Key issues facing Sarawak this forthcoming state election.

1. What are the top three issues facing Sarawak at the moment?

2. What key issue will most impact on your vote on in the forthcoming state election?

3. Will the issues at Federal level have any impact here on the Sarawak election?

4. What would you like the political parties to do about these three issues?

I was asked the above questions today as part of a short interview.

Here is my long answer.

Three key issues facing Sarawak at this moment.

1. Bread and butter issues.

Yes, after 52 years of independence and under the governance of the great and wonderful Barisan Nasional government, we are still grappling with bread and butter issues. And this bread and butter issues will spill over to other pertinent issues which are interrelated like public infrastructure and development issues, access to basic utilities like water and power, good roads and bridges, affordable health services and good education and cost of living. Oh, poverty and inequality as well. We can frame all these issues under the bread and butter issues.

2. Autonomy

Autonomy. State powers. Empowering the state for participation and decision making process when it comes to state affairs. It goes back to the Malaysian Agreement 1963 signed during the formation of Malaysia, and Sarawak being one of the willing signatory with mutually agreed terms and conditions to safeguard the interests of the state. This is actually getting traction after all the Sarawak for Sarawakians call and many Sarawakians feel that Sarawak is being shortchanged by the Federal Government in areas like job opportunities and career advancement for the locals in state agencies and public offices, oil royalty, budget allocations and lack of consultation with the state when it comes to policies decided at the Federal level for state affairs. But I feel that this is just a carrot by Adenan for the middle class, urban voters because the idea of autonomy is so attractive to them. As a result, they focus more on this and less on other issues on national level they typically more concerned on.”As least he is doing it for the best of Sarawakians”, you are hearing that now. Sarawak or Malaysia? Sarawak is part of Malaysia. Do not get confused.

3. Corruption, mismanagement, incompetence, leakages, wastage, regressive, repressive, divisive and stupid policies, the whole issue of good governance. Actually all the corruption, mismanagement, incompetence, leakages, regressive, repressive, divisive and stupid policies can be resolved with good governance. Can add in Native Customary Rights Land issue somewhere here as well. Heck, all the other issues above, the whole bread and butter issues and call for greater state autonomy can be solved with good governance. We will come to this later, in a bit.

Key issue that will most impact my vote in the forthcoming state election will be issue number 3. Good governance. With good and responsible government, leaders that care and honest in doing their jobs, right people in public offices, institutions and agencies to safeguard our interests, we will have less of these issues.

We cannot eliminate all the bread and butter issues, nor the abuse of trust and promises, corruption, mismanagement, wastage, regressive, repressive and stupid policies because this is not an ideal world. But we will have very less of these problems we are facing now.

Why are we still focusing on bread and butter issues after 52 years under BN? We praise BN come every election when they dish out instant noodles allocations and pork barreling for new roads, schools, hospitals, funds, donations and all other goodies. Shouldn’t these things been done all this while and not during election time? Why the Pan Borneo Expressway planning and construction takes so long to be realised? Incompetence? Is it we do not have the money and resources to do it? Why all the big infrastructure projects only given to the certain same companies? Corruption? Where is our oil, palm oil and timber money? Mismanagement? Why the gap between the poor and rich is so big in Sarawak? What the state leaders have been doing all this while, to allow erosion of our state powers that we need to make a stand and negotiate for it now? Why didn’t they fight for it before? Have they been sleeping on the job?

Will the issues at the Federal level have any impact here on the Sarawak election? Sadly, from my observation, the issues at the Federal level will not have very much impact here except for the urban voters. It is only good for coffee shop talk.

1MDB? Adenan Satem is fast to distance himself from the issue saying it has nothing to so with Sarawak and that is a smart political move. Because it should matter. All the things that happened in Federal will affect us in Sarawak because we don not live in isolation. Goods and Services Tax, that was decided at the Federal level and pretty damn sure that is affecting the people of Sarawak now. The 1MDB scandal implicating the very person this state government is supporting and dealing with, how is that not affecting us? The decision to use Tabung Haji money to ‘bail out’ 1MDB, how is that not affecting people in Sarawak who have deposits in Tabung Haji? And that was decided at what level? The appointment of the AG that also has his hands in the Allah and bible issue, that is not affecting us here? The appointment of the next Bank Governor, that doesn’t concern the people of Sarawak?

We have been fed lies and disinformation that issues happening at the Federal level will have no impact to the state of Sarawak. Do you pay tax to the government? Do you send your kids to schools, universites here? Do you buy car and house here? Do you live and work here? It is still Sarawak, Malaysia. Unless we go for Republic of Sarawak.

Lastly, what would you like the political parties to do about these three issues? Nothing. But I want the people to start questioning. And take charge. Take ownership of this state and country. Be a responsible citizen and carry out your due duties. Question everything. Be a learned and educated voter. Look for consistency when judging a person or any entity. Match talks with actions. And vote wisely this coming election. Give yourself a chance to make it right.


Thirty three.

I am going to be 33 in another week. 30th of November. Time sure flies. My 3rd birthday in the jungle of Kalimantan, Indonesia. Just another day for me, maybe a spike of wall messages on my Facebook and mentions on Twitter. Calls and text messages? Nah people don’t do that anymore. So 33 is middle age or what? Just in case I need a reason to blame all the stupid things I did or going to do on mid-life crisis.

Funny sometimes I feel like I have a lot of things to write about but when I get to it, nothing seems to come out. You need to keep on writing to keep it flowing I guess. Even when you are just writing craps and not making any sense.  Nowadays everything is in bite size, (or it is bit size? See,  my grammar also gone into the drain) we hardly can express ourselves more than few lines of words.

I had the chance to be an interviewer last Monday.  It was for the hiring of management trainees in preparing of the upcoming oil mill. I was one of the 3 panel interviewer. About 16 candidates, all fresh graduates registered for the sessions and we interviewed them in a group of 4 persons. This was actually the first time I sat as an interviewer in a formal interview session. I must say I was impressed with the quality of the fresh graduates who came for the interview. Almost all of them dressed impeccably for it and shown great confidence in expressing themselves and communicating throughout the session. The common ‘theme’ that I got was for them to be given a chance at the job. None of them talked or brought up the issue of salary or benefits even when the session was open for questions to them. I could feel their passion and sincerity, have no choice but accepting them for their infectious enthusiasm and eagerness to prove themselves. Just so long as they are given the chance to do so. We concluded the session after shortlisted ten of them, eight males and two females.

I wonder if I did as good when I started out as a fresh graduate. But I certainly grateful for the opportunity given to start as a junior engineer with a consultancy firm in Puchong,  Selangor. I learnt so much in my short three and half year there.

We should not be too hard on the fresh graduates or young people looking for an opportunity to prove themselves. Some employers demand too much of fresh graduates, not realising they were young, inexperienced and naive once. Life is tough for anyone starting out. Give them a chance.

#hamiklanjiao Bersih?

Bersih is not about rhetoric.

What Bersih wants? You know. I know. A lot of people know. So it is very clear what Bersih wants.

Yes, Bersih wants a clean government. Bersih wants free and fair elections. Now, Bersih also wants to “save the economy.”

Why Bersih wants these? For the lack of vocabulary, #BetterNation heh.

And how to achieve all these? The specifics of it? May I direct you to some of the recommendations made by Bersih.

Bersih’s 10 institutional reforms:

1. Electoral reform
2. Making the Election Commission a constitutional party answerable to Parliament
3. Barring Prime Minister from simultaneously holding the office of Finance Minister
4. Parliamentary Reform
5. Making MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) answerable to Parliament
6. Separating Attorney General from the role of Public Prosecutor
7. Freedom of Information laws at Federal and State levels
8. Public declaration of Ministers and senior government servants’ assets
9. Repeal of/Amendments to draconian laws
10. Establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC)

If all these recommendations by Bersih are accepted and carried out, we should be able to achieve the two main “wants” mentioned earlier.  The 3rd “want” is just the after thought of the other two.

But, really HOW to get all these recommendations done? Through a rally? Heck, rally is just a process. A referendum of collective voices and opinions. To unite and organise people with shared objectives. Really, a rally is one of the simplest mean for common folks to voice out when every other avenue is either being closed down or being bullied into submission. I don’t think people are so naive to think just through rallies we would able to achieve all we want.

The “hows” to achieve all above although is clear and appears to be easy as spelt out in the recommendations, yet it is not quite clear (confusing, but yeah..) because the lack of any result to show. The journey is still a long and windy one, even for an optimist. Especially when this is going to be the 4th edition of Bersih since its first rally on 10th November 2007. What Bersih has really achieved since then? Indelible ink? More awareness? More noise? Really, to be honest not much in measurable results when you compare with the recommendations mentioned earlier.

But that is because we have a very stubborn and irresponsible government in place. Many promises were made, not many were met. All the structural changes recommended to achieve the main objective of Bersih – free and fair election yet to be made. Election Commission is still not reporting to the parliament. Political funding yet to be regulated. Delineation, very minimal to none have been carried out.

So we are stuck with the same old play. Yes it is silly to keep doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. But what choice do we have for now? Do you have better and workable ideas? By all means, do it. Just don’t ridicule the persistence of Bersih supporters.

Because at this stage we are still only concern about “what.” And “why.”

Why we want a free and fair elections? So we hopefully will get a clean government  in the process when we have free and fair elections.

When we have a clean government, hopefully we will have a government that actually cares about the economy, that will listen to the voice of the people who put them in office and will implement measures and policies to the benefit of better economy and all.

How Bersih want to achieve all this? Well before that, does Bersih have a consistent and big enough voice to get things done as what they want? As what you and I want if we all support its objectives and fights. Because if we don’t have a consistent and big enough support to pressure the power to be to carry out the recommendations for all the things we want and why, no point we go talking about how now.

We must remember that Bersih is nothing but a pressure group with its main objective is for electoral reforms. Bersih is not the policy maker. To burden Bersih with all the how to get this and that done, shouldn’t these questions be asked to those who actually can make it happen? Ask the bloody government. Ask the bloody Election Commission. Ask the bloody Prime Minister who is having a chokehold over the whole cabinet and everything that moves (maybe some already dead, unfortunately) in this land.

There are so many things to do, a lot of it have to be in place before what we want can happen. Do we expect to have all the answers before we want to be a part of anything? You already knew the what and why. You want to know the how as well? Bloody hell, go play your game with your cheat codes and walk-through guide don’t you?

We want to save the economy, save the nation and shit, but before all that can happen, we need to restore the confidence and strengthen the institutions we entrust to safeguard our interests, foremost. And I have lost confidence in all the major institutions we entrusted to safeguard our interests, to do its sacred jobs because all are falling apart due to political interference. Look at how much power the Prime Minister and its office wield over the Attorney General’s Chamber, Malaysian  Royal Police, Anti Corruption Agency, judiciary, the submissive cabinet and by extension the parliament by holding some balls just enough to make it a lame duck parliament eg. balls of the Speaker of the House of Representatives?

What else common folk like me do other than voting come every rigged-election and making noise on the social media that soon-to-be-regulated-and-clamped-down? This government is making a mockery of its mandate day in day out, hell no I have not and will never give my vote to anyone to abuse the governance system, public institutions and ruin the nation like what is happening now.

So, you be damned if people want to walk the streets with the like minded to show their displeasure with the government and the system. The most important of all, to throw their support for Bersih in its fights for electoral reforms.

For free and fair elections.

For clean government.

For me, I just need these two reasons. How many do you need?




The uncle is directing passengers to the sections following their destinations. When you already have big signs just in front of the entrance. Yet there many who stopped and asked him which section to go.

Redundancy.  That is why some people never learn to pay extra attention.  What a waste of productivity. Then again, maybe this is a way to “create jobs”.

Good morning.

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