls, filed an application at the High Court here to withdraw the election petition.

    The petition, alleging money politics, was filed on May 20 to nullify the result in Pelagus.

    On June 14, Lagong filed an application to have that petition struck out.

    But last Friday, he too filed an application at the Sibu High Court to have the case struck out.

    Judge Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli has fixed Aug 12 for the hearing of the applications.

    Meanwhile, PRS secretary-general Datuk Wilfred Nissom did not deny the decision was made after considerations were made on the current political situation.

    “Party president Tan Sri Dr James Masing may have had a discussion with top BN leaders of which I’m not privileged to. And besides, we also want to give Lagong a chance to deliver on his election promises,” he said.

    Nyitar, the BN-PRS candidate in Pelagus, lost to independent candidate George Lagong in a three-cornered fight when he secured only 2,903 votes against Lagong’s 5,740 votes and PKR Edward Sumbang Asun’s 1,171 votes. Pelagus is the only seat lost by PRS in the election.

    Lagong had made himself clear that he is a BN-friendly independent after he stated his support for the Pehin Sri Abul Taib-led government in his press statement distributed during the recently-concluded State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting.

    He even surprised a lot of people when he attended the BN Backbenchers (BNBBC) post-DUN sitting dinner on June 29 despite being technically an opposition member.

    Lagong is also the uncle of Larry Sng, the former assemblyman of Pelagus from 2001.

  • Democracy

    Ever since 1974, the Election Commission has been playing and dancing to the tune orchestrated by the State Government. In 1974 when the state elections were held, election officials drawn from the civil service were directed to count the votes as soon as polling was completed in a constituency. Sarawak then held staggered polling. I was serving as one of the Returning Officers and we objected to this by saying that the results of one constituency will affect the polling of another yet to go the polls, as the winning candidates (mostly from the ruling parties) would be campaigning in the constituencies where polling was yet to be conducted. Despite our objections, the Chairman of the EC, Tan Sri Ahmad Perang overruled our objections. In the ensuing elections, constituencies belonging to the party (PBB) of the Chief Minister were delineated and the party now holds the majority of seats in the Council Negeri. When other political parties of the state BN have their own constituencies delineated, PBB will take the other new seats created. Not a whimper from the component parties of the BN – SUPP, SNAP and PBDS/PRS. HOw can the Malay/Melanau community which made up a minority when compared to the other communities (Iban, Orang Ulu, Bidayuh and Chinese) have more seats than these communities combined ? Was it not with the help of the Election Commission that Taib since 1987 have been gerrymandering the state elections and yet we did not hear nor see any objection from the other component parties or was it a case of the leaders so comfortable in their comfort zone that as long as their own positions in the government are not affected, they would just let Taib run riot in Sarawak.