Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lest the people of Sarawak forget — Sakmongkol AK47

April 16, 2011

APRIL 15 — One score and 10 years ago, they voted for bad government.

Today, the people of Sarawak go to the polls. They will elect a government which will manage the state for the next four to five years. It’s a simple but weighty decision to make — place the state in the hands of a team of ‘managers’ who will run and manage the state so that people derive the maximum benefits. In other words, they will chose people who will form a good government.

The first requirement of a good government is good people. Surely, this is the most obvious criterion. Judging by this criterion alone, the cabals that have managed the state with their leader, Taib Mahmud, are crooks.

By and large, the government set up by Taib Mahmud has not be able to contest the allegations that it is a corrupt, incompetent and anti-people government. The only way to deal with this kind of government is to kick them out.

OK, we won’t let sentiments rule our decisions. We have to decide rationally. This was the approach suggested and encouraged by the PM himself. We will take him on that.

For the last 30 years, did the Taib government commit itself to finding solutions for the people? Judging by the barrage of sudden and unexpected announcements of projects for the construction of roads, drains, houses, bridges, and all other things including the proverbial kitchen sink, this government is not a government with purposeful design, but a government that makes things up as it goes along. It is therefore an incompetent government. Indict them and haul them up for accountability.

We must tell that to the 6,000 longhouse inhabitants who have been without the most basic and fundamental facilities — electricity and water. As if to rub it in, the Taib government recently distributed computers to the rural people living in areas where electricity is nonexistent. People still need to use generators for electricity in a state that boasts it has the largest dam which can supply electricity through undersea cables to places miles away, but not to its people. That can soberly be termed as gross neglect.

The people of Sarawak need to ask only ONE question. Has the Taib government worked? That is, has it functioned well for the people or have the instruments of power been harnessed in the main, for the benefit and profit of an elite few? The rational and sober answer can only be — it has alienated the majority of people and has served the interests of a few. That’s oligarchy.

To show that we are NOT sentimentally driven, tell people we know exactly what oligarchy means: a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes.

For the people of Sarawak, it meant, a government controlled by Taibs, Awang Tengahs, Jabus, George Chans, that goofy Abang Joe whose only qualification amplified thus far is the fact that he is Malay — a small group nevertheless that exists for the purpose and benefit of a small group. It’s a government not of the people, by the people, for the people. That form of government has perished from the earth alongside the ‘plunder and pillage of the forests and the clandestine rape of the state’s wealth.

So, one score and 10 years ago, the people of Sarawak voted for bad government. The un-sentimental solution is to vote that bad government out.

So for today, let the people of Sarawak ignore and forget the high sounding terms of GTP, ETP, EPP, PDP, NKRA, so on and so forth; let’s be pragmatic and ask, have we elected a good government?

And Mr. PM Sir, we are not sentimental fools. —

* Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz. He was Pulau Manis assemblyman from 2004-2008.

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