Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Masing’s swipe at Taib?

Parti Rakyat Sarawak has declared itself the "true custodian" of Dayaks in Sarawak, putting a spoke perhaps in Taib's divide and rule strategy.

SIBU: Was Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president James Masing sending out a message to Chief Minister Taib Mahmud with his speech during the party’s eight anniversary dinner here last Saturday?

Masing’s emphasis on PRS being a “truly Dayak party” and that its elected representatives were “all Dayaks” wasn’t just a frivolous statement. It was tactical.

It comes at a time of the rapid ‘Dayak awakening’ amongst the rural native communities courtesy of the alternative media, Radio Free Sarawak and a brazen opposition.

Fueling this ‘awakening’ is the floundering Barisan Nasional partners – Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) and Sarawak United Peoples party (SUPP) – who can’t seem to get their act together.

The only ‘water-tight’ party appears to be PRS and Taib’s PBB which incidentally is facing simmering discontent within its Bumiputera wing led by the allegedly much spineless Alfred Jabu Numpang.

The next parliamentary election which must be held by April 2013 will be a challenging one for Sarawak BN’s component parties.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is desperately in need of Sarawak’s 31 seats in view of the fluid political situation in Sabah and in the peninsular.

In the last parliamentary elections in 2008, it was Sabah and Sarawak’s collective 56 seats that helped BN retain Putrajaya. Sabah and Sarawak each lost one seat to the opposition, delivering 54 seats to the federal coalition.

But the current scenario is somewhat different. The latest spin from the ground in Sabah is that the Musa Aman-led BN could lose up to 10 if not 12 of the 25 contestable parliamentary seats.

In Sarawak the seat sharing ratio stands at PPB (14), SUPP (seven) PRS (six) SPDP (4)

As it stands, speculations are rife that BN could lose up to seven seats from amongst SUPP, SPDP and PRS.

Taib, on his part, has guaranteed Najib a return on all 14 of PBB’s parliamentary seats and there’s no reason for the PM to doubt his ability especially after his performance in the last state election. Taib is not too concerned about parliament.

PRS truly represents Dayaks

Parliamentary election’s is not Taib’s top priority, but state is. Rumours are rife that he’s had a finger in the chaos within SUPP, SPDP and PRS. A divided state coalition allows him to have better control of his ‘partners’ and an increasingly empowered native community courtesy of the opposition.

Masing is said to be a thorn in Taib’s side. In the run-up to last year’s state election, Masing, unhappy with Taib constantly ignoring his proposals, met directly with Najib and in one instant managed to thwart attempts to allow an ex-PRS incumbent elected representative, Larry Sng, from contesting.

On Saturday, stamping PRS’ sway over Sarawak’s majority Dayak community, Masing said the party was the “custodian” of Dayak interest and that its elected representatives were “duty bound” to protect the race.

“For all intents and purposes, PRS is the party which truly represents rural constituencies where most of the Dayaks happen to reside.

“Therefore, we do not apologise for who we are and the basis of our political stand and struggles,” he said alluding perhaps to the known ‘issues’ between him and Taib.

Masing further warned members to be wary of “attempts” to stir discontent within the party adding that enemies and approaches came in different forms.

“There are people who are envious of our strength and will try to de-stabilise us. They maybe individuals or groups.

“They will (either) contest against us when the general election is called (or) slyly fight us by pretending to our friends or friends of the group and pull us down.

“The other way is to de-stabilise us is by picking on some of our members who exhibit certain weaknesses. This will be a subtle approach and by people who we are familiar with. Thus without realizing it, we will fall into a trap which will eventually break the party’s solidarity,” said Masing.

Stand up and fight

On a philosophical note, he said the hardest battle to win was the war within each individual.

“Unless and until we can control our (individual) wants and needs, we will become the weak link in the party.

“The battle to control our needs is a lonely battle. We have to fight it on our own. Party members will not be able to help us.

“But if we and our party ideologies and struggles are strong, we will win,” Masing said adding that members must not be afraid to fight for what is right.

“If we are too scared to fight for what we believe are right, we might as well pack our bags and go home because in the next election, the rural population will throw us out.

“When this happens, PRS will lose its seats and Barisan Nasional will lose its power to govern this country,” Masing added.

sumber: FMT

Chin: We’ll face polls as a united SUPP

SUPP has decided to field its youth chief for Stampin constituency in the coming parliamentary elections.

KUCHING: Sarawak United Peoples Party’s (SUPP) top leadership has finally put an end to weeks of speculations and accusations over its indecisiveness in regards to naming a candidate for the Stampin constituency.

Party president Peter Chin has announced that SUPP Youth secretary-general Wilfred Yap was the chosen candidate to contest in Stampin.

The party had earlier submitted two names for the constituency, namely its Kota Sentosa branch secretary Lo Khere Chiang (who is chairman of Padawan Municipal Council), and Yap, a lawyer.

Its decision to submit the two names was heavily criticised by party members who saw it as reflective of Chin’s indecisive leadership.

Yap will replace the five-term MP Yong Khoon Seng who has decided to step down.

In announcing Yap’s candidacy, Chin said: “That is our decision with regard to Stampin. Nobody can now doubt that we cannot make a decision.

“We will submit Yap’s name to the state Barisan Nasional headquarters and the federal Barisan Nasional headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.”

He said that the party’s central working committee was unanimous in agreeing to Yap as the candidate for the Stampin seat.

“I want to mention this specifically that this discussion has been very cordial on who among the two loyal party members will be the candidate.

“We are unanimous in our decision that Yap will take up this task of representing the party for the Stampin seat because we feel that it is not fair for the two of them hanging like this after we made this decision last time.

“We have agreed to make this decision even though one of them has to step aside and make way for the other. This is in the spirit for the party.

“It is indeed important that our comrades, not only the top leadership, but also the middle rung and the ground leadership, will be united,” said Chin, who is the Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water.

Best foot forward

He said SUPP will face the next parliamentary election as a united front.

“When we go for the election we will be a united group to vie for these two seats, Bandar Kuching and Stampin.

“We have also decided the five branches in Kuching namely Batu Kawah, Kota Sentosa, Batu Lintang Padungan and Pending will together form an election committee to coordinate these two constituencies.

“I am being asked to head this committee with SUPP secretary general Dr Sim Kui Hian and Yong Khoon Seng as deputies.

“This is to show how serious we are to capture Bandar Kuching and to retain Stampin.

“Our two candidates are young and new, and we have full confidence that because of their younger age and their enthusiasm, we will be able to capture Bandar Kuching and retain Stampin,” he added.

Bandar Kuching is now in the hand of DAP.

With Yap named as the Stampin candidate, SUPP’s other candidates are Richard Riot for Serian, Tan Kai (Bandar Kuching), Ding Kuong Hiing (Sarikei), Tiong Thai King (Lanang), Vincent Lau (Sibu) and Sebastian Ting (Miri).

sumber: FMT

Murum Dam: Listen to the Penans

The Penan communities affected by the Murum Dam have shown a commitment to defend their rights and Malaysians must give them full support.

The Penans have been blockading against the construction of the 944MW Murum Dam since Sept 26, 2012. More than 1,600 Penans from eight Penan villages (including one Kenyah Badeng longhouse) are affected by the construction of the dam which is now about 70% completed.

Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), contractors and private companies involved in the project have been forced to use ferryboats or tugboats through the Bakun Dam reservoir to transport goods, machines, building materials etc. to the Murum Dam site.

This is a new and different factor compared to the campaign against the Bakun dam in previous years.

While we had built a campaign against the Bakun Dam in the past, there was no action by the indigenous peoples affected on a scale comparable to the Murum Dam blockade.

The Penan communities affected by the Murum Dam have shown a commitment to defend their rights and Malaysians must give them full solidarity and support their struggle in all possible ways.

The Murum Penan communities are among the poorest in Malaysia. They have traditionally been hunter-gatherers but shifted to a more settled, agriculture-based way of life approximately 40 years ago.

They rely on subsistence-based farming and hunting, fishing and gathering of forest products and the occasional sale of in-season fruit. Their livelihood has been adversely affected by low farm productivity and rapidly declining forest resources because of plantation and dam building projects.

The Bakun Dam fiasco

The Sarawak state government with federal government support, has been carrying out highly irresponsible economic projects to the detriment of the environment, the indigenous peoples’ lives and the long-term interest of the Sarawak and Malaysian tax payers.

The 2,400MW Bakun Dam project has already proven to be a major fiasco not only in terms of insufficient demand for its electricity generated but a disaster for the 10,000 indigenous peoples who were displaced from their traditional ancestral land to the slum conditions of the resettlement scheme at Sg. Asap.

Those who cherish their heritage and human rights would describe their fate as ethnocide if they have seen for themselves the conditions at Sg. Asap.

The total energy demand in the whole of Sarawak is only 1,000MW so the government has been trying to attract the biggest energy guzzlers such as aluminium smelters which happen to be the most toxic as well.

Another investment is a coal-fired power station to take up the excess energy. These environmentally polluting industries are then touted as part of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score).

In fact, hydro-electric power dams and toxic aluminium smelters are all industries rejected by the developed countries.

None of these countries, especially Australia, wants to have toxic industries in their own backyard. But the Sarawak state government is willing to have these mega projects for rather dubious purposes.

The desperate chase for investments to take up the excess Bakun energy after the dam has been built shows a total lack of economic feasibility studies which should have been done before the dam was built.

Is it surprising therefore that many Score contracts have been given to companies owned by members of Chief Minister Taib’s family?

As if this Bakun Dam fiasco was not enough, the Sarawak state government intends to build 12 mega dams in all which will strip the state of its rainforest and displace even more indigenous communities.

Violating international standards

The Murum Dam is the first of these 12 dams. The dam construction is being supervised by China Three Gorges Corporation and built by Chinese dam builder Sinohydro.

After their massive investments in the Three Gorges project, you can be sure these Chinese companies are hungry for investments in other hydropower projects in Sarawak.

With such a large development scheme, international best practice calls for a “strategic environmental and social assessment.”

Such an assessment looks at the overall impact that a large development scheme can have as was done for the proposed “Greater Mekong Sub-region” energy network by the Asian Development Bank.

No such strategic economic, environmental and social assessment has been conducted for Score.

If the Bakun Dam project is to be any guide, the Sarawak government’s energy demand forecasts appear to be based more on nothing more than wishful thinking rather than detailed feasibility studies.

Malaysian taxpayers, be warned that all these mega projects will entail an onerous debt burden on the Sarawak and Malaysian public. You can be sure that there will be electricity tariff hikes after the 13th general election.

There are many energy alternatives for Sarawak beyond large hydroelectric power projects such as small-scale hydropower, solar and other forms of renewable energy, energy efficiency measures, more efficiently run and managed power plants, among others.

Above all, such environmentally friendly power projects respects the indigenous peoples’ lifestyles while efforts can put into helping them with better transport systems, marketing channels and other forms of development they may require.

The Murum Dam project is in violation of the international standards on indigenous rights as guaranteed in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), of which Malaysia is a signatory.

The Murum Dam is nearing completion but the resettlement report is still being withheld.

As for the Bakun Dam, all studies related to the projects have not been transparent. The affected Penan and Kenyah have stated that they have never been asked for consent as demanded by the UNDRIP.

The project developer, Sarawak’s state-owned electricity generating company, Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) has not provided indigenous communities with an opportunity to grant or withhold their “free, prior and informed consent” for the project as required by UNDRIP.

Even in cases where there was agreement, however, it was neither free from coercion; the resettlement plan was not made known to the indigenous peoples prior to the start of the construction, and they were not informed by access to information about the project’s impacts.

The social and environmental impact assessment (SEIA) for the Murum project is seriously flawed.

International standards—including the Equator Principles and the IFC Performance Standards—universally require that the SEIA must be completed during the design phase, before the government approves the project and before construction begins.

This was not the case with the Murum Dam Project. The SEIA process did not even begin until after construction on the project was already underway. The Sarawak government has not yet disclosed the Murum Dam Project’s SEIA to the public or to the affected communities.

The indigenous peoples’ demands

Without transparent access to the crucial information at the centre of this project, the affected communities were placed in an unfair situation when the Sarawak government asked them to negotiate a resettlement package.

The monthly allowance to be paid after resettlement falls below the poverty level and ends after four years.

However, the state government turned down the other demands of the Penan, which included compensation of RM500,000 for each family for the loss of their customary land.

Their other demands were 30,000 hectares of land for every village, 25 hectares for every farming family, education for their children, a community development fund and rights to their land that is not submerged by the dam waters.

The indigenous communities affected by the Murum Dam project have already issued a memorandum describing how the government could still remedy the situation.

sumber: FMT
sumber: FMT

Roland Engan PKR candidate for Baram

MIRI: Lawyer Roland Engan is confirmed the state PKR choice of candidate for the Baram seat in the upcoming general election.

He was endorsed during the recent AGM of the Baram PKR branch chaired by its chairman Harrison Ngau.

Disclosing this here was the party’s Miri branch chairman Dr Michael Teo at a press conference yesterday.

Dr Teo said he threw his support behind Roland for his experience in managing the state PKR campaign in the last state election where Harrison lost by a few hundred votes to Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Dennis Ngau in a multi-cornered fight for Telang Usan, one of state seats under Baram.

“Harrison could have won if not for the delay in announcing the candidate, thus causing confusion among the voters,” said Dr Teo who is also eyeing Miri seat this election.

Dr Teo is still sore about the way SNAP joined Pakatan Rakyat (PR) alliance, only to break away at the eleventh hour to contest on its own, and ruled out any cooperation with it.

He regretted wasting money to print banners and T-shirts promoting SNAP as a component of PR last year.

“We’re thankful that SNAP has shown its true colours – they’re there just to spoil PR’s chances,” he said.

Dr Teo stressed against repeating the same mistakes by trusting the wrong party and individuals claiming to represent PKR, especially those who defected from BN to contest in the polls.

The other contender for Baram seat is said to be former PRS founder and supreme council member, Patrick Sibat Sujang who is said to have resigned from the party this year to join PKR.

However, Roland confirmed that Patrick was not a member of PKR Baram branch, and did not have the party’s blessings to stand as the PKR candidate for Baram.

Roland, 39, a Kenyah who hails from Long Jeeh, Ulu Baram, is deputy chairman of Baram PKR branch.

He has been practising law at his own law firm in Kuala Lumpur since 2005.


Yong relieved SUPP names his replacement

Datuk Yong Khoon Seng
KUCHING: Stampin MP Datuk Yong Khoon Seng said he was happy that his party SUPP has finally nominated a young and capable candidate in lawyer Wilfred Yap to succeed him.

“Now I can finally retire happily,” the five-term MP said, heaving a sigh of relief.

On the other hand, he would not comment whether Yap would be the most winnable candidate for Stampin except to say that if it was the party’s decision, it must therefore be respected. Yong is Deputy Minister of Works.

Prior to yesterday’s decision, the party announced that it was still undecided on who between Yap and MPP chairman Lo Khere Chiang should be recommended to the Barisan Nasional as its Stampin parliamentary candidate.

At one time Yong even quipped that there were four party members able to succeed him but he never revealed their names except to say that the four had sometimes followed him around whenever he went to the ground to meet people.

Meanwhile, Yap told The Borneo Post that the announcement came as a surprise.

“I didn’t expect to be nominated. I have been in the party for 20 years and was a little bit surprised at the confidence given to me.”

He pointed out that SUPP president Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui had spoken about the party’s transformation plan which included giving young blood the chance to serve the party and the people.

“This is part of it, and it shows that they mean what they say,” Yap said.

He thanked the party and its members for their support and said he would try his best.

When met after the SUPP Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting yesterday at the party headquarters, Lo said he was surprised but then again he believed in the decision of the CWC.

He explained that he respected the decision.

“The decision must be respected as it is one made by the majority. There must be a good reason why the CWC has arrived at the decision,” he said.

Yong is SUPP vice chairman. Yap is SUPP Central Youth secretary and Kota Sentosa branch Youth chief while Lo is SUPP Kota Sentosa branch secretary.

SUPP to reveal decision of its committee on Thursday

KUCHING: Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) will not let the decision of its disciplinary committee be known until Thursday.

SUPP president Datuk Seri Peter Chin, who said this after chairing the party’s Central Working Committee (CWC) at party headquarters here yesterday, confirmed that the party’s CWC had unanimously adopted the reports and recommendations made by the party’s disciplinary committee which met on Oct 11.

“Today, they have submitted their reports and recommendations to us. We have made decisions with regards to those reports but I will not tell you the decision until this Thursday when my sec-gen Prof Dr Sim Kui Hian issue you a statement. The statement will tell you in detail what sort of decision we have made today with regards to the disciplinary committee’s recommendation,” he stated.

Chin, who is also Miri MP, said it was important for the party to issue the statement so that the press would know exactly what the party wanted to express in writing.

To a question on why the decision of the party’s disciplinary committee could not be revealed yesterday, he stated that it was because the party leadership wanted to tell the press in their own words what they had wanted to express.

“If I tell you verbally like that, there will be different versions of news reports so it is better for us to have a proper statement. Even the names you’ll be very clear and there will be no confusion,” Chin added.

When asked whether SUPP Sibu branch chairman Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh’s name was in the list, he replied: “We will tell all on Thursday, so wait.”

When pressed further on how many names were mentioned in the report, Chin requested reporters to wait for Dr Sim to issue the statement, saying everything would be crystal clear on Thursday.

On the possibility that the persons mentioned in the report had already known their fate since they might have already been informed, he replied: “I don’t know but officially, my secretary-general will issue those letters. So wait, we don’t jump the gun.”

Chin said in the event that the members were either dismissed or suspended, under the constitution they would have 30 days to appeal to the party’s central committee.

Meanwhile, Chin also mentioned during the press conference that the party had received a letter of appeal from founding member and ex-assemblyman Anthony Teo from Bintangor who had been suspended from the party for 28 years.

Suspended for some disciplinary problem, he said Teo had decided to apply for reinstatement of his membership because the suspension would not be lifted automatically.

“I’m very happy to mention to you this event because here you have people who think that SUPP is finished but I can tell you there are members like Anthony Teo who still support the party. When I go around, people also tell me that they will be behind me and support me.

“After 28 years of suspension, Anthony Teo has now decided to be active and help Sarikei candidate Ding Kuong Hiing. So this is something that shows SUPP is not finished and still surviving so I hope this sort of event will give encouragement to our new announced candidates that the party is still very much alive,” Chin said.

When asked on whether there was any more controversy surrounding the letter from Registrar of Societies, Chin preferred not to talk about it.


Masing: We’ll wallop our opponents

SIBU: We will beat the heck out of them. That’s what PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing said when asked what he had in mind for the Opposition during the impending general election.

He said PRS was in battle-ready mode and would go full throttle when Parliament is dissolved.

“I am not worried about them (Oppostion), and I am very confident that we will beat the ‘heck’ out of them,” said Masing, who is also Minister of Land Development, yesterday.

On the recent endorsement of lawyer Abun Sui by PKR Hulu Rajang to stand in Hulu Rajang in the polls, Masing told The Borneo Post that this was their (PKR) business.

“They can decide whoever they want, but we will fight them. We have been fighting our opponents all these years.”

PKR Hulu Rajang chairman Frankie Bedindang Manjoh was quoted last week after its annual general meeting (AGM) that Abun was the ideal candidate as he had earned his reputation as a staunch defender of NCR land.

PRS’s parliamentary seats are Sri Aman, Lubok Antu, Julau, Selangau, Kanowit and Hulu Rajang.

Besides PKR, Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) is also eyeing seats belonging to PRS. Ever since its formation several months ago, SWP publicly announced that it would challenge PRS in all its six constituencies.

During PRS’s Supreme Council Meeting last Saturday, Masing said PRS 30 (comprising of members aged 30 and below) would play a significant role in helping the party retain all their six seats.

He said the party would basically utilise PRS 30 to touch base with youths.

The group would also use the social media such as Facebook and Twitter to gel with youths, he said.


Wilfred Yap for Stampin

CONGRATULATIONS: Lo (second left) congratulating Yap (second right) after the press conference. Also seen are Tan Kai (left) and SUPP publicity and information secretary Datuk Sebastian Ting. — Photo by Chimon Upon

SUPP ends dither over choice of candidate for Stampin seat, opts for Youth wing sec-gen

KUCHING: Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) announced yesterday that it has chosen its Youth secretary-general Wilfred Yap as its candidate for the Stampin parliamentary constituency replacing incumbent Datuk Yong Khoon Seng in the coming general election.

The decision reached at the party’s Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting at its headquarters here ended months of speculation on the Stampin seat as Padawan Municipal Council chairman Lo Khere Chiang was also in the running to represent the party in the constituency.

“We have been unanimous in our decision that Wilfred Yap will take up this task of representing the party for Stampin because we feel that it is not fair to either one of them to be left uncertain after our announcement last time to say that Stampin could either be represented by Lo Khere Chiang or Wilfred Yap,” SUPP president Datuk Seri Peter Chin told a press conference after chairing the CWC meeting.

Chin said the discussion on the candidacy which also involved Yap and Lo was cordial although any decision made would entail one of them stepping aside.

“We are fighting for the party’s survival so it is indeed important that our comrades from not only the top leadership level but also the middle level and on the ground be a united group to vie for these two seats, Bandar Kuching and Stampin,” Chin said.

The CWC had also formed a joint SUPP Bandar Kuching-Stampin Parliamentary Constituencies Election Committee comprising Batu Kawa, Kota Sentosa, Batu Lintang, Padungan and Pending branches to coordinate the election campaign in the two constituencies.

The committee is headed by Chin himself and assisted by SUPP secretary-general Prof Dr Sim Kui Hian and Stampin MP Datuk Yong Khoon Seng as deputy chairmen.

Dr Sim is also the Barisan Nasional liaison officer and he is assisted by Lo. Other members in the committee are Datuk Alfred Yap (secretary), Tionia Kon (assistant secretary), Bong Lian Huan (treasurer), Lim Kheng Sze (assistant treasurer), Sih Hua Tong (publicity secretary), Shim Poh Szu (assistant publicity secretary), Milton Foo (campaign manager), Tan Joo Phoi (stage manager), Tnay Li Ping (assistant stage manager), Datuk Lily Yong (ceramah and crowd mobilisation manager) and Ong Chee Chiang (transport manager).

Chin stated that the formation of the joint election committee showed how serious the party was in wresting Bandar Kuching seat from DAP and defending the Stampin seat through Tan and Yap respectively.

“We know these two candidates are new and young but we have full confidence in them because of their youth and enthusiasm. This is also in line with the transformation agenda of our party to ensure that the party has a younger front,” he said.

Chin stressed that now that the party had decided that Yap would be its candidate for Stampin seat, nobody could accuse that it of being indecisive.

“Of course, I must qualify that all this that these two candidates Tan Kai for Bandar Kuching and Wilfred Yap for Stampin will be submitted to both state and federal BN leadership for approval,” Chin said.

He added that this time around, all the branches and members in Kuching were all solidly united and no longer worked in “silos” anymore.

Radio Free Sarawak ‘running wild’

SIBU: The stealth modus operandi of Radio Free Sarawak has grown to become a ‘grave concern’ as it is sowing deceit among the rural populace.

It (Radio) has gone ‘wild’ by hurling all kinds of allegations and accusations against the government, cautioned PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing after the party’s Supreme Council Meeting here on Saturday.

“We view this matter with grave concern, given that the main form of communication in the rural areas is radio,” he said, adding that this issue was deliberated during the meeting.

“I hope that rural folks will be more discerning when listening to news broadcasted by Radio Free Sarawak.”

Masing admitted that it was difficult to nail the perpetrators for they not only use different frequencies but also operate through mobile stations.

“I don’t listen to Radio Free Sarawak, but apparently from the report that we had, it is running wild. Running wild in the sense that they tell all kinds of stories and make all kinds of allegations and accusations against government of the day,” he bemoaned.

He added that party vice president Datuk Joseph Salang, who is also Deputy Minister of Information, Communication and Culture, told the meeting that it was difficult to home in on these individuals.

“Firstly, they are using different frequencies which we cannot control, and their stations are mobile to avoid detection,” explained Masing, who is also Minister of Land Development.

“You see, one day they will be here, the next time they could be in Malacca, and other time in Limbang or elsewhere. They are always on the move, so it’s hard to control them.”

The only viable option left is to advise all listeners to analyse what they hear carefully, and not to accept things at face value.

“All listeners must put on their thinking cap, and become more discerning when listening to their news.”


PRU13: Wakil rakyat BN sentiasa bersedia

BAU: Sama ada senarai calon Barisan Nasional (BN) yang bertanding pada Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-13 (PRU13) diumumkan lebih awal atau tidak, wakil rakyat BN di Sarawak tetap terus bersedia untuk menghadapinya.

Ahli Parlimen Mambong Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit berkata, ia merupakan amalan Ahli-ahli Parlimen di negeri ini untuk sentiasa turun padang bersama rakyat dari awal.

“Pengumuman senarai calon adalah terpulang kepada pucuk pimpinan tertinggi BN iaitu pengerusi BN.

“Jika Yang Amat Berhormat Perdana Menteri mahu senarai calon dihantar kepada beliau, maka semua presiden parti komponen BN menghantar senarai,” katanya pada sidang media selepas merasmikan Regata Jong Bau 2012 yang diadakan di Tasik Biru di sini, semalam.

Dawos yang juga Timbalan Menteri Pelancongan berkata, walaupun setiausaha agung BN Pusat telah menyatakan perkara berkenaan namun sebelum Parlimen dibubarkan maka pengumuman belum dapat diketahui.

“Namun bagi saya dan Ahli Parlimen lain kami akan terus memberi khidmat kepada rakyat dan turun padang sejak awal lagi terutama pada hujung minggu.

“Semua wakil rakyat di Sarawak memang sentiasa bersedia dan apabila pilihan raya diadakan kami terus berkempen dengan lebih strategik lagi,” tegas beliau.

Sementara itu semalam satu laman sesawang menyatakan bahawa BN tidak menolak kebarangkalian untuk mengumumkan senarai nama calon yang bakal bertanding pada PRU13 lebih awal berbanding pilihan raya sebelum ini.

Setiausaha Agung BN Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor juga mengesahkan pengumuman ini bukan sahaja melibatkan calon UMNO semata-mata, akan tetapi merangkumi kesemua senarai daripada parti komponen yang terlibat.

“Ada lebih banyak kebaikan untuk menamakan calon lebih awal berbanding keburukannya dan hanya sedikit perbezaan pada Pilihan Raya Umum akan datang,” katanya sambil memberitahu, keputusan rasmi bakal diperolehi menerusi budi bicara dan kebijaksanaan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak selaku pengerusi BN.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

SUPP Youth derides DAP for opposing implementation of AES

KUCHING: SUPP Youth yesterday questioned DAP’s intention in opposing the implementation of Automated Enforcement System (AES).

“This has clearly shown that DAP is hell bent to oppose only for the sake of opposing and nothing more (than that),” said its chief Tan Kai in a statement yesterday.

“It also laid bare the fact that DAP’s populist approach was merely to please the people and not defending their wellbeing,” he said.

Tan, who is SUPP’s pick for Bandar Kuching in the impending 13th general election, also blasted Pakatan leaders for opposing the AES. He opined that they had no in-depth knowledge about traffic regulation offences.

“Undeniably, Pakatan Rakyat’s populist approach sounded much more pleasing to most people. But in the end, people are left to face the consequences alone,” Tan cautioned.

“To gain political mileage and to secure more ballots, DAP has never hesitated in exploiting and stirring up people’s emotions, instigating the road users to bend or even to break the rules, and causing chaos.”

Tan said in their eagerness to please the minor few who loved to speed and break the laws, the safety of the majority of road users was completely ignored.

“Do they even know which ones are the top priorities and which ones not?”

Though AES is admittedly far from perfect – especially on the part where speed limit at certain accident prone areas are restricted to a mere 30kmph which is nearly not feasible – Tan stressed that the purpose of this restriction was to ensure the safety of all road users.

“I feel sorry for the DAP. The number of cases of severe road traffic accidents is growing at an alarming rate nationwide and money and even lives were lost. Did DAP leaders choose to ignore this on purpose, or they simply wanted to oppose Barisan’s policies that are beneficial to the people?”

Tan went on to say that it had always been the opposition’s tactic to stir and play with people’s emotions in order to gain popularity.

SUPP Youth, on the other hand, is critical of the relevant enforcement authorities for not paying enough attention to curb traffic offences such as reckless driving, speeding and running red lights.


‘No particular threat from Wong Judat’

KUCHING: PRS views the threat posed by Meluan assemblyman Wong Judat in Julau like any threat posed by other opposition candidates in all its six seats in the upcoming 13th general election.

President Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing said there was nothing so special about Wong Judat, who had since joined the so-called BN friendly party — Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) — after quitting SPDP.

“He can do whatever he wants to do. That is his right.

“As far as we are concerned, he is just another opposition candidate, though his party may claim that it’s BN friendly,” Masing told The Borneo Post here yesterday.

Wong Judat had made headlines in the media recently when he willingly gave up his post as a vice-president in SPDP just to keep his word that he would challenge Julau MP Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum if he (Salang) was re-nominated by PRS.

PRS had all along maintained that it would re-nominate Salang to defend Julau as he (Salang) was still a winnable candidate.

Masing also reiterated that PRS would keep its five other nominated candidates.

“As I have said many times, the names we have submitted six months ago still stand today regardless of what SWP claims and the public perceptions which it had created. We will stick with our list as we know best who can deliver for us,” he insisted.

Masing reiterated that both Sri Aman and Lubok Antu MPs, namely Masir Kujat and William Nyallau Badak, have a good chance to defend their respective seats.

“Contrary to what the opposition and SWP have been harping on, we still have faith in them.”

He also maintained that PRS’ only nominated candidate for Hulu Rajang is Wilson Ugak Kumbong, who is also his private secretary.

Other re-nominated candidates are Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun (Selangau) and Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang (Kanowit).

Meanwhile, Masing assured the BN top leadership that his party was in battle-ready mode and hoped that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would call for the general election soon so that it would not wane the grassroots support as many had thought that it would be held this year.

“When he says that BN is ready, we hope that we will start firing our guns soon,” added Masing.

Najib had said at the just concluded Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) 59th Annual Assembly in Kuala Lumpur over the weekend that BN must be in battle-ready mode to face the next general election.


Manyin: State to fight for a dual-carriageway trunk road

ONE FOR THE ALBUM: Manyin (centre) taking a group photo with representatives of the `Road Safety Partners’ after the launching.

KUCHING: The state will continue to bid for allocations from the federal government to turn the trunk road between Kuching and Miri into a dual carriageway.

Infrastructure Development and Communication Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin said that was the wish of all Sarawakians.

“Compared with states in the peninsula, the standard of roads in Sarawak is still very, very far behind, and as minister responsible for road development in the state, I have received nasty messages through SMS (short messaging system),” he said at the launching of Road Safety Partnership 2012 organised by Sarawak Road Safety Department here yesterday.

“Like everyone else, I am equally concerned, and I have been going to Kuala Lumpur quite consistently to meet federal leaders on our requests. We are fighting really hard to get the existing trunk road upgraded into a dual carriageway, and, God willing, we will get the money within the next few years.”

Manyin said upgrading the trunk road had been found to be “very crucial”.

“With a dual carriageway stretching from Kuching to Miri, I believe we should be able to reduce the number of road accidents. Secondly, people will be able to save in terms of transportation cost.”

He sighed that at the moment many people still had to fly if they wanted to go to the central or northern regions, and vice-versa.

Manyin said building a dual carriageway would require a huge sum of money, but that should not be a problem if the federal government was serious about it.

“Unfortunately, the explanations given by the Minister of Works (Dato Shaziman Abu Mansor) during his visit to Miri early this year was that the number of vehicles using the trunk road was only 10,000 per day, and that does not warrant a dual carriageway.”

To have a dual carriageway, it seemed that the criterion is 20,000 vehicles per day.

“As a Sarawakian, definitely I am not happy with that kind of explanation.”

Manyin added that during that visit, Shaziman travelled from Miri to Bintulu to experience the road conditions firsthand.

“After the drive from Miri to Bintulu, he (Shaziman) told us that our road conditions were really bad … not just bad, but really bad, and added that it was beyond repair and need to be rehabilitated.”

Manyin said Shaziman had since given the state some money to rehabilitate those portions which were deemed beyond repair. Thus far, 12 kilometres of roads between Bintulu and Sibu had been rehabilitated.

On the 2011 Auditor-General’s Report, Manyin said the state would act on several road upgrade issues raised.

He said his ministry and the state Public Works Department (JKR) would discuss the report at a meeting to be called sometime this week.

The auditor-general’s report had highlighted that 175 projects in Sarawak were “less than satisfactory” due to delays and poor quality.

On the RM20.43-million Batang Strap Bridge in Sri Aman raised in the report, Manyin said his ministry would resolve the problem.

He said the bridge was to have connected the nearby town of Pekan Pantu to the other side of the river, but, eventually, the gravel road on the other side (of the river) delayed the work.

“So, we need to upgrade the gravel road before continuing the work.”

According to the auditor-general’s report, JKR had proposed the construction of the Batang Strap Bridge, forgetting the link road to the nearby villages.