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Monday, February 24, 2014

Sarawak Independent- Myth, Struggle and Hope.

I was impressed by recent agenda and ideology of a group of Sarawak' natives on the idea of Sarawak's Independent from the Federation of Malaysia. Sarawak joined federation of Malaysia on September 16, 1976 under the term "Association with the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia and that made Sarawak as the 13th State of Malaysia before Singapore separate with Malysia on August 9, 1965. After the separation, Sarawak became the 12th State followed by Sabah as the 13th State. According to Malaysia history, Sarawak joined the federation by the common agreement and willingness of the people under the Cobbold Commission's referendum.  

The ideology of Sarawak Independent was initiated long before the independent state join the federation of Malaysia. SUPP was form in early 1959 to oppose Federation of Malaysia with the slogan "Sarawak for Sarawakian:. Many protest has been organized by the political party in Sibu, Miri and Kuching to voice-up their objection on the proposal of Federation.  Mr. Ong Kee Hui was labelled as communist by the Malayan government and he was sidelined from the negotiation. 

SNAP was founded on April 10, 1961 by Mr. Stephen Kalong Ningkan and one of the formation's objective is to make Sarawak as an Independent state. He led the party and won the state election and became Sarawak's first Chief Minister until he was ousted by the Malayan government under the Sarawak Constitutional Crisis in 1966.

SUPP and SNAP were divided into fraction of Political camps that separated the natives into  several political parties and the ideology of struggle of the state independent was forgotten. SNAP was registered due to party leadership crisis and money politics that was engineered by the Malayan based party together with Sarawak politicians in Ming Court Hotel in 1987. This two giants lot their battle in modern politic warfare as they are fighting for money politics instead of holding firm on the party's objective and it original struggle. 

The new breed of generation could be able to figure out how to negotiate for Independent from Malaysia. Yet, it is an uncertainties to the whole Sarawakians as there are obstacles that they have to face:-

1. Sarawak political party is weaken by fractions and the "divide and rule strategy" by the Malayan sponsored political party. There is no was for political unity in Sarawak as they are engraved with different spirit and ideology of political struggle. The Dayak, the majority ethnic in Sarawak could not be united under one political struggle as ego and self agenda overpassed the real struggle of the people. It begun in SNAP, PBDS and now the Dayak are divided into PRS, SPDP, SWP and others. It is an advantage for the Malayan sponsored party to continue to rule as the party could secured the most seats in the state assembly. 

2. A weak political will among the people of Sarawak has made them being in such complacency for more than 50 years. There is no other way to win over Sarawak from the Federation. It only can be done by strong political force that could be the best strength of self governance and readiness to rule over the state. It could be not enough to talk it over social media and coffee-shop conversation because serious business must be planned and lay-out with serious moves and actions. The Arab Spring has proven  to the whole world that only by people's unity and strong desire to be free can make a change. There is no weapon needed if the government and the people could work together and agree upon amendment of constitution. Syria has different situation due to western political intervention that lead to civil-war. 

3. The west-Malaysia's political influence. Sarawak only can negotiate for independent if they are agreed to work under local political party and not the political party that is based in Peninsular. It is only possible if the people of Sarawak could  distinguish the true meaning of right to be different and liberal democracy. Borneo Agenda can only be an idealism for those who have the strong force and unity and not a mere personal ideology which lead to nowhere.                 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Inherrited Culture of Money Politic

Picture by Malaysia Chronicle 
Money, power, sex and corruption are embodied into a Malaysian political culture since the early time of economic awakening. The nation enjoyed higher Gross National Income per capita in late 1980’s and continues to fluctuate into a greater number and statistics till today. See The indicator  shows that Malaysia’s economy is growing up tremendously with increasing of Gross National Product fluctuating between max 10.30% and min -6.20%. See Malaysia was once called as the Asian Tiger Economy with fast growing economy in early 1990’s till late millennium; over passing its neighbors Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.  It was a pride for Malaysia to be the first automotive manufacturer in Asia apart from Japan- with their first breed of Proton Saga. Industries booming by the increasing FDI in every sector of industries named it manufacturing, plantation, technology and finance.
That was the greatest moment for Malaysia under the Mahathirism; the father of modernization, Asian’s genius. Politic was full of turbulence but the economy is growing up. Economic holds the liberalism in Malaysia’s politic under the one party dominance with no competition from opposition. Malaysia enjoyed “stability” under the rigid rule of law and guided democracy. Those worked well for at least 20 years. Democracy was made illiberal with limitation of public’s governance, check and balance and transparency. Oppositions have no voice in the parliament as there were strict acts that forbid then to oppose and object injustice in law-making. Internal Security Act has been used to limit the opposition’s progress and at the same time permits the government to change laws and acts at their will.
Malaysia has enjoy decades of unfair game of political and economic triumph but forgets about the revolution of it citizens. Nevertheless, there is one major power that made Malaysian’s politic at one side dominance; money politics. It is practiced from the highest power stage to the lowest ground of politic. It has been used in selecting party’s councils, representatives and even to the election of party’s branch’s head. This phenomenon is practice well in every party under the coalition named it UMNO, MCA, MIC, PBB, PBS and small minority parties. It is all about wining power battle at all cost because the reward is greater than the risk. In investment term, it is called “high risk with high return”. 
In last general election, money politic decides the majority mostly in rural area where voter are bought by cash, cheque, development projects and not least feast and live band shows. Najib’s freebies worked well with his simple majority although billion ringgit has been “invested” in buying vote from the public servants and the citizens. It was the first in history of Malaysia that the citizens are given such an amount of money to buy vote. RM 500.00 given to every household with the household income less than RM 3000.00, RM 200.00 smart phone rebate for youths and RM250.00 book voucher for students. Government spent billion of ringgit for the freebies which affected their reserve, pension funds, tender acquisition and the claim payment of the civil servants. Many have been affected badly by the rain of money that was initiated to win the general election at all means. Business is getting sluggish when computer is given for free from one monopoly supplier. The value of the government tenders have been shrunken to the minimal to give way for cash gift and all sorts of financial aids. Small and Medium enterprises who rely mostly on government project have to obey the hiking cost of labor and operation with the minimal resources; which affected their income and cash flows.
In every village, money is given to the party committees to be distributed among the voters. Bundles of money are moving in and out form every political campaign and the people sees it as an opportunity to get free money in every 5 years or less. Monetizing politic is the most effective way to be in power and it is proven in most of the election in Malaysia. There is no act to investigate and charge someone who practiced money politic as the power of Election Commission is limited; only to run and regulate the election process. It is a save game for those who keen to invest in money politics.   
Party candidates are sponsored by business person as a stake holder, hoping that they will get return from their nomination fee. It has been practiced long before when politics is made as a business platform by the politicians themselves. Cronyism begins to flourish the politics and its stakeholders which have created the social class divisions, exclusiveness and feudalism. Citizens are arranged by classes based on their economic power and its position in the politic.
Should money politic continue to be as a culture and norm is a democratic Malaysia? Few decades ago it seems to work well in America during the era of it industrial awakening; John.D Roketfeller’s Standard Oil, Andrew Carnegie’s US Steel and J.P. Morgan’s General Electric.  Somehow, the public’s power over passed the money politic in America under the man behind the drama; Theodore Roosevelt.
Unless, if there is courage to defy greed and money politics, we will understand and realize of what we have lack of-integrity.  Malaysia is no more the Asian Tiger economy due to it bad politics, rising of illiberal democracy and polarizations among the citizens. We have lost a of precious time to grow the economy into it glory which has been grabbed by Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea as we enjoy politic more than focusing on building a great nation as it was.  Malaysia can have the best political system and games but if it is lacking in weighing its economic and social burden, it will be an uncertainty in another term of new formed government.     

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Loyalty by Sacrifice and Pain.

We have to vote Barisan Nasional because they care for us since the beginning of the Federation. They have their best track record in developing the country with vast development and achievement. We never receive anything from oppositions and that shows us the oppositions have no money to develop the nation. Have they build the roads, schools, clinics and bus stops? No. They never do.

I try my best to be independent in my writing and keep nobody in the line of criticism and soft accusation. That is my aim to be an independent writer. But then, with so many bad pictures around me, I have to come out from my "biasity" and write what need to be inspired.

In my next chapter of writing (The Lost Aborigine in His Own Country Home; 50 Years of Uncertainties), I will write a lot of tales and evidences of what the native's have suffered under the Federation of Malaya and feudalism practiced in our socio-politic arena. I wish that God will help me and give me inspiration, aspiration and might to write more.

The Bidayuh is well known by their courtesy, friendliness, shyness and their loyalty. They seldom revolt and question their right under the law of which they should do to protect themselves form oppression and marginalization. They have limited understanding of their needs and aspiration to be as equal or greater from others based on their solemn right constituted to them. Therefore, they always deny changes that they should adapt to in order to evolve with the current change of national's politics, economy and social which brought them into great marginalization and deprivation.

Politics of Development has put them into chaos and uncertainties although there is Native Customary Right Law available to protect them form aggressive modernization implementation made by their government. In many cases, the natives are force to abide to the development demand with no mutual agreement have been made to protect them from the oppression from the government in the name of economic prosperity and nation's harmony. They sacrificed a lot to the government to give way to other tribe to enjoy the economic prosperity. They have been displaced and misplaced but still they obey the rule and demand to help the nation to progress. This is how they contribute to the national economic growth but still they hidden from the government agenda.

Bengoh Resettlement issue is still not resolve and yet those affected residences already abandoned their homes to submerged. New settlement seems to be pending due to lack of government's intention to solve the issue within the agreed period of time. Compensation are given to each family to build their house and settle-down at Semadang resettlement sites, but still cannot accommodate their lost  in their submerged villages. 

In the recent case  of new Gazetted Forest Reserved in Ulu Padawan, the Forestry Department gave less time to the villagers to discuss the order and decide either to accept or reject the order. The notice was given during Gawai Festival month where the villagers are busy with their festival preparation. Why should the government overlooked them and enforce authoritarian by all mean to gazette the villages into state reserve forest? I believe there is hidden agenda by the government to acquire this area since it is done is rushing time with no negotiation. In the other hand, the leaders and politicians have never informed the villagers about the matter as it may tarnish their political career and economic survival as minister, district officers, community chief and of course political runners for politicians.     

Chief Minister of Sarawak once said that the native's should not demand compensation form any development project as development will bring prosperity to everyone. But, what is stated in the law must be respect so that no one are left unsatisfied. The natives are not anti-development but they are under-development and under-establishment based on proven scenario in ulu Baram, Kapit and Padawan. Perhaps the natives are ignorance, but that is not the way the government should describes them; ignorance aborigines. The government should not take advantage from the shortcomings of the natives as they should be served as citizens with equal rights or maybe greater right as origin of the forest.

This is a bad frame of loyalty given to the trusted government and it is proven that the native always being the victim of power exclusiveness, denial and deprivation. What more to lose? Where else to go? What else to harvest? Where else to have a peaceful habitat? We have to agree and understand that the natives could foil with the government development agenda only if they are well recognized and respect by the ruling government based on the rule of laws constituted and not by force and authoritarian.   

Monday, June 24, 2013

Mungkin Saya Silap.

(Article posted in Bahasa Malaysia Only)

Ada satu komen dalam blog saya yang bertanyakan apakah sumbangan saya terdahap masyarakat dan penduduk Bidayuh di kawasan saya memandangkan saya suka cakap banyak dan mengkritik suku saya sendiri. 

Saya fikir sejenak dan mula melihat "sumbangan" saya dari segala sudut dan perspektif positif. Mana mungkin saya boleh menyumbang kepada suku bangsa saya kalau saya bukan ahli dewan undangan negeri atau ahli parlimen?

Itu bukanlah hanya perkara yang paling baik untuk menyumbang kepada masyarakat, bangsa dan negara. Politik itu bukan satu-satunya penyumbang kepada pembangunan negara sungguhpun terdapat track-record selama 56 tahun pemerintahan.

Pada saya, saya sudah menyumbang banyak kepada suku dan bangsa saya. Bagaimana itu?

1. Saya bekerja dan gaji saya dipotong kapada cukai pendapatan yang akan disalurkan kepada Lembaga Hasil. Duit cukai itu akan kerajaan gunakan untuk membantu rakyat melalui program ETP dan macam-macam lagi. Itu juga berlaku kepada pekerja-pekerja yang layak untuk pemotongan cukai pendapatan.

2. Saya membelanjakan duit hasil pendapatan saya untuk keperluan harian, hiburan dan sebagainya. Secara langsung saya membayar cukai GST (Good and service tax) yang sentiasa naik setiap tahun. Duit cukai itu akan disalurkan kepada Lembaga Hasil dan akan digunakan oleh kerajaan untuk membantu rakyat melalui ETP dan macam-macam lagi. Itu juga berlaku kepada semua orang yang berbaris di kaunter pembayaran. Kenaikan harga barang keperluan itu tidak menyusahkan kerana kenaikan cukai yang dikenakan itu tidak akan hilang tetapi akan digunakan untuk program pembangunan dan transformasi ekonomi.

3. Saya membayar saman, denda dan kompaun, cukai jalan, cukai rumah, cukai baju, seluar, api, air dan udara. Duit itu akan disalurkan kepada lembaga hasil dan perbendaharaan. Duit itu nanti akan kerajaan gunakan untuk membantu rakyat melalui program ekonomi yang pasti menguntungkan rakyat.

Pada saya, rakyat yang memyumbang banyak kepada negara. Mereka bekerja keras untuk memastikan pendapatan mereka lumayan dan seterusnya dipotong untuk cukai pendapatan. Mereka terus menyokong barangan tempatan dan import supaya cukai hasil yang dikenakan dalam harga runcit (retail price) itu diharapkan akan digunakan sebaik mungkin oleh kerajaan yang memerintah. Tidak rugi beli mee segera dengan harga yang tinggi kerana cukai jualan itu pasti kembali kepada kita melalui pembangunan dan transformasi ekonomi.

Apa yang membezakan politik dan rakyat itu adalah sebelah pihak menyumbang dan sebelah lagi membelanjakan sumbangan. Dalam konteks politik moden, sumbangan itu dikatakan sebagai "tax-payers" money dan bukan duit kerajaan yang memerintah. Oleh itu kerajaan diamanahkan oleh rakyat untuk menggunakan/membelanjakan duit pembayar cukai itu dengan cara yang berhemah. Di Malaysia, politik itu merupakan pelantar untuk menjana kekayaan dan empayar kuasa kerana mereka mempunyai kuasa untuk membelanjakan duit hasil negara yang juga hasil sumbangan rakyat. Apabila duit tersebut terlalu banyak dan tak ada idea nak berbelanja, merka buat kandang lembu dan iklan internet yang mahal-mahal supaya mereka mendapat komisen daripada kontraktor dan vendors.

Sebab itu kalau kita hendak membekal sebatang pensel ke sekolah, kita kena letak harga RM 10.00 sebatang kerana RM 2.00 nanti adalah komisen politik yang meluluskan tender. sebab itu semua orang berebut-rebut nak jadi ahli politik kerana ia program cepat kaya (bergantung kepada pihak politik yang mana satu). Akibatnya, rakyat telang hilang sumbangan yang banyak itu kerana politik rasuah dan salahguna kuasa dalam urus tadbir sumbangan rakyat jelata.

Di kawasan halaman saya, konsep itu tidak difahami kerana apa yang datang ke kampung itu semuanya daripada saku YB dan ahli politik. Biarpun enjin pengisar padi, pengiling getah, kerusi plastik mahupun balai raya. Kata mereka itu semua YB "sianu" yang kasih. Jadi, bagi kita yang tidak terlibat dalam arena politik itu hanyalah pencacai dan pembangkang kerana tidak menyumbang kepada masyarakat setempat dan kampung halaman. Sebab itu, apabila saya menulis cerita, saya selalu ditanya " apa sumbangan kamu?". Sumbangan saya sangat banyak. Bukan melaui saluran politik tetapi melalui kesetiaan dan ketaatan kepada sistem pentadbiran negara seperti orang yang melakukan perkara yang sama.

Yesus mengatakan, bukan orang kaya yang memberi banyak ke tabung persembahan yang akan mendapat kerajaan shurga tetapi perempuan balu yang memberi sekeping syiling itu kerana dia memberi segala apa yang dia miliki sungguhpun dia hidup dalam serba kekurangan

Can Bidayuh Think?

We are the most recipients of subsidized good since we are still living under the poverty line. Our household income would be at RM 600.00 per household. We work as shifting farmers, labors, government servants, private sector servants and a few contractors. No entrepreneurs perhaps.

We have to stick to the current ruling party because we need help and assistance from our government. There is no way that opposition can help us because they have no money, no solid economic development plan and their manifesto is impossible; free education, reduction of tariffs, taxes and subsidies. Their manifesto will make our country bankrupt in 5 years or less and the rakyat will be in great suffer and depression.

I read their manifesto and it seems to be a great offer and promises. Nothing more or less. Just good enough to reconsider. I have read the same kind of manifesto by the BN's people agenda and prosperous country. Not least; reduction price of goods versus more kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia. Tough fight indeed but people will consider th best solution of all kind of pricing havoc.

I believe that we (government and me) need to tackle the root issue of pricing havoc. Trillions Ringgit of government subsidies will never solve the problem of the pricing havoc. More Kedai Rakyat and Kedai Kain 1 Malaysia is a mere political agenda and that is why we see our lovely outlet at 12th Mile and Tarat Jaya are quite empty. I don't blame the packaging and the price as that is a practical way to reduce price; simple packaging, no advertisement, eliminate middle-man and reduce labor.

Perhaps, this is the right time to speak out our thought on government's stand on "extreme monopoly" that made us desperate and rely a lot on government subsidies. Creative capitalism could be a friendly approach to talk to capitalist on how they can help the poor and needy. We were the world's palm oil producers and yet we still pay a high price on cooking oils. What the government does is keep on paying SIME Darby, Felda Global Venture and oil palm related producers more money to help the people to fry their fish and chicken. When the CPO price drops, those producers stop buying palm oil fruit and keep their stock until the CPO global market "recovers" and the production start to increase again. Somehow, the price of cooking oil never decrease.

Air Asia group is a good example of airliner business that help Malaysian travelling all over the places. Low price and low reliance on government assistance especially on MAB (Malaysian Airport Berhad) taxes. They have their (own) airport LCCT (Low cost carrier Terminal) because they knew that to provide a cheap service, everything must be cheaper but the standard of service is maintains. This business innovation should be a good example for creative capitalism in such a challenging and tough business competition. They have proven it; world best low cost carrier! And not like LION Air.

Get back to the monopoly and pricing headache, we tend to give "alternative" and leave the problem solved by itself. Build more 1 Malaysia shop with attractive prices. I don't see it as a good practices in business view but a lost because KR1M (Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia) cannot increase their sale with less target group or customers with almost whole day of empty shops. What government can do is to regulate and monitor extreme monopoly before we cannot handle the balloon of deficit, inflation and imbalance of social living; the gabs between the rich and poor. We must learn from USA's wall street "disaster" which Obama has a great headache to monitor. Most Americans think and believe that Wall Street must stop being greedy because they couldn't solve the issue of un-employment and inflation. But it is too late because American is built by capitalist and monopoly and not by good politic. The two power cannot get along as American greed is greater than American nation building. They called it American Dream ( making wealthy American) and now they are American Greeds!. End up, they face the same issue, desperation to survive in a "illing" morale country with racial issue, job and politic.

If our politic is good then, we should talk to Syed Moktar, Albert Kwok, Ananda Krisnan and other UMNO-BN tycoons the government desire and willingness to have a "healthy" rakyat. If they refuse, then they are not interested to be a citizen with equal right of citizenship. Furthermore, they have even more at overseas such as China, India and European countries. Helping or leaving; after all they rely on Malaysian resources to be a wealthy person today.

This is not about Socialism economy but perhaps a good approach of how to help the government to ease the burden of subsidies and assistance to help the people. Yes. Maintain the profit and don't be greedy. Take what is needed and give the rest to the people not through foundations and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) but by reducing price of good and services. I believe that if our monopolies and capitalists feel the people's heart beat, we don't need more cheap sales shops and subsided goods. The only entity that can talk to those rich people is politic and lawmakers and not the people with no power and ability