Friday, October 31, 2008

Can There Be Two-Party System In Sarawak?

From what we could gather on the ground is that the voters want PKR and DAP to work together in Sarawak to topple the state BN, but sad to say, no formula until now could be found to create a conducive environment for this to happen. To the DAP, the leaders of the PKR in the state has to be blamed and to the PKR, the DAP should, instead be blamed. Each has been blaming each other for the failure in negotiations of allocation of seats to the run-up of the election in which, in three constitutencies in Sarawak saw PKR and DAP instead of fighting together as a team against BN, had fought against each other to the advantage of the BN. So who has been correct and who should be blamed? In the end, the BN laughed their way to win seats where the parties quarreled. To a large extend, the threat tactics of three cornered fight by PKR in constituencies DAP wanted to contest had worked to the advantage of BN. The recent concluded Parliamentary Election in March 8, 2008 had given us a clear sign that in Chinese majority area, the voters had wanted DAP, not PKR to fight the BN and that in other areas, PKR should fight. PKR in Stampin contested by See Chee How lost its deposit very badly. See Chee How had contested elections twice and if I am not mistaken, it was the second time See Chee How lost his deposit in elections. The first was when he contested under DAP ticket in Mas Gading against Dr. Patau Rubis. I pity See Chee How, being a veteran politician has lost his deposit for the second time in a row.

Can DAP and PKR make it happen in Sarawak to create straight fight against BN in the coming state election in 2011? It is not impossible, but, as men by their nature are greedy and self-serving, to see straight fight with BN would be very difficult. BN has money and with money BN can work a lot of wonders to their advantage and will not like to see DAP and PKR have peace. BN will make sure that DAP and PKR will keep on quarrelling with each other and when both quarreled, DAP and PKR will lost focus and started attacking each other instead of attacking BN. A good example of this was what happened in Stampin during the last parliamentary election. PKR attacked me on St. Martin issue and this was well assisted by BN. They knew very well that the St. Martin issue involved not only school, but, the deprivation of people’s property by the government and also the disappearance of All Saint’s chapel built by the father of the present landowner, Millah anak Kitat. PKR was not heard at all attacking the BN! BN strategy worked!

Before the election, PKR Sarawak had aimed to collect RM1 million from the Chinese community for Chinese schools in Kuching. Although they could not succeed in collecting RM1 million, they managed to collect more than RM300,000-00 for the Chinese schools. It was something unexpected for a party which only had strong bumiputera backing to be able to collect such a huge amount of money from the Chinese community in which the DAP in Sarawak, which has strong support from the Chinese community could not do. It gave an impression that PKR had good support from the Chinese community and maybe because of this PKR was convinced that it should fight for Stampin. The huge funds collected from the Chinese community could have made a good report card to Anwar Ibrahim and Dr. Azizah that PKR should force DAP to let go Stampin or to go for a three cornered fight in Stampin. To let off Stampin to PKR by DAP would also mean to let go three state seats to PKR, a strategy in which I personally was always against. If DAP had given up Stampin, PKR will in the next round have bargaining power to squeeze DAP to give up at least one of the three state seats within the Stampin Parliamentary to PKR. PKR will start negotiating for the state seats of Batu Lintang or Kota Sentosa and will tell DAP not to touch Batu Kawa on reason that the seat was not contested by DAP in 2006. Come again the next parliamentary election in 2013, PKR will again tell DAP to lay hands off Stampin on the ground that DAP had given way for PKR to contest. This will have no end and in the end, DAP will be wiped out of Sarawak!

Until today, I could not know how PKR was able to collect such a large amount of money from the Chinese Community. For the good of the Chinese community, PKR should tell us how to do this so that DAP could be able to help the Chinese schools better and so that the Chinese schools will not continue to suffer under the oppression of the BN government who refused to give adequate funds to finance Chinese education in the state. Donations for a good cause can come from people of all walks of life, be they from the supporters of the BN or the opposition. No body can stop people making donations and soliciting money from opponents for a good cause and neither was it wrong to solicit funds from our opponents if it was for a good cause, but, I wonder where the donations came from? Had BN people chipped into the funds?

It would also beyond my guess if the money could come from the bumiputera community, in which, we all know are still very poor.

The banners, leaflets and set-up during the election of PKR also spoke volumes of the money PKR could collect for the campaign and it really intimidated me. This really gave an impression that PKR had good support of the Chinese community in their run-up to the election. Until now, it really disturbed my mind and I had kept on thinking whether BN supporters had pumped in money to PKR to make the fight in Stampin merrier. I cannot until today get an answer and only PKR and BN people could provide this answer to me. Maybe, I need one day have the opportunity to sit down with Anwar Ibrahim to get the answer.

If I had a weak heart, I could easily give up in my campaign as I could not raise much money in my cause to fight the election for the people. If not because that I was a trained person in the police force to lead and to fight against all odds, the battle for Stampin could have been abandoned on the third day of the campaign itself. It was a very dirty campaign where all my machinery in Stampin broke down where ceramahs could not also went on smoothly because thugs were involved in threatening me and my party comrades from holding the ceramahs.

In order to stay in power, BN will not like to see DAP and PKR be completely destroyed. It will not be to BN advantage if either DAP or PKR dies. BN will see that both parties will survive but will not co-operate with each other in a unified force against the BN. If both DAP and PKR can become a unified force, this will spell trouble for BN because there will, instead of three or multi-cornered fight be straight fight for seats in which will see deep problem for the BN. SUPP in urban areas where the Chinese is the majority will see them fall like dominos and in rural areas where the bumiputera is the majority will see many PBB, PRS and SPDP seats may fall to PKR. DAP may have little support in bumiputera areas, but, the little support could tilt the scale if PKR and DAP could work together in a unified force in coming elections.

Now, how to overcome all these past problems faced by both DAP and PKR? The answer is simple, but, depends very much on one person, that is, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of PKR who has to give instructions to Sarawak PKR to leave Chinese dominated areas to DAP and that Sarawak PKR just to concentrate on bumiputera dominated areas or where DAP has no influence. What will happen if this is not agreed to? Then, the way out is to allow free fight for all like what had happened in Stampin and let the people decide for themselves. DAP had fought many lost battles for the past thirty years in Sarawak and by losing another battle will not mean much either to DAP as DAP had been so much used to defeats. The loser will be Anwar Ibrahim who dreamed to become the next Prime Minister of Malaysia. So if Anwar Ibrahim will not be able to control the present leaders in Sarawak, it would be very difficult for Anwar Ibrahim to realize his dream because Sarawak alone contributes 31 seats in Parliament.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

BN In Order to Rule will see DAP & PKR quarrel!

Whether DAP and PKR can work together and survive in Sarawak? This question has been posed to us too often. At this moment to survive, will not be too difficult, but to work together would be doubtful. The simple reason is that BN will want both parties to survive and the political strategy of divide and rule is to apply to see both survive, but, not to grow strong and to change the government. It will not be in the interest of BN if either one of them dies in Sarawak. In Sarawak, DAP’s political work has always been in the urban and also in sub-urban areas in some parts of the state. PKR also wish to claim that the Party also has good support in these areas, but, the recent concluded Parliamentary Election was otherwise. With PKR still wanting in laying claim their strength in urban areas instead in rural areas, BN will always find it easy to weaken the strength of both DAP and PKR.

It was common knowledge that the strength of DAP lies in the urban areas of the state, while PKR could performed better in the rural areas. If DAP is to go for rural areas it would suffer the same fate PKR had suffered in the urban areas. Therefore, if PKR still continues to show interest in urban areas and not concentrate their strength in the rural areas, the possibility of both parties working together will be as good as zero. BN will continue to laugh all the way and will always be ready to lend their hands either DAP or PKR to fight against each other. The battle ground will be set, not by the combined strength of DAP and PKR against the BN. Instead, the battle ground be set between DAP and PKR. When both DAP and PKR could be made to fight each other, BN represented by SUPP in the urban areas will continue to deliver their seats for the BN. This could be seen in Stampin, where both SUPP and PKR, had shown good understanding with each other to attack DAP on many issues. Has PKR been given technical know-how, resources and financial help to fight against the DAP in Stampin by BN people? The banners and sign boards put up by PKR during the last parliamentary election in Stampin spoke for itself. This saw both DAP and PKR lost the seat and a victory to SUPP. The voters will continue to see same strategy be applied in the next election.

Now, the leaders of both DAP and PKR have for themselves to decide how to fight against BN. The voice and message of the voters had been loud and clear. If DAP could not win in urban areas, the Chinese whom DAP had all these years represented, will suffer. There will be weak or no voice in Parliament and in the Legislative Assembly to fight for funds for Chinese schools. Land issues of the urban people will not also be addressed.

While concentrating their strength in urban areas, the rural areas contested by PRK also suffered. PKR performed well, but, lost many of these rural areas they contested very narrowly. With that, the rural voters who mostly were dayaks and malays who supported them also suffered. The many issues affecting the rural people in Sarawak will find no voice in Parliament.

The dayaks will continue in their futile fight against the BN for the protection of their NCR land because YBs from BN all these years will still be too happy to see the dayaks live as licensees on their own land. As licensees have not title to the land, the land rights of the dayaks are limited. Therefore, the best solution for the dayaks to change is to support PKR in the rural area because these are the places DAP could not yet penetrate. In the urban areas, DAP wish the dayaks and the marginalized malays will double their effort to rally their support behind the DAP.

Without this formula to have DAP just concentrate on the urban and semi-urban areas and PKR in the rural areas, BN will continue to rule this state in the next state election and will also continue to deliver the parliament seats to the BN.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Human Beings with no Identification Papers are not better than animals kept as Pets!

Animals have no homes, no country and wandered around in the forests and that forests were the only place they knew. In forests, there were no towns, no motorcars! With their four legs animals could run and disappear in the thick forests and avoid being hunted by men. We used to hear people say that four legs run faster than two legs! Being animals, they never came to town and they never know how motorcars look like. They also never know that motorcars, also have four “legs” and could run faster than them.

But, when kept as pets, animals are always very tender and loyal to their masters. Cats and dogs when kept as pets were normally given names by their masters and many of these pets were also trained to obey instructions and when properly trained, although could not talk, but, could communicate with their masters well. They normally waggle their tails and licked the legs of their masters in pleasure in seeing their masters coming home after a hard day’s work. This gave the masters some good feelings of the home and when they died, some masters cried, mourned their death and gave them good burial place and as pets, their masters love them well but, the only thing they lacked which a human being possessed was that, they have no identification papers.

Yes, human beings are also animals but the only difference with other creatures is that God gave them the gift of speech and with this gift, human beings could communicate with each other well. As human beings are not wild creatures they were well loved by their own species. They were, like pets, were given names by their parents and to protect their dignity the authority issued to them identification papers so that they could be easily identified from each other. When they died, being dignified creatures they were given proper burial.

However, many of these human beings are not better than animals in the jungle or pets kept at homes. When they were born without identification papers in law they were considered aliens with no country and should have no home in this land and were not considered civilized creatures by those who lived in towns. Alas! God made them and they came to this world, and they are our very own people,but, they were hunted by the authorities if they come to town and if caught, they will be caged in prison cells like wild dogs and cats to be tamed. How long we don't and probably they may die in the cells and then buried. Since no one may know their origin, names and religion, they do not, if they are christians enjoy the right in accordance with christian rites to have a cross planted at their resting place with "RIP" written on it.

We should take care of them, but, what had this government done to take care of them?

They lived very far from civilization and may never come to town in their life and even if they ever came to town, it may take days for them to go down from up river to town. They could not get their births registered because due to poverty and inaccessibility to town, their parents could not travel from the ulu areas to the towns to get their births registered and identification papers issued to them. When they die, their deaths were also not recorded.

They were pitiful creatures and although human beings, they were animals that never ever saw how a town or a real motorcar looks like. They could have heard and talk about motorcars, but, it's a pity they never ever knew how this wonderful machine also with four “legs” looks like that could help people travel faster.

The regime is cruel to them and there were much talk, talk, talk and talk but no action to make them lived with dignity. To live with dignity, they must be issued with identification papers otherwise, they were not better than pets kept at homes!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


我从1978年继承已故父亲所遗下的一片坐落于Lot 2516 Muara Tebas 面积为12.91依甲土地。我认为在没获我同意,政府擅自在该地开办一间学校是不对的。甚至先父在世时也不曾同意让该土地充作学校用途。原本它起初是供宣传基督教之用。作为虔诚基督教徒和一名宗教师的先父始终只允许该地段作为传教,而不曾有意充任何学校用途。




对这些反对我赎回我的土地之政治人物,他们表面看起来非常慈善好心,但他们只是在大选期间有这种表现。假如他们真的要协助人民,特别是Merdang Gayam 和附近地区的人民,我促请他们捐款购地,为Merdang Gayam区居民儿女兴建一间学校。

那些在308大选,把这项课题政治化的政客包括黄锦河,施志豪,叶金来,陈康南,杨昆贤和Agun Anak Bujang。这些政客口水多过茶。他们应该捐出他们的土地或用他们的钱在当地兴建一间学校,而不应该把此事政治化。总之他们都比我富有和有权势的人物。


提到St. Martin Merdang Gayam 小学家教协会主席Agun Anak Bujang,他在该区拥有许多土地,他应该献捐部份土地,为当地兴建一间学校。我也要质问他,为何建在他地段上的一间民众会堂并没有让民众使用,而经常被锁住?假如他有慈善心,应该让该民众会堂充作St. Martin 小学使用。




我不明白为什么该校命名为圣马丁小学,因没有人告诉我原因,这个名似乎对我感到好笑,因“St. Martin”名称让人以为基督教活动仍然在该校进行,但却不是这样。我稍后发现该学校已成为一间以马来文为教学媒介语的国民学校,所有教师的薪酬完全由政府支付与掌管。



地主:Millah Anak Kitat

温利山:燃油跌价收入减 拜托别拿人民开刀

星洲日报 (2008年10月22日) 星期三














Tuesday, October 21, 2008

BAKUN DAM – the long story.

Bakun dam, the long story, when will this end? Many if not most Malaysians, especially, Sarawakians have been kept in the dark of the development of Bakun, with so much money and secrets surrounding the project. All documents involving Bakun are classified documents under the Official Secrets Act 1972. It was planned that the project will costs about RM9.12 billion and how much money will eventually be spent on completion, nobody will ever know. The undersea submarine cable to West Malaysia was estimated to cost a whopping RM9 billion!

Bakun dam should generate 2,400 megawatts of electricity and would flood an area as big as Singapore! The dam will cost approximately 23,000 hectares of good agricultural land and forests! When completed, Bakun will be the largest dam in South East Asia and the second largest in the world. The plan was that Bakun will have about 650 kilometres of undersea cable to West Malaysia and once completed will be the longest undersea cable in the world surpassing the current Norway to Netherlands submarine cable.

The dam was originally proposed in the early 1960s and has long complex history. From 1970s to 1980s there were detail examination of the Bakun dam site, preparation and development proposals and in 1986 the BN government decided that the Bakun dam be built. In 1990 the Bakun dam project met some setbacks and the project was then postponed. The project was then revived in 1993 and the BN government awarded the construction of the project to Ekran Berhad and constructions begun in 1996. Due to economic crisis facing Malaysia, the Bakun dam project again was postponed in 1997 for the second time.

When the BN government shelved the project, the taxpayer paid a heavy price with RM700 million to RM1.1 billion as “compensation” to a Malaysian public listed company as disclosed in Parliament.

In May 2000 Bakun dam was revived through a 100% government owned company, Sarawak Hidro, but, the transmission of power to West Malaysia was not part of the revived project.

In 2002 the BN government awarded the project to Malaysia-China Hydro Joint Venture and the Bakun dam was supposed to be completed and delivered to the government in 2007, but, the Bakun dam is still under construction. Before the new completion date of 2007, it was said should be competed in February 2002. So the story goes on and when will this end? What will be the total cost and environmental impact of Bakun? Only God knows!

The construction of Bakun involves the relocation of more than 9,000 native residents. The area for the construction of Bakun dam has one of the highest rates of plants and animal endemism. It was said some plant species found there are no where found on earth and the dam has done irreparable ecological damage to the region. Some 16% of the total logs production of Sarawak once came from the area will soon see no log production again.

The first crack in the dam project was on September 3, 1997 when the Swedish engineering firm ABB was informed that the agreement for it to serve as chief contractor had been cancelled as there was disagreement of costs overrun with the promoter of the project. Once the dam becomes operational, will it cracked? If government buildings in Putrajaya could crack after few years of being built, there is also no reason, why the Bakun dam one day would not crack. If this may happen, the impact could be worst than the Szechuan earthquakes in China! Let us now be prepared!

In early November 1999, Anwar Ibrahim testified in the High Court in his sodomy trial that he was directed by Dr. Mahathir to use treasury funds to compensate a public listed company involved in Bakun project without proper audit and procedures. Anwar went to say that it was not his duty as a finance minister to “plunder” public funds to save any company. According to Anwar, it ended in his dismissal on September 2, 1998.

In the end, the Bakun dam project will not be engineering and science, but, merely an expert prostitution of public fund paid for by Malaysian taxpayers to cronies!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Matter: Lot 2516 Muara Tebas Land District containing an area of 12. 91 acres more or less.


The painted building is the new administrative block that was built recently and the only building that looked good on the whole land where the school was.

Teachers' Car Park at the School

The shed and football field of the school

Badminton Court and Grandstand where the students gathered together whenever there were assemblies held

A multi-purpose building

This building housed the classrooms
Why the government didn't spend some money for better buildings and better facilities when they were occupying aunty Millah's land? Very simple! Government could not expend money because the land belonged to someone else. Had it been government land definitely the government would have spent more money on uplifting the facilities of the school. When the school was still on the land, it was attended by mostly dayaks children nearby.
Note: This press statement was prepared by a nephew of Millah anak Kitat on instruction of Millah anak Kitat. It has also been translated into Mandarin and been published in the local news, but, not in full as what could be read here.
I regret that politicians in the government and in opposition had failed to uphold true to their oath of office to protect the law and the Constitution for fear that issues could affect their popularity. They only chose issues that could only enhance their image. Under the Federal Constitution, rights to property is protected under Article 13 while under Article 12 there should not be any discrimination in the provision of funds for maintenance of educational institutions and education of which is the sole responsibility of the authorities while Article 11 protect our religion and religious practices. These had been twisted over the years and had caused much uneasiness among our multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-racial society.
Aunty Millah's case is an example of the abuses of the government and also the failure of our politicians to fight for the rights of the poor and helpless people.
Please put your comments.

I hold title to the land and the land together with its problem with the authorities were inherited by me from my late father since 1978. I felt that it was not right for the government to run a school on my land without my permission. Neither my late father had granted any consent for the land to be used for the school. The land was originally used to spread our Christian religion. My late father, who was a staunch Christian and a catechist, had only wanted the land for the propagation of our Christian faith and had never intended the land be used for any school.

When my late father retired as a catechist, a school was run on the land. My late father later on came to know about it and told them either to vacate the land or pay some compensation to us, but, all negotiations failed. When I inherited the land, I also pursued the matter, but, I regret that government servants and community leaders including ministers of the present government whom I approached personally or through my close relatives had failed to amicably solve the matter. They made a lot of promises and their talk were sweet, but, nothing positive were done. They were supposed to help the weak and to protect the law, but, they failed.

Later on, I was told by many people including some lawyers that I could no more pursue the matter against the government in court as I was told my action was time barred. It shocked me, I felt sick and I felt cheated.

They all told me not to see opposition politicians for reasons known to themselves, but, I am already too old to wait and I had waited for too long. I am already 73 years old, without any income and a family of my own and I had no choice, but, to approach YB Voon Lee Shan to be my counsel, through my nephew. We are all Christians from the same church and I just prayed YB Voon Lee Shan could help.

I am thankful that he did helped, but, I also regret that like me, YB Voon who acted for me also faced lots of problems with the authorities. I also regret that during the last March 8 Election, the matter was made a political issue by those in the BN government and also by an opposition party against me and YB Voon Lee Shan. They showed no respect to me as old, poor and helpless person who was out there to seek justice to protect my own property. They also showed no respect for the court and my privacy and had also failed to take into consideration that I am a poor elderly lady, but, instead went all out to politicize the matter which also affected my health very badly and until now I am still not feeling very well.

To these politicians who were against me taking back my land they all seemed very charitable persons and good in heart, but, they were only charitable and good in heart during election time. If they were so charitable with the heart to help people, in particular to the people in Merdang Gayam and surrounding areas, then, as an old and elderly person who have no family of my own and also who have no income, instead of seeking my property be alienated without compensation to the government for school purposes, I hereby urge them to donate their property to buy land and build a school for the school children of the people of Merdang Gayam.

Those who harp on the issue during the recently concluded March 8 Election included, Dominique Ng Kim Ho, Datuk Alfred Yap, See Chee How, George Chan, Yong Khoon Seng and Agun Anak Bujang. These politicians had talked so much and they should donate their own land or go and build a school there with their own money and should not have politicized the matter. After all, they are people who are richer than me and are also people in power.

I also could not understand why these so called charitable and kind hearted politicians also did not protect my religion, in which, they should have protected. My father’s dream was gone and All Saints had been demolished and nobody wanted to tell me why it was demolished. In West Malaysia, Hindraf protected the Hindu temples from being demolished and here I am glad YB Voon Lee Shan had gone all out to voice the grievances of our Christian religion being disturbed by unseen hands.

As for Agun anak Bujang, who is the Head of the Parent Teachers Association of St. Martin Merdang Gayam, who has a lot of land in the area, should himself donate part of his land to government to build a school for school children in Merdang Gayam. I also want to ask Agun Anak Bujang why the community hall built that was built on his land was not put for good use of the community and constantly be placed under lock? He is charitable. He can allow the community hall be used as St. Martin Merdang Gayam.

We tried to settle the matter without bringing the matter to court, but, the authorities paid very cold shoulders. I just wanted the authorities to leave the land peacefully and despite the first suit filed in High Court for possession, the government also refused to vacate the land. It was only after the second suit filed to court for compensation, that the government responded, but not immediately.

Although I am poor and had filed for compensation and damages, I never intended to make money out of the unlawful occupation of my land by the government. Had I not filed for damages and compensation, I doubt I could take back my land now. I just want justice and I just want my property be returned back to me as I am already very old and not feeling very well. I also wanted the land back because I was also not happy that the wish of my late father to use the land to propagate our Christian religion was defeated. With my land back, I have also completed my father’s task and justice is now done. With that, I have given instructions to my counsel, YB Voon Lee Shan, to withdraw the two suits against the government and in fact one of the suits had been withdrawn and the other one will be withdrawn soon at the next court sitting. The government was supposed to protect the property of its citizen, but, here the government and those in authority were not keen to protect a weak person like me.

I also was aware that students were involved and over the years, I also tried to convince the government servants and those in power that there was a government secondary school, just beside the roadside of Jalan Dato Mohamad Musa, and that this school could accommodate the students of St. Martin Merdang Gayam, built on my land. The school which was at the said roadside of Jalan Dato Mohamad Musa was a new school with better facilities. This new school was also equipped with computers and was also not far from my land and the students also need not walk very far from the roadside of Jalan Dato Mohamad Musa, unlike to St. Martin Merdang Gayam.

I also don’t know how the school was named as St. Martin Merdang Gayam and no people could tell me. It seemed funny to me as its name, “St. Martin” gave an impression that Christian activities were still alive there, when it was not. What I later on discovered also was that, it was a national school with Bahasa Melayu being the medium of instruction and all teachers were fully paid by the government and the school was fully run by the government.

If not for YB Voon Lee Shan, I doubt I could get back my land. I have no money to pay him and no money to file the suits in court. YB Voon Lee Shan had done all these without charging me fees. YB Voon Lee Shan also paid the court filing fees for me. For all that YB Voon Lee Shan had done and all sufferings and unjustified criticisms leveled at YB Voon Lee Shan during his campaign, I can say, “Thousand Thank You!” YB Voon Lee Shan is my hero and a good Christian, who was daring all out to fight for justice.

I was also told by YB Voon Lee Shan many of his friends and his party members did not give much support to him to fight for justice and this had made YB Voon Lee Shan a very lonely person. I pitied YB Voon Lee Shan for the problems faced by him and I hereby say “Sorry to YB Voon Lee Shan”. My late father and I had fought this case for more than thirty years and had given the government much time and if not for YB Voon Lee Shan I may still not be able to get my land back.

I also have to thank the court to allow the matter to be settled by us amicably because myself, being old and not feeling well could not allowed the matter to drag on for too long.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

“Iban place trivial things above kids’ education” – James Masing

Should we allow the Dayaks to live in this condition with pigs still seen reared under their longhouses?

I am flattered by the words of Dr. James Masing to say that the dayaks should emulate the outstanding characteristics of the Chinese which gives priority to their children’s education. This was a fact that no one has disagreed because when Chinese came to this land, they also brought with them education from China. They came here in sampans, started what we called “Kongsi” which means, “company”, “community” or “society”. The Kongsi in Bau/Siniawan started by the Chinese hero, Liu Shang Ban, who attacked James Brooke in his Astana was a well known Kongsi to the people in Bau, Siniawan and Kuching.

When the Chinese came here, they met the dayaks and the local malays and do business with them and with their wealth they went back to China and helped their own people there. Some left behind and preferred to spend the rest of their lives here and they thrived economically by helping each other. Here, they started clan associations and societies to help each other. With their acquired wealth here, they brought more teachers from China to teach their children here and decided that Sarawak was their new homeland.

But, when the Chinese here became more phosphorous, they also did not forget the hospitality of the dayaks and the malays in allowing them to live and do business here. When SNAP was started, Chinese businessmen, to name a few, like the late Datuk Wee Hood Teck, Tan Sri Wee Boon Ping and Datuk James Wong poured money into the Party, but, the dayak and malay leaders could not themselves hold on to the Party, which led the Party been weakened over the years. Splinter groups within the Party led to the formation of PBDS, SPDP and PRS. It was a sad thing and I really hope some dayak and malay leaders would be able to revive the strength of the party to 1974 level at least.

Now there are some dayak leaders who became very wealthy by being in the government, but, after SDNU it took some intellectuals, who themselves were not wealthy and who themselves did not benefit much from the BN government to play a more proactive role in bring the dayaks to greater heights by setting the ball rolling by organizing another association for the dayaks, that, is the Dayak Graduates Association. Now we can see the Dayaks Chamber of Commerce and Industry and also the dayak music industry thriving with The Dayak Music Award (DAMA) 2008 in motion to help dayak come together.

On the other hand, Sarawak DAP also was aware of the needs to bring the dayaks to a better level economically and we had not failed to speak for the dayaks. When I spoke of the plights of the dayaks and told the Legislature that the dayaks in the rural area were still poor, YB Sylvester Entri, shot me down and wanted me to prove my statement. YB Sylvester Entri has to go back to longhouses and see for himself! Maybe he has forgotten his roots!

We know all these while that the dayaks had helped us much and many voted for the DAP. When YB Ting Tze Hui spoke of land problems faced by the dayaks, Dr. James Masing ticked her off by calling her act as “cultural arrogance”. Then how the dayaks are going to progress when we wanted to offer ideas and help we were shot down and now with Dr. James Masing issuing a statement, “to emulate the Chinese”? Is not Dr. James eating his own words? Some of us may not know the dayak culture well, but, it was our heart, our sincerity that counts. Dayaks leaders could know their culture well, but, how many are prepared to sincerely help their own dayaks people solve their problems?

When the dayaks are still very much behind with very little help from leaders who got rich, we do expect those who are rich and those in power to ignore them. DAP is not in power but has always willing to help. However, I regret that SUPP with so many “Lau Pan” also had failed to help the dayak much because BN is controlled by one man who said that “.. I am the government.”

Dayaks are rich in land – that is what Dr. James Masing said, but, they are not wealthy. If their lands are not surveyed and no titles are issued to their lands, the lands are still not theirs, because in law the land still belongs to the government and then how can Dr. James say that dayaks are wealthy in land? When the land has no title, the government can just alienate it to companies and cronies of BN leaders including YBs in the BN for plantations and reap huge profits out of it. The ignorant dayaks were still thinking that the land belong to them, but, their rights to the land is weak. Many dayaks had to fight it out in court, but, how to fight when these poor dayaks have no resources against the giants!

DAP has to help and I hope the dayaks will help the DAP to fight this common cause together. We cannot allow the dayaks to be poorer and be robbed of their land. This is because once they no more have land, the dayaks will have no choice but to fight for survival in the urban areas, in which, they will find difficulties to compete with the more sophisticated urban people. The place is already crowded and where will the dayaks go? Squat in government land? Once these poor dayaks could not compete, socials ills will then get the better of many good things. There may be more robberies and plunder and I guess the rich and the ministers’ houses will never be spared as we had already seen.

Therefore, to say that dayaks only care for trivial things are not true, because we could see the dayaks had all these while been fighting against the government to protect their lands and were not successful. How can the dayaks be able to send their children for further education where money is needed, if their most precious assests, land, be taken away and then Dr. James Masing has the cheek to say that dayaks only care for trivial matters?

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Relevancy of Select Committee on Internal Security Act 1960

ISA 1960 was passed under Article 149 of the Federal Constitution and section 8(1) states the grounds for detention for a period of two years upon which the order may be based on where a person has acted in any manner prejudicial to the:

i. security of the country or part thereof; of
ii. maintenance of essential services; or
iii. economic life.

Section 8(7) ISA 1960 allows the extension of the detention for a period of another two years and this subsection also allows further periods of detention of two years at a time. Further detention could also be based on the original ground or different grounds.

The intriguing issue is whether there is a need for ISA or a Select Committee be formed to study or revise the ISA to cater the needs of the present day situation?

Tunku Abdul Rahman had said that ISA was only to “be used solely against the communist." Tunku also said ISA was not to be used to stifle legitimate opposition and to silence lawful dissent. This was also repeated by Tun Hussein Onn who also gave assurance that it was not to be used to repress, “lawful political opposition and democratic citizen activity.” Tun Abdul Razak also promised the same thing, but, things later on changed. In 1966 when Mahathir spoke on the Internal Security (Amendment) Bill 1966 Mahathir said no one in his right senses like the ISA. The ISA was used by Mahathir, when he eventually became Prime Minister to silence his critics and political opponents in the infamous Operation Lallang.

The present Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, in 1988 in criticizing Dr. Mahathir on ISA was heard said, “Laws such as ISA have no place in modern Malaysia. It is a draconian and barbaric law.” When he became Prime Minister in 2003, Abdullah called ISA a necessary law. Abdullah could do something that went against his own words. This year, 2006 Abdullah Ahmad Badawi wielded the sword and those arrested under ISA not only included a political opponent, YB Teresa Kok, but, bloggers and a reporter.

Why? Was it not a weapon that was used as a sword by the Executive to control dissent voices and political opponents? Had we not diverted our attention from the original intention of ISA? I could see that it was a sword to preserve UMNO and the Executive rather that a sword to preserve the security of the country.

The Federal Court in the case of Kerajaan Malaysia & 2 Ors v. Nasharuddin Bin Nasir [2003] 6 AMR 497 has said that the ISA was a draconian law, but, legal under the Federal Constitution.

Since it is a draconian law, why should we keep it? Is it not barbaric and only for the primitive people only?

Now coming to the issue itself, a select committed on the matter does not arise and should be abolished on the following grounds:-

i. It has been consistently been abused by the Executive not for preservation of national security, but, the preservation of the government of the day and no amount of review or amendment to law could desist the Executive from abusing it or from reviewing or amending it to suit the government of the day;

ii. Although Article 149 of the Federal Constitution under which ISA was enacted permitted special legislation when subversive action has been taken or threatened, “by any substantial body of persons”, Under the said Article 149 of the Federal Constitution, ISA was supposed to be used against “substantial body of persons” but, ISA has often than not been used to detain individual dissents indulging in non-violent activities against the government. Those who had been arrested under ISA include environmentalists, trade unionist, journalists, passport forgers and consumerists. You can name whatever activity, ISA could easily be applicable to it. There are sufficient laws already in existence to control the activities of these activists;

iii. ISA should be used as a sword and a shield against foreign aggression, but, not against citizens who have a fundamental right of protection of the state and should only, if they transgressed against the law, be dealt in accordance the existing laws different from foreign aggressors;

iv. ISA is a blatant violation of international cannons of the rule of law, natural justice and due process of law;

v. With ISA the rule of fair justice has been removed where the Executive is allowed to act as accuser, investigator as well as adjudicator and the detainee most often, has no course to justice in court. This is against the theory that a man’s life and liberty should not be decided by one man alone;

vi. ISA has caused international embarrassment to Malaysia as a country being backward, coward and inhumane to citizens and human beings where information on arrests was also withheld from the detainee. If information is withheld, the detainee could not know the true reasons of his arrest;

vii. A detainee could be arrested for very weak or on no evidence at all and on flimsy reason based on the subjective reason of the Minister in which is not questionable by the courts. So long the Minister applied his mind to the arrest that the detainee was a threat or had been acting in a manner prejudicial to the country, the detention is legal;

viii. Islam is our official religion. Many scholars said detention under ISA without trial is against Islam as the religion itself does not allow any detention without trial.

If we are to speak of national security, there are already sufficient laws to safeguard our country. This could be found in chapter V1 and V1A of the Penal Code. Chapter V1 includes waging war against the State or the King or causing harm to rulers, Members of Parliaments and harbouring persons who show hostility towards the State while Chapter V1A is in respect of offences of terrorism. All these provisions are sufficient to protect national security and the Penal Code protects the right of detainees to seek justice in Court consistent with the preservation of human rights.
Respect of human right is the key to progress and world peace and ISA is a sword that can lead to dictatorship, anarchy and civil war.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Kampung Bintawa Tengah Gutted by Fire!

MP for Bandar Kuching, Sdr. Chong Chieng Jen, ADUN for Pending, Sdri. Violet Yong and myself visited the houses of the Kpg. Bintawa Tengah near to the Tun Mohammed Salahuddin Bridge at Petra Jaya, Kuching, that was destroyed by fire. We were told that the fire started at about 9.30 p.m., during to a strike by lighting. I was told similar fires also occurred in the area not long ago. An elderly man told me that the people in the kampung had made applications for some fire fighting equipment from the YBs in the constituency quite sometime ago, but, there had been no news about this.

BN government could spend millions of ringgit in many mega projects like Bakun and also sending someone to the outer space, but, had apparently forgot the importance of fire prevention and life savings.

It was a bleak Hari Raya for these people and I felt very sad for them. We gave them some personal donations, although not much, but we just hope we could contribute something to them. I am also pleased to see that other organizations like the Buddhist organization, Tzu Chi and PKR making some donations to the victims.

Rule of Law – Why Fear Criticisms?

If Malaysia truly upholds the rule of law by being transparent and consistent in its application of the rule of law, then, Malaysia as a sovereign country should not fear any criticisms from the United States and other foreign countries in respect of human rights treatment and application of the law in cases that includes the investigations against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

It was because of the fear that the rule of law was abused and investigations was politically motivated that caused much concern to the United States of the investigation of the sodomy case against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, but, when the United States said something, our government was too quick to react and tell the United States not to interfere with Malaysia’s application of the rule of law in the investigation. Dr. Rais Yatim spoke at length about this before the United Nations 63rd Assembly on Saturday 28 September, 2008.

Malaysia should also examine its criticisms in the past of other nations in the application of the rule of law. If Malaysia don’t want others to criticize Malaysia, then, Malaysia should not simply take the lead the criticize others. In the past, Malaysia also did not spare the United States in respect of treatments of prisoners in Guanatanamo Bay and also about the treatment of Palestinian prisoners in the hands of the Isreal. Therefore, when the United States made some noise about its concern in the investigation against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia should take it gentlemanly and if anything done was wrong, then, rectify it. Why the double standard?

In the application of the rule of law, there is a need of a check and balance mechanisms to ensure the rule of law be applied transparently and fairly on all citizens and this mechanism includes constructive criticisms by the citizens and also by concerned countries that practise and belief in the rule of law and democracy. Malaysia could not be beyond criticism if the rule of law in Malaysia was ineffective and impotent. Malaysia should also understand that when rule of law becomes ineffective and impotent, democracy will collapse and will give way to the birth of dictatorship and arbitrary regime, in which, can also bring untold sufferings to the people of the country.