Tuesday, 30 April 2013

GE13: Incumbent rides the crest of community sentiments

BAU: Lone ranger and SPDP-reject, Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe, who is Mas Gading independent candidate, is not to be underestimated. Period.

This appears to be the signal from the ground reflecting the general mood of many voters in the constituency.

The Key (Dr Tiki’s symbol), therefore, must be taken seriously by other contenders for the seat as the partlyless doctor sets the campaign trail ablazing.

Last Sunday night he spoke at a rally at Kampung Suba Bandar here where a sizeable crowd of supporters donned “Kami Sokong Tiki” (We support Tiki) t-shirts. The crowd filled the village community hall and the surrounding compound and kept punctuating the proceedings with their shouts of “May 5, Undi kunci!” (May 5, vote for the key!).

Prior to the three-term MP’s speech in which he passionately appealed for support, a few community heads and councillors also took to the microphone to shed some light on why support should be given to Dr Tiki.

Among the most notable common points of persuasion was that Dr Tiki was one of their own and that it was not right for SPDP to have sacked him while he was their elected representative.

They were referring to the sacking of Dr Tiki and Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie from SPDP in 2011.

It was apparent that the squabble between these representatives and SPDP’s top leaders was still fresh in their minds.

Dr Tiki later told The Star that the response was similar in other villages on his campaign trail.

“I’ve been to so many areas already from Sematan to Lundu and Biawak. The overall response has been very good. The recent one in Kampung Daun alone pulled in a crowd of around 500. That’s a lot for a village.

“My campaigns focus on manageable crowd size because we want to be heard properly and effectively, and also for security reasons. But we are planning a big event in Serikin and Serasot nearing the end of the campaign. We target to attract a thousand people in each of these two venues,” he said.

In his speech, he said that he and Nansian had forged a strong connection between the Mas Gading people and the government, but all had changed after they became partyless.

“Our friends in politics look at us differently now and its sad because it just shakes the relationship of the Bidayuh people with the government,” he said.

He said this relationship should be strengthened and he would work to do so despite being an independent candidate.

He assured that his heart was and would always be with Barisan.

He also assured the community heads and councillors aligned to him that their positions would not be jeopardised just because they were supporting him.

He explained that the Barisan top leadership understood that they were simply exercising their rights and all they wanted was to be united with the coalition through the leaders of their choice.

“Barisan will not simply fire people especially when it understands what is really going on. It understands the feelings of the people on the ground,” he said.

“If you simply throw the people out, come state election, they would throw you out. So we want to ensure that Barisan still holds Mas Gading even if it means using an alternative route.”

A Dr Tiki supporter and one of the speakers for that night, Charles Locklin, said that they were Barisan supporters who did not mean to offend anyone but were merely exercising their democratic rights in their own way, which may or may not be palatable to certain people.

“The people do not see Dr Tiki as an opposition. They still see him as a Barisan man, which he is. His only shortcoming is that he is partyless. We just want to show that our choice is Dr Tiki and how disappointed we are by the way he and Datuk Nansian had been treated by SPDP,” he said.

Charles, who is a an ex-councillor from Singai, Bau, said Dr Tiki had done a lot for the people of Mas Gading.

He said Dr Tiki and Nansian were well-liked by the people because they were not vindictive and often responded in times of need.

Asked about the risk that he and others were taking by supporting Dr Tiki, he said it would be even riskier to create a chance for DAP to win by fielding a candidate who was less popular.

“If DAP wins, then we will lose out. But the way we see things is, if SPDP and DAP lose, and Dr Tiki wins, then Barisan still wins,” he said.-thestar online

Which one’s better? Transform or ubah?

AS POLLING day for the 13th general election approaches, various political parties and candidates are doing their best to garner as much support as they can. Some make promises while others resort to less-than-savoury tactics, some of which are offensive.

We have heard in the news lately about campaign banners, posters and flags being vandalised; offensive posters being put up, and recently in the peninsula, petrol bombs were hurled at party operations centres and even during ceramah. There have even been gang fights between party supporters who have become more daring in their bid to attract attention.

People these days are more demanding and they expect a lot. Just look at the happenings in other parts of the world such as Egypt, Tunisa, Algeria, Yemen, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, to name but a few which have been racked by po-litical turmoil. Many dictatorships and other forms of repressive political systems (even the not so repressive) have been toppled. No wonder many Malaysians think that anything is possible now.

Arguably, the wave of socio-political change began to manifest itself during the first Bersih rally in 2011 followed by Bersih 2.0 last year. According to amateur video footage on Youtube, crowds in support of the rallies were in the tens of thousands.

Change for the better is what many Malaysians are after. But what is better? Better in what way? Lower cost of living? Higher wages? More freedom? Freedom from what?

Some Malaysians are clearly better off than others. Just look at their houses and the cars they drive. At the other end of the socio-economic scale, many are still struggling even after more than half a century of independence from Britain. Hard work might pay off for some, but what about those without opportunities to find work?

Admittedly, the Government of Barisan Nasional (formed in 1973 and successor to the Alliance or Perikatan) has been trying its best to develop the country and take care of the peculiar needs of every ethnic group. It is not really fair to accuse the coalition of deliberately neglecting the people. Unfortunately, history is replete with examples of the saying, “one bad apple spoils the whole bushel”.

To get rid of the bad apples and to keep the ruling government honest and to keep going in the right direction, the inherent job or responsibility of the opposition is to keep an eye on the administration, especially the money. That’s an aspect of democracy in action. Very basic.

A friend pointed out recently that while urban voters want drastic change, especially to the economy, rural voters have been slower because they are more down to earth and bogged down by basic matters that pertain to their day to day survival. Mainly, they just want better roads, supplies of electricity and water, and perhaps telecommunication facilities.

But politics is dynamic, and people keep on changing. As more and more young people become voters, they change the political scene and political parties that fail to change will quickly find themselves irrelevant. Things and situations that don’t change tend to become uninteresting, and people naturally become bored of the same thing year in year out. They want variety in their lives, freedom and fun, and will support whoever can bring the best change.

There is a term bandied around on the Internet, more common now that polling day is near. It is “Vote for the lesser evil”. Another version is “Vote of the lesser devil”. What is implied is that both sides of the political divide are imperfect, and it is the voters who must choose which in their opinion is less faulty.

Have you heard people saying that it is a godly task to make everybody happy? No? Never mind. It’s hard enough to make a few happy, let alone everybody. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had a taste of this universal truth on nomination day. He must have said to himself, “Yes, Malaysians want change. Pakatan Rakyat wants change. The DAP has been saying, ‘Ubah!’ So, let’s change.”

Thus many incumbent MPs were replaced, and what happened? Not a few became disgruntled. Some incumbents who were dropped even threatened to go against Barisan candidates, and in-fighting became the order of the day in some parties.

Taking advantage of this situation, some brave (or foolhardy) souls have gone into the fray as independent candidates, while those who have the resources, and are more ambitious, have formed new political parties.

In the heat of all the political happenings, dealings and wrangling, Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud has not been spared from some serious volley of accusations of corruption not only from the Opposition but non-governmental organisations, local and foreign.

So, having written all the above, we now reach the question: Do we transform or do we change? Does it matter which way we go?

Well, the gist of it is, we can go for either one. It does not really matter. Essentially the words have very little difference in meaning.

Without getting into semantics (the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning), to transform means to make a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of something/someone or a situation.

To change is to cause to be different, to become different or undergo alteration.

See? You can argue until you are blue in the face, but you’ll just be splitting hairs, which is counter-productive and tiring. What’s the point in that? So, let’s just look at what the competing political sides are doing (the deeds), and forget the words, and then vote according to your best judgement and good conscience.

Happy voting! - thestar online

GE13: Matthew a bogus Pakatan leader, says Serian DAP candidate

KUCHING: Serian DAP chairman and candidate Edward Andrew Luwak denies that he has lost his chief operations officer, Matthew Jusses, since the latter was never a member of his branch to start with.

Reacting to a news report in a local daily yesterday on the resignation of Pakatan Rakyat members in Serian in support of Barisan Nasional, he denied that Matthew, who was reported to be one of those who had resigned, was ever appointed as claimed.

“In the first place, Matthew was never a member of Serian DAP. He is not a member of Pakatan Rakyat’s or DAP’s election team. We can therefore say that Matthew is a bogus Pakatan leader,” he told reporters here.

With Edward yesterday were his director of operations Nelson Kundai Ngareng, who is a former Youth and Sports Minister, and Lainus Luak, a former Serian MP and Edward’s election agent. He also introduced his lead campaigners for Tebedu and Kedup and that Kundai and Lainus were among his key campaign speakers.

Edward is in a three-cornered fight for Serian against the former incumbent Datuk Richard Riot Jaem and State Reform Party’s Johnny Aput.

“The highlighting of Matthew’s and others so-called resignation is one of the tricks by the Barisan candidate for Serian (Riot) to make people think that he has strong support,” Edward said.-thestar online

GE13: Dr Tiki cannot yet believe he is fighting Barisan

BAU: Mas Gading Independent Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe admitted deciding to contest only at the eleventh hour and that it has been a surreal experience for him till today.

He said it was never his intention to go against a Barisan Nasional chosen candidate but was forced to do so after much shoving from the grassroots.

“I never planned to go against a Barisan official candidate. It was a last-minute decision. I shocked many of my friends in politics and even myself. I’ve asked myself why am I doing this but then the ground anger was very real,” he told The Star while campaigning in Kampung Suba Bandar here on Sunday night.

According to him, his supporters had made it very clear that if he was not picked to represent Barisan, they would vote for the DAP instead even though they were Barisan supporters at heart.

Dr Tiki, a three-term MP in Mas Gading, said the grassroots would vote for the DAP as a protest against Barisan’s component, SPDP, which held the Mas Gading seat.

“It is not because they (supporters) like the DAP. It’s just that they believe the opposition party is strong enough to defeat the Barisan here. But they only allow DAP to take over for one term and after that they would switch back to Barisan. That was what they told me.

“However, to me, we cannot take chances. Five years is too long and anything can happen during the period,” he said.

As such, he took it upon himself to offer an alternative to the Barisan voters by standing as an independent candidate, he added.

He conceded it (contesting) was a huge risk to take as he could lose everything, including his position in Barisan, if he did not win this election.

Aside from defending the MP post for the area, Dr Tiki is also the National Youth Service Training chairman.

Dr Tiki said if he lost, he could foresee the effect it would have on the Barisan voters aligned to him.

He said these voters would feel they had been side-lined and the repercussion would show in the next state election.

Dr Tiki said the main reason why these voters refused to accept the Barisan chosen candidate, Anthony Nogeh Gumbek, was simply because they were still reeling over how SPDP’s top leaders had treated their elected representatives — himself and Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie.

He said Barisan had underestimated the anger of the supporters when he, Nansian and the other three assemblymen Datuk Sylvester Entri Muran (Marudi), Rosey Yunus (Bekenu), Paulus Palu Gumbang (Batu Danau) were sacked from SPDP in 2011 after being embroiled in a bitter feud with party president Tan Sri William Mawan.

He said the people would translate this dissatisfaction by voting against Nansian and the three others come the next state polls.

“All this while I never thought myself as an opposition although people may perceive me that way, now that I am contesting as an independent. “But I started with the Barisan and I will die with the Barisan, politically that is,” he added.-thestar online

GE13: Credibility of Pakatan candidates questioned

SAMARAHAN: PBB deputy presi-dent Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg has chided Pakatan Rakyat for “simply fielding can-didates” to contest in this 13th general election to ensure that Barisan Nasional will not win uncontested.

He cited PAS candidate for Kota Samarahan, Abang Ahmad Kerdee Abang Masagus, as an example of such action.

“It’s fine that they want to contest but at least make sure your candidates are of quality and know well the area where they are contesting.

“Don’t blindly field candidates who are not even familiar with their turf,” he told reporters after performing the earth-breaking ceremony for the PPR Taman Sri Tuang Phase II housing project here yesterday.

Ahmad is pitted against PBB-nominated Rubiah Wang, who is contesting on Barisan’s ticket, in a straight fight.

Rubiah, 44, who formerly served as Asajaya District Officer, has been named to replace Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib in the seat. She is the only new woman candidate from the state Barisan.

Earlier, Assistant Housing Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who also Asajaya assemblyman, said Ahmad was no match for Rubiah, a local in Samarahan, who knew every nook and corner of the constituency.

He said making things worse was that Ahmad hails from Spaoh but lived in Kuala Lumpur.

“The PAS candidate only comes back to Sarawak occasionally. He does not know Samarahan well and could easily get lost if it wasn’t for local supporters who have been bringing him around the villages,” he said.

Karim said he had been asking the people around if they knew Ahmad but nobody did and that they had never met him before.

“I even surfed PAS’ website but could not find anything about him. So who is he?” he asked.

“All I know is that he contested in Beting Maro in the last state election but lost to Barisan and now he wants to try his luck in Kota Samarahan,” he said.

He urged voters to be more discerning on who should be their elected representative — a local who knows the place and understand the people’s needs better or a non-local who is hardly in the state.-thestar online

GE13: Chong dismisses Tan Kai’s challenge as waste of time

KUCHING: Chong Chieng Jen, Bandar Kuching DAP’s candidate, apparently has better things to do on Thursday night than to take up the challenge by his Barisan Nasional opponent, Tan Kai, to a debate.

He considered the oratory battle set to take place at the Dewan Masyarakat Kuching from 7pm as nothing more than a “waste of time” since the theme of the debate chosen by Tan Kai — “Whether the implementation of Islamic law (hudud law) will affect non-Muslims” — was based on an assumption.

Chong, who is Kota Sentosa assemblyman, said the Barisan and Pakatan Rakyat federal leaders have made known their stand on hudud law, and there were more important issues to tackle in the state.

“I have challenged him to debate on the main issues today such as this elections, corruption, abuse of power, the high cost of living, security and education. Those are issues that concern the people but he did not dare to take up my counter challenge. So there is no point in organising one on hudud law,” he said.

“Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin — the three top guns of Umno — have already said it is an impossibility. Karpal Singh (DAP national chairman) has said we would oppose it and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has said they would not force it on DAP. Tan Kai wants us to debate on an event that is hypothetical. It is a waste of time.”

The hudud law appears to be one of the main issues raised by Tan Kai on his campaign trail and he seems convinced that it would be implemented if Pakatan came into power.

On Sunday, he told reporters that PAS was bent on implementing the law and this would destroy the uniqueness of the state’s cultural diversity.

“It seems that Chong has already accepted hudud law by telling the people that there is nothing to be afraid of regarding hudud law and an Islamic state,” said Tan Kai.

Chong is seeking his third-term as Bandar Kuching MP this elections and Tan Kai is the second consecutive SUPP Youth chief to contest against him.

In the 2008 parliamentary polls, Chong garnered 22,901 votes to defeat the then SUPP Youth chief Alan Sim by a majority of 9,952 votes.

Meanwhile, Chong yesterday led a group of DAP supporters to the Kuching South City Council’s (MBKS) office to protest against the demolition of their campaign billboard by an officer of the local authority, who had allegedly acted out of his jurisdiction.

“The officer was from P196 (Petra Jaya) but he came to take down our poster,” Chong said, explaining that the Election Commission empowers local authority officers for each constituency to take down offensive posters.

However, MBKS mayor James Chan denied that the officer in question was one of his staff but that of the commission.-thestar online


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Too early for BN to declare victory – DAP candidates

SIBU: DAP candidate for Lanang Alice Lau Kiong Yieng says it is premature for BN leaders to make a sweeping statement that BN will remain in power after the May 5 election.

“They said it was impossible for Pakatan Raykat (PR) to win the election as we were a loose alliance. But let me remind them that it is the voters who will determine who is going to form the government on May 5,” she told a press conference here yesterday.

“We are confident that the people are mature and more intelligent. They know the need for a change of government for the betterment of future generations,” she said.

Lau said that the people should vote for those who would truly speak up for them, either in parliament or the state assembly, unlike BN candidates.

“So what is the point of electing these people who only think and make money for themselves?”

She also refuted the statements made by BN leaders that the opposition could not do anything other than making noises and giving empty promises.

She said BN could have forgotten that the opposition was there to provide the check-and-balance while it was for the ruling party to implement the projects.

“Give PR the mandate to rule and we will show to BN that we are not only good at talking but also good at implementing projects.”

DAP candidate for Sibu Oscar Ling Chai Yaw, meanwhile, refuted the statement made by SUPP’s Daniel Ngieng during a recent talk on the ‘powerless’ DAP in the three-party PR coalition.

Ngieng had said he pitied DAP because DAP was powerless and could not do anything when it came to the implementation of hudud laws.

“We have made it very clear that we are equal partners in policy making, unlike SUPP which is truly a powerless party with its leaders lacking the political clout to speak out on any issues.

“Or even if their leaders speak out, it will not carry any weight as their coalition partners would not listen to them.”

A vote for SUPP, Ling said, would be wasted as their representatives could not do anything for them.

“SUPP, after going through all their internal bickering over the years, is no longer a relevant party. So vote for the PR candidate and we will bring you changes,” Ling said.-theborneopost.

Jabu pours scorn on Dr Tiki for contesting as independent

THIS IS YOURS: Jabu (left), assisted by Nogeh (right), presents a land title to a wheelchair-bound landowner. — Photo by Chimon Upon

BAU: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu yesterday chided Mas Gading incumbent Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe for further splitting the Bidayuhs by choosing to contest as an independent against Barisan Nasional.

“We wholeheartedly supported Dr Tiki in the past when he was the BN candidate. Now, it is his turn to support whoever is being chosen (to replace him). Just because you are disappointed, you want to fight against us. No, the interests and welfare of the community are much bigger than your self-interests,” he told reporters after presenting land titles to participants of Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) oil palm estates in Bau-Lundu region yesterday.

When asked, he hinted action might be taken against the chairman of National Service Training Council after the election.

Dr Tiki, who had been an MP for Mas Gading since 1999 until the recent dissolution, was dropped from the list of BN candidates despite lobbying hard to defend the seat as a direct BN candidate. Anthony Nogeh Gumbek from Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) was chosen by BN for the predominantly Bidayuh seat.

Jabu, the most senior Dayak politician to date who has criticised Dr Tiki for contesting against BN, reiterated that Nogeh was the only BN candidate for the constituency and that other candidates in the four-cornered contest should be viewed as opposition.

Held at Stenggang Oil Palm Estate, Bau-Lundu road, the function saw the attendance of Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin and other Bidayuh BN leaders under the Udung Bidayuh (Bidayuh Forum) lending their support to Nogeh who was present.

In his speech earlier, Jabu was clearly upset with Dr Tiki for not considering the future of the Bidayuh community.

“But he (Dr Tiki) has to remember, there were many who opposed the decision to re-nominate Dr Tiki (in 2008) but they were able to subdue their disappointment.

“To Dr Tiki, do not be emotional and do things out of anger. You will still be respected at this last hour if you bring your supporters back to support BN, for the best interests of the Bidayuh community. Do not split the Bidayuhs. I came here to bring you this message,” he said.

Jabu also spoke about Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Peter Nansian, who recently declared he (Nansian) would not campaign in Mas Gading despite being closely associated with Dr Tiki.

He said he was given assurance by Nansian that Nansian’s friends and supporters would be supporting the BN candidate in Mas Gading.

“He (Nansian) is helping the BN team in Baram.

“He has been accused of not helping here (Mas Gading). It’s okay. When we strategise, we bring people to other areas to strengthen and in this case he (Nansian) wants to help out there, so it is okay,” he explained.

He also hoped that Mas Gading voters would not let Democratic Action Party (DAP) win the seat.

“DAP has suppressed and oppressed the poor native landowners from participating in BN government’s poverty eradication programmes.

“Their attitude is negative, why should landowners support DAP,” he said, adding DAP and other peninsula-based parties were promoting politics that did not suit local customs.

Jabu, also BN director of operations, said he had visited many areas during the campaigning period and believed the state BN would be able to meet its target of winning 27 out of the 31 seats to help the national BN secure two-thirds majority in Parliament.

Meanwhile, Manyin called on Mas Gading voters to vote Nogeh to ensure uninterrupted development in the constituency.

“The development in Bidayuh areas is still ‘bayuh sedek’ or ‘aruak cukup’ (not enough).

“Thus, think wisely when casting your vote to ensure that development for the Bidayuh community in the next five, 10 or 20 years is on par with the urban areas,” he said.-theborneopost

DAP members protest dismantling of billboards

LET ME EXPLAIN: Chan (left) explains to Chong and his group about not knowing that the billboard was dismantled. — Photo by Tan Song Wei

KUCHING: Scores of DAP members led by its candidate for Bandar Kuching, Chong Chieng Jen, expressed their dissatisfaction during a protest at MBKS building yesterday over the dismantling of a billboard depicting the picture of Altantuya last week.

Similar billboards put up at Stutong Baru and Kuching International Airport were also dismantled.

“The reason given by the person who removed the billboards was that ‘Altantuya is not contesting in the 13th General Election, her face can’t appear in the billboards’,” Chong said.

He said the (MBKS) action was wrong because there was no notice given to them (DAP) and there was no reasonable explanation given.

He added that the EC officer (enforcement unit for P195) had no right to put down their billboards.

Also, it was not fair to dismantle the billboards and not BN billboards with ‘non election candidates’ on it.

“This is called double standard. Is Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak contesting here? Why is his face seen on BN’s billboards everywhere? And what about SUPP’s billboards with some unknown faces,” Chong said, adding that the EC officer was also MBKS enforcement officer by the name of Shaharum.

Chong added that DAP members had recorded his (Shaharum) action of dismantling the billboards and he was also caught manhandling a female DAP member at the scene.

Chong questioned MBKS why it was so scared of Najib seeing the billboards by removing it when he came here.

“MBKS is a public institution which should be neutral. It should give an explanation.”

When Chong and his group arrived at the MBKS hall to hand over a complaint letter yesterday afternoon, the main entrance was locked. After a while, its secretary John Lee came out to see Chong to receive the letter.

Chong assured his host that it was a friendly protest regarding the dismantling of their billboards.

In a little while Mayor James Chan also came and told Chong that the council was not aware of its officer dismantling the billboards.

“He was not acting on the directive of the council. You should refer to the EC because this is about election campaign,” Chan said.-theborneopost

BN follows up promises with action — Shafie

EASY DOES IT: Shafie (right) joins Entulu (second right) in a ‘miring’ ceremony at Rh Das, Stapang.

SIBU: Last year the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development allocated RM161 million for the development of the Selangau area.

This was disclosed by its minister, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, to a huge crowd at Rumah Das, Stapang in Selanagu , during the leader-meet-the-people session yesterday.

Shafie who is also a vice-president of Umno added that out of the amount RM70 million was for electricity supply while RM40 million was spent on improving the water supply to this rural area.

The minister pointed out this was ample proof that Barisan Nasional (BN) had fulfilled its promises to develop the rural areas of the state.

In the past 50 years BN had developed the country by leaps and bounds and this could be seen in the transformation of Selangau which in the past did not have roads, schools and clinics but is now a thriving township with all the basic amenities, he said.

“Take a look around you, so much development has taken place here under BN.”

Shafie told the 25,000-odd voters in Selangau Parliamentary constituency not to give a single vote to Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) in the general election.

He said this was because SWP would lose in the polls, hence the electorate should not be wasting their votes on them.

He reminded the people to be mindful that SWP intended to ‘jump ship’ and knock on BN’s door if they made any headway in this election.

Shafie urged the people to throw their support solidly behind BN-PRS candidate and Selangau incumbent Datuk Joseph Entulu to ensure more development for the constituency.

“Why do we need to vote for someone who has an intention to jump ship? Therefore, vote for Datuk Joseph Entulu who is already in BN,” Shafie said.

The crowd, numbering several thousands which included those from surrounding areas in Stapang, chanted ‘BN’ loudly in a show of support for the coalition and Entulu.

Shafie also advised the people not to be swayed by SWP’s promises as they could not do much contesting in just six parliamentary seats.

To form the government, a party needed to contest in many seats and BN contests in 222 seats throughout the country, he said.

On DAP, PKR and PAS contesting under Pakatan Rakyat (PR), the minister said they were good at only making promises.

He warned the people that the PR component parties could not see eye-to-eye due to their differences in ideology.

Shafie questioned how the welfare of the people could be taken care of when their house was not in order in the first place.

He urged the people to take this elction seriously as they are voting to choose the next government.

“Cast your votes wisely and don’t choose a leader who does not have the interest of people at heart. Instead, continue to give your strong support to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who has transformed the country for the better,” Shafie said as people responded in thunderous applause.

Earlier, the longhouse chief Das German called on his charges to rally solidly behind BN and Entulu.

Entulu also spoke at the function. Tamin assembyman Joseph Mauh was among those present.-theborneopost

Najib friendly towards Sarawak, says Taib

MEMORABLE OCCASION: Taib, flanked by longhouse chief Akoh on his right and Hasbi, launching the Rumah Akoh RES project as Awang Tengah (left) looks on.

LIMBANG: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is friendlier towards Sarawak than Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was when he was the deputy prime minister, and this is reflected in the huge allocations given to the state in recent years.

Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud told the 1,500-strong crowd attending the launching of a RM6 million rural electricity supply (RES) project at Rumah Akoh in Ulu Limbang yesterday that Anwar had at one time diverted some funds meant for the state elsewhere.

“For instance, he diverted money meant for Unimas (University Malaysia Sarawak) and other projects when he was in the Cabinet,” Taib said at the longhouse in Sungai Ensurai.

Urging the people to sideline Pakatan Rakyat, Taib said the pact had contradicting stands and would be a poor substitute for the BN.

He predicted that PAS, a component of the Pakatan coalition, would end up empty handed in Sarawak in the May 5 general election.

The Opposition, he pointed out, were bent on running down the BN government despite the government having made great strides in the socio-economic front.

Allegations about land grabbing would continue to be their main weapon in running down the BN in every election, he said.

“We give land to those who applied through the proper channel. We don’t grab land as claimed.”

Taib said the BN had proven its capabilities as shown by the state’s current per capital income of RM40,000, which represents a 10-fold increase when compared to that of 50 years ago.

The government had also made inroads in providing basic infrastructures and amenities, apart from creating economic opportunities.

Citing the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy as an example, Taib said it had already created a lot of economic spin-offs and employment opportunities.

“Now a driver can be paid RM100 a day in Samalaju (Industrial Park), and this is something which is unheard off in the past.”

Second Minister of Resource Planning and Environment Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, who was also present, said the transformation of Ulu Limbang with better road network and provision of rural water and electricity supply summed up the delivery record of the BN.

“Ulu Limbang was hardly accessible in the past, and the mode of transport back then was by river. But now there are roads and electricity linked from the grid system under the rural electrification programme.”

The RES project in Sungai Ensurai would be undertaken by Citra Alti Sdn Bhd, and is expected to be completed by May 27 – in time for the Gawai Dayak celebration this year.

Costing RM6.08 million, it will benefit 104 families.

Awang Tengah said the locals’ request to link Ukong to the junction of Medamit road would be given top priority attention.

He also assured local oil palm smallholders that a mill would be built in Limbang in the near future.

Taib’s wife Puan Sri Ragad Kurdi , DUN Speaker Datuk Asfia Awang Mohd Asfia Nassar, state assemblymen Paulus Palu Gumbang ( Batu Danau), Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail ( Bukit Kota), Abu Seman Jahwie (Jemoreng), and BN candidate for Limbang Hasbi Habibolah were among those present.-theborneopost

Monday, 29 April 2013

PAS kena main

- Timbalan Pengerusi DAP Johor, Norman Fernandez minta bukan Islam usah undi PAS
- PAS kecewa, terkejut kenyataan dibuat secara melulu, tidak kena masa

Batu Pahat: PAS melahirkan rasa terkejut dan pelik dengan kenyataan Timbalan Pengerusi DAP Johor, Norman Fernandez, yang meminta masyarakat bukan Islam tidak mengundi PAS.Timbalan Pesuruhjaya PAS Johor, Aminolhuda Hassan, menyifatkan kenyataan Fernandez mengecewakan kerana ia dibuat secara melulu dan tidak kena pada masanya. 

“Kesangsian dan keraguan Fernandez sepatutnya menjadi kayu pengukur terhadap kesepakatan dalam pakatan pembangkang serta memberi gambaran selama ini mereka bersama dengan PAS hanya ‘mesra di luar tapi gelora di dalam’,” Mohd Riza Kamaruddin, Aktivis PAS

Katanya, pendirian Fernandez membawa pembangkang selangkah ke belakang, sekali gus dibimbangi menjejaskan sasaran mereka menguasai lebih banyak negeri, termasuk Johor pada Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-13 (PRU-13).

“Kami amat terkejut dan kecewa dengan pendirian Fernandez itu. Adalah tidak wajar beliau membuat permintaan sebegitu ketika PRU-13 semakin hampir.

“Pada saya, dia tidak mengikut arus. Sepatutnya dia harus bersyukur kerana masyarakat Johor, tidak kira Melayu, Cina dan India adalah masyarakat saling menghormati dan hidup harmoni.
“Dalam pembangkang khususnya di Johor, kami sudah ada kesepakatan tetapi Fernandez mencetuskan syak wasangka dan kebimbangan pengundi bukan Melayu terhadap PAS,” katanya ketika dihubungi BH, semalam.

Rayu bukan Islam 

Kelmarin, Fernandez yang juga pemimpin nombor dua DAP Johor itu membuat kejutan apabila dilaporkan merayu pengundi bukan Islam supaya tidak mengundi PAS.

Fernandez berkata, bukan Melayu perlu memikirkan dengan teliti sama ada mereka mahu memperjudikan masa depan mereka bersama PAS berikutan ikrar Setiausaha Agung PAS, Datuk Mustafa Ali, untuk terus memperjuangkan agenda negara Islam jika pembangkang menang PRU-13.

Sementara itu, Pengerusi DAP Johor, Dr Boo Cheng Hau, berkata pihaknya tidak akan mengambil apa-apa tindakan terhadap Fernandez berhubung kenyataannya.

Di Kuala Lumpur, Ketua Penerangan PAS, Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man menyifatkan kenyataan Fernandez sebagai ‘pelik’, menentang arus dan memberi kelebihan kepada Barisan Nasional (BN).

Katanya, Fernandez tidak sepatutnya mengeluarkan kenyataan yang boleh menjejaskan semangat setia kawan dalam pembangkang, apatah lagi mencurigai antara satu sama lain.

“Kita rasa pelik dalam semua parti komponen berdepan dengan usaha untuk melawan BN, namun ada juga pemimpin yang menentang arus. Sepatutnya kita bekerjasama dan tolong menolong antara satu sama lain tanpa perlu ada rasa curiga,” katanya ketika dihubungi di sini, semalam.

Aktivis PAS, Mohd Riza Kamaruddin, berkata kenyataan Fernandez juga membawa maksud warga Muslim dalam PAS dan PKR tidak mengundi calon DAP.

“Kesangsian dan keraguan Fernandez sepatutnya menjadi kayu pengukur terhadap kesepakatan dalam pakatan pembangkang serta memberi gambaran selama ini mereka bersama dengan PAS hanya ‘mesra di luar tapi gelora di dalam’,” katanya. 

Dalam pada itu, bekas Setiausaha Organisasi DAP Bahagian Jelutong, Mohamed Razali Abdul Rahman menggesa PAS keluar daripada pakatan sekiranya tidak mahu terus diperkudakan DAP.-BH

PRU13: Penjawat awam kecewa calon pembangkang label mereka kera

KUALA LUMPUR: Beberapa penjawat awam kecewa dengan calon PKR bagi kerusi Parlimen Johor Baharu, Jeneral (B) Tan Sri Md Hashim Hussein, yang melabelkan mereka sebagai kera. 

Mereka berpendapat kenyataan itu tidak sepatutnya dikeluarkan oleh seorang bekas pegawai tinggi Angkatan Tentera Malaysia, walaupun kini beliau menyertai pembangkang. 

Pegawai Perhubungan Awam Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM), Mejar Kamarulzaman Ali, 41, berkata Md Hashim sepatutnya berterima kasih kepada kerajaan kerana pernah menerimanya menyertai perkhidmatan awam itu. 

"Sepatutnya dia perlu merasa bangga kerana memperoleh pengalaman berkhidmat dalam kerajaan. Bukan memburuk-burukkan kerajaan selepas bersara. 

"Apabila dia samakan penjawat awam dengan kera, bermakna dia sebenarnya menghina dirinya sendiri kerana sebahagian besar daripada mereka (pembangkang) pun bekas penjawat awam," katanya ketika dihubungi, hari ini. 

Beliau mengulas tindakan Md Hashim yang melabelkan penjawat awam sebagai kera dalam rakaman video, yang dipercayai dilakukannya semasa kempen pilihan rayanya di Johor Bahru, yang dimuat naik ke Youtube enam hari lalu dengan tajuk 'Semua Penjawat Awam Memang KERA' oleh pemilik akaun bernama mykmujohor. 

Lebih 10,500 pengguna Youtube telah menonton rakaman video itu dan ramai daripada mereka mengutuk perbuatan berkenaan. 
Dalam video selama 39 saat itu, Md Hashim berkata kakitangan kerajaan (penjawat awam) adalah singkatan kepada 'kera dalam jagaan' dan mereka seperti beliau sendiri apabila dilepaskan mula mengamuk dan merusuh. 

Sabtu lalu, Ketua Setiausaha Negara, Datuk Seri Dr Ali Hamsa meminta penjawat awam membuat tafsiran sendiri mengenai kenyataan yang menyinggung perasaan itu. 

Kamarulzaman berkata, tiada sesiapa pun daripada penjawat awam dipaksa menyertai perkhidmatan dalam kerajaan dan tiada siapa juga yang dipaksa untuk keluar daripada perkhidmatan kerajaan. 

“Apabila dia (Md Hashim) kata macam tu, saya mewakili warga TUDM tidak sedikit pun rasa terhina, sebaliknya kami rasakan satu cabaran dan tohmahan itu patut dilawan. Malah, kami betekad untuk lebih gigih lagi berkhidmat dalam kerajaan," katanya. 

Bagi Pegawai Waran Rancang Operasi TUDM Subang, Mohdan Amran, 38, kenyataan biadap itu tidak sepatutnya dikeluarkan semata-mata untuk meraih perhatian dan undi rakyat. 

"Pada pendapat saya, dalam kita berkempen untuk tarik perhatian penjawat awam ni, kenyataan tu tak sepatutnya dikeluarkan. Kita sedia maklum, terutama anggota tentera ni, kita setia kepada pemerintah. 

"Itu sumpah janji kita, pada saya kalau nak berkempen pun biarlah cara yang berhemah dalam keadaan rakyat yang majmuk, jaga senstiviti dan kita akan jalankan tanggungjawab dan hak masing-masing," katanya. 

Sementara itu, seorang kerani di Jabatan Kastam Putrajaya, Noraziah Ramli, 30, pula berpendapat kenyataan Md Hashim itu sebagai tidak mengenang budi dan seperti 'kacang lupakan kulit'. 

"Tak patut dia keluarkan kenyataan tu. Kami, sebagai penjawat awam tetap taat, berpuas hati dan menyokong segala tindakan dan dasar kerajaan. Kami juga berjanji akan setia kepada kerajaan yang selama ini telah banyak membela rakyat," katanya. - BERNAMA

Analisis PRU-13: Anwar terdesak hingga peralatkan Yusuf Al-Qaradawi


TIDAK berapa lama dahulu, bekas ahli Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) dan juga bekas peguam bela Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Datuk Zulkifli Noordin membayangkan bahawa Ketua Pembangkang itu akan mengeluarkan sepucuk surat sokongan yang didakwa ditulis tokoh ulama terkemuka, Prof. Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.

Surat tersebut antara lainnya akan menyatakan bahawa Malaysia lebih layak dipimpin Anwar yang sebelum ini didakwa oleh isterinya, Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail sebagai Anugerah Allah.

Pada 26 April lalu, surat yang ditunggu-tunggu tiba. Ia dilancarkan oleh Mursyidul Am Pas, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat di projek perumahan Pantai Permai, Lembah Pantai yang merupakan tempat anak Anwar, Nurul Izzah bertanding.

Pun begitu, adakah kehadiran surat tersebut mampu melonjakkan peluang Anwar untuk mencapai cita-citanya sebagai Perdana Menteri Malaysia ketujuh seperti yang diangan-angankan.

Atau, ia hanya menunjukkan tahap terdesaknya untuk menang sehingga terpaksa mencari sokongan luar?

Adakah Anwar sudah hilang keyakinan terhadap jentera pilihan rayanya sendiri sehingga terpaksa mencari pertolongan daripada Thailand sehingga ke Arab?

Menurut, Pensyarah Pusat Pengajian Sains Kemasyarakatan, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Prof Dr. Ahmad Atory Hussain, tindakan tersebut boleh disifatkan sebagai terdesak.

"Yusuf Qaradawi merupakan ulama hebat alaf 21. Bukan mudah untuk dapat surat dari dia. Jadi secara tak langsung tunjukkan dia (Anwar) hebat, dapat sokongan jadi Perdana Menteri.

"Tapi tidak semudah itu. Surat tersebut boleh diragui. Mungkin Yusuf Qaradawi tidak diberi gambaran yang sebenar tentang apa yang berlaku di negara ini.

"Macam bagi resume, boleh tulis apa sahaja dalam resume tetapi yang akan memilih belum tentu boleh terima bulat-bulat," katanya ketika dihubungi Utusan Online.

Beliau menyatakan, Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak turut menerima surat penghargaan daripada Pengerusi Majlis Pemegang Amanah Institut Antarabangsa Al-Quds (QII) tetapi tidak digunakan untuk meraih undi.

"Anwar, selagi ada surat sokongan selagi itu dia akan tunjuk," ujarnya.

Nada serupa turut dikongsi pakar sejarah Prof. Datuk Dr. Ramlah Adam yang menyatakan walaupun Al-Qaradawi merupakan ulama terkenal namun beliau tidak mengetahui keadaan sebenar di negara ini untuk membuat kesimpulan sedemikian.

"Daripada pemerhatian umum saya, orang yang tiada apa-apa ini akan lebih mengada-ngada. Bukan main berlagak sedangkan orang yang hebat macam Tun Dr. Mahathir cakap biasa saja.

"Kalau betul dia (Anwar) hebat, tak perlu menunjuk. Pergi mana pun, orang tahu dia hebat. Tak perlu orang luar yakinkan rakyat Malaysia. Penggunaan surat itu hanya tunjukkan kelemahan dia," katanya.

Menjawab pertanyaan, mengapa Najib tidak menggunakan surat penghargaan Al-Qaradawi, Ramlah mengatakan, Najib bukan orang yang terdesak.

Jadi kepada penyokong-penyokong pakatan pembangkang dan Anwar khususnya, jika anda mempercayai surat sokongan Al-Qaradawi itu, adalah wajar anda mempercayai surat tokoh itu kepada Najib.

Bagi mereka yang tidak mengetahui mengenai surat penghargaan bertarikh 15 Februari itu, Pengerusi QII menulis surat tersebut sempena lawatan Perdana Menteri ke Gaza, Januari lalu.

Walaupun tidak menyatakan bahawa Najib akan memegang tampuk pemerintahan negara, Al-Qaradawi dalam pembuka surat itu berdoa agar Allah mengurniakan keberkatan serta rahmat kepada Najib dalam melaksanakan tanggungjawab mencapai matlamat kemajuan, kestabilan dan keselamatan rakyat Malaysia dan global.

"Semoga Malaysia dan rakyatnya sentiasa makmur dan maju. Semoga Malaysia sentiasa mendapat rahmat dan keberkatan Allah. Dan, semoga Malaysia sentiasa menjadi tempat yang terbaik untuk orang Islam dan ketamadunan." - UTUSAN ONLINE