Voters in constituencies contested by the wealthy Sng Chee Hua have been reported as perplexed, because they have received ‘Membership Cards’ for his Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) without realising they had joined.
Some such recipients have expressed themselves as downright angry, because they are already members of other parties!
So what has been going on?
Sarawak Report can now reveal the inside story on how it was that in the key SWP target constituency of Julau 5,000 people found themselves signed up to the party without their prior knowledge.
This story unfolded back in December of last year, after the engaging but ruthless multi-millionaire business baron, Sng Chee Hua, announced that his family based party had persuaded the ‘idealistic’ politician Wong Judat to leave SPDP and join the improbably named Sarawak Workers Party.
The Sarawak Workers Party in fact represents the interests of one of the state’s richest families and consists of three key candidates, Sng himself, his son Larry and now Wong Judat.
It is also part of the BN coalition that supports Taib Mahmud, who has cheated and exploited the poor workers of Sarawak for the past 40 years.
From its manifesto, SWP’s claim to represent workers clearly involves the Sng family being in charge and the workers being grateful for benevolences provided.
These benevolences include a much promoted health insurance scheme, which membership of SWP apparently entitles voters to take advantage of.
But, in return it is clear they are expected to vote for Sng’s party, which makes the receipt of a membership card particularly sensitive!
Insiders say that Wong Judat had been lured over from his original SPDP to be the SWP candidate in Julau for a tasty RM2 million ringgit ‘fee’ offered by Sng.
Since Sng has notoriously and openly bought his way through politics for many decades, offering money to voters and candidates alike, Judat can hardly be surprised at the talk that he was bought.
Indeed he can congratulate himself that he was able to price his services so high.
However, it seems that Sng’s shiny new candidate was not only prepared to desert his original party, but was soon biting the hand of his new feeder!
Information that not all was going to plan started to appear in Sarawak newspapers in December, as voters in Julau began complaining at the arrival of membership cards for SWP, even when in some cases they were activists for other parties.
In the case of one vocal Patimah Bilaka, she was the Pakan Women chief for SPDP, the party ‘Judas’ had just deserted!.
So, what did SWP internal enquiries reveal had been going on?
To start with, Sarawak Report can now inform that SWP bosses Sng and son Larry had put aside RM30 to bribe each new voter prepared to sign up to the party.
Compare the price for the candidate Wong, (RM2,000,000) and that for the mere workers (RM30).
The Sngs had entrusted this money to their new candidate, in order that he should go round the longhouses signing up ‘members’.
However, ‘Judas’ had alighted on a short cut to this laborious task of meeting and persuading voters and one which seems to have made him another fat RM150,000 in the process.
He pocketed the money for himself and just took five thousand names off the electoral register and posted the membership cards to their addresses (30×5000 = 150,000)!
When party officials examined the thumbprints against each of the names of their new register of members in the constituency, they realised that it was the same print against every member. That print is whispered to be extremely similar to the print of Judat’s new wife Angela!
Sng was fuming mad!
This means that the new SWP candidate for Julau was willing not only to cheat his vote buying boss, the millionaire Sng Chee Hua, but, even more despicably, to take the money that was meant for the poor voters of the area, who would dearly have loved to see an extra RM30 ringgit to put rice on their tables.
Why should anyone therefore trust or vote for SWP’s Wong ‘Judas’?
Sng, meanwhile, who was described as “fuming mad” at the discovery, has had little choice but to continue with his untrustworthy candidate!
There is of course an alternative BN candidate in Julau, PRS’s Joseph Salang, whose popularity has been plummeting along with his party over recent months.
The PRS rivalry with SWP is just one area where the once famously united BN coalition behind Taib has broken down into in-fighting and rival parties at this election.
It would have been unimaginable in 2008 (when Taib won every seat save one in Sarawak) for more than one BN candidate to be fighting in each seat.
However, this time the BN is in chaos with several rival candidates.
By contrast, it is the opposition PR who have disciplined themselves to only put one candidate per seat and to make sure every seat is indeed contested.
SWP is itself contesting six seats already held by James Masing’s PRS party.
There is a bitter old feud between Masing and Sng. Sng used to finance Masing too, before once again the businessman felt betrayed by his political client (Judas take note).
Sng now wants Masing driven out of politics and has seen his opportunity as PRS candidates have one after the other become caught up in scandals involving stealing millions of ringgit from the people.
At the same time Taib has developed good reason to doubt the continuing loyalty of Masing (Masing is one of the leadership plotters now close to Awang Tengah) and as a result the old man has clearly decided to tolerate Sng’s attempts to dislodge all his PRS seats while still fighting under a BN banner!
The closeness of Larry Sng to Taib is frequently noted as being an important part of this back-stabbing BN triangle.
Sng’s money is also of paramount importance in the mind of Sarawak’s greedy BN leader.
Both Sng Chee Hua and James Masing, who have been around in Sarawak politics for decades, only to end up fighting each other with far more bitterness than anyone else, represent what is old and corrupted in the State.
Who cares about their ancient battles and their willingness to cheat voters out of their lands and rights in return for a few ringgit at election time?
Masing, along with his side-kicks Mong Dagang and his new candidate for Baram, Wilson Ugat, were all three exposed for trying to make millions of ringgit for themselves out of forcing constituents to sell their NCR land into a joint venture at a rock bottom price.
The three men tried to profit by getting the joint venture partners to pay millions of ringgit into a company owned by them, while the poor village people whom they were pretending to be helping and to represent got a pittance for their children’s inheritance.
These same men have also been grabbing millions more in corrupt state contracts and in timber licences, again taking advantage of their position of trust and abusing it to become wealthy.
Why vote for any of these has beens when a new opposition coalition has put forward its own candidate in Andy Wong, committed to ending all this corruption in the future and putting the people first?
PR may not be offering ringgit round the longhouses at this election. This is because offering bribes in elections is corruption and they want to end corruption.
Instead, PR are offering good government and policies that will immediately help the people of Sarawak to be less poor. Good government is what soon makes workers better off, like in Singapore not like in Kuching.
Voters should take all the money that is being offered from SWP and PRS, however they should remember to only vote for the party that has not paid them.
This way they cannot be held guilty themselves of corruption, only the politicians who have handed out the money. Voters should feel no loyalty to parties that attempt to engage them in evil bribery with money that should rightfully be theirs in the first place.