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Sakmongkol ak 47

Tuesday 17 May 2016

Post Sarawak Elections

I have been grappling with this issue; How to explain the different treatment by Sarawakians given to BN and opposition parties in the recent Sarawak state elections? They claimed they have a general distrust toward Malayan politicians who come over by belon. (Aeroplanes).

If there is a general mistrust, then they would have rejected Najib and his government. That principle would have been applied evenly. Instead Najib and his 'gang' were received gladly by the Sarawakians while others were not.

And the Najib camp has quickly claimed equal credit in the victory scored by team Adenan. Some have even claimed the victory as an expression of a mandate from the people to endorse Najib further. To the Sarawakians, such a claim, reinforces their view of Malayan condescension on them. Its the proverbial case of the milk belongs to the cow, but the butter gets the fame.

No one from the Najib camp will see that it was actually a Pyrrhic victory. The giant python swallowed the crocodile, i.e. scored a victory, but later bursts its stomach because the croc is too massive. Or the python swallowed a porcupine whole, later died because the thorns of the porcupine pierced its stomach.  

The Sarawakians showed the whole world, it is they who determined their own future. Not anyone else. They know what many people may refuse to acknowledge, Najib needs Sarawak more than Sarawak needs Najib. So they will push their weight around knowing full well, it is Najib who needs to be pliant and accomodative.

Practical considerations and common sense dictated the behaviour of Sarawak voters. The Sarawakians know the federal government has the capacity to give. They can give many things. They can promise a lot even as the treasury is drying up. Fishermen in the East Coast of Malaya are terrorised by armed intruders from as far as Vietnam or Thailand, the marine department cannot respond because they have no allocations to do so. They don’t have money to pay for the fuel and other costs.

But in Sarawak, the federal government is behaving like the sky is the limit. Ask and thou shall receive.

The rural Sarawakians want outboard motors, water tanks, plenty of tuak, zinc roofs. Simple things which are relatively inexpensive but when multiplied by hundreds of thousands, cost millions.  They want roads- good roads, better access, bridges, communications, social amenities and so forth.  Water supply and electricity. The Najib government can give. It has capacity.

The Chinese community- relatively richer has capacity to choose. They can exercise better democracy which arises from the freedom of choice. So they can chose between business interests and retaining their freedom not to be tied up to some silly ideological impulses. They decide when to get fulfillment of business needs and when to partake in ideological stuff like 1Malaysia, Malaysian Malaysia, democracy, rule of law etc. Those things can be postponed till later.

So does this mean the general distrust of Malayan politicians and their politics has been neutered?

My thinking is, that general distrust on Malayan politics and politicians is still the undercurrent- but practical reasons dictated the action by Sarawakians. No blue blooded Sarawakian can reject the appeal of Sarawak for Sarawakians. They have chosen to milk the cow.

They needed the funds and promises by the federal government. In fact, they feel they are entitled to them. The opposition can’t give them that. Najib knows the reception given to federal government was dictated by practical considerations. Najib ought to know, that their support does not mean affinity or embrace of BN ideology. It’s just taking care of business.

That is why, the victory did not give much comfort to Najib and the BN victory in Sarawak was not hailed as a great victory by UMNO people in Malaya. Only the usual suspects did that.

Najib is also not a Sarawakian and if the Sarawakians for instance are indifferent to an issue like 1MDB, that means, the 1MDB scandal is not washed away by the Sarawak BN victory. When Najib came over to Sarawak, the Sarawakians were asking- what’s in for us? When Najib goes back, they say, 1MDB is your business, we got most of what we wanted.

Najib is still saddled by the 1MDB issue and God knows how much donation went into Najib's account issue. More importantly, the Sarawakians will not give a rat's ass of an interest to what will happen to Najib in Malaya.

Many people say that the biggest loser was DAP. It got 5 seats less than its previous record in 2011. This observation is not entirely correct. It still has 7 seats. So, it has not been totally wiped off.

DAP is now one of at least 3 Chinese-centric parties in Sarawak from which Sarawakian Chinese can choose. They now have DAP, SUPP and UPP.

The more important issue to be in this election is, why did the DAP lose in Chinese majority wards? The Chinese has always been the vote bank for the DAP. We can understand why DAP lost in rural areas but in urban areas, we assumed voters would support DAP.

We know the problems in rural areas, DAP faced greater challenges. The rural folks want and are indeed in need of immediate gratification. They want tuak, water tanks, roads, replacement of roofs, outboard engines. In some rural constituencies, DAP even faced acts of threats and intimidation by thuggish elements.

But why did the DAP lose in Chinese majority areas? Is the DAP found wanting in some departments? Or was the Chinese community behaving practical and pragmatic?

As a Malay and a Muslim  in DAP who observed the Sarawak elections directly, I don’t think the Chinese in Sarawak have abandoned DAP because,  I am saying again and again, if these criteria were at play evenly, Najib and his gang would have also been booted out.

Nor can we explain it away by attributing to the arrogance, the high-mindedness, on the part of the DAP.  

Let us instead looked at lower-level reasons. The Sarawakians and the Sarawakian Chinese were just looking out for their interests- their future the children's future, the interests of communities, clans, kin etc.

All the Chinese did was to look out for their interest first and actually there isn’t any contradiction in their behaviour. Indeed it was directed and dictated by a singular interest- that of self-preservation. The want Najib to pay for the Malayan indifference to Sarawak. To revert to pure Chinese-ness, they will go back and support DAP; to further and protect business interests, they support Adenan through SUPP and UPP.  Because they are generally richer, Sarawakian Chinese are able to exercise this duality in their political personae. The present surge of support of PBB Chinese allies is given temporarily; DAP will always remain as their insurance.

The Chinese have not abandoned the DAP. The seats that DAP lost are merely on loan to the other Chinese centric parties for as long as Adenan Satem plays the game smartly. The Sarawakian Chinese are just playing along.

Adenan Satem has been the division head of his party for 10 terms! He has shown himself to be a smart operator. He has taken a little bit of the thunder away from DAP by adopting a liberalist approach. He has supported the causes fought mainly by DAP. The Chinese who supported parties allied to PBB and Adenan are playing along the game that Adenan started.

Readers may read my observations however way they want. They are even free to interpret it (my observation) as implying that Sarawakian Chinese are insincere. I only assert that the Chinese have chosen to be practical and pragmatic. They will come back to DAP as soon as Adenan Satem and his gang re-assert their PBB ketuanan or when Adenan Satem is replaced by someone less astute. The Sarawakian Chinese are placing their bets smartly. Their Chinese-ness will be looked after by the DAP, practical and business interests by other parties.

People seem to be talking as though it was the death of DAP. And generally, people attribute it to its arrogance, condescension and behaving somewhat conducting themselves like colonialists.

Let’s not turn and treat the results into a triumphant Tarzan-esque cry over a dead gorilla body and proclaim, we don’t want to be treated condescendingly by Malayans. No one has the intention to do so. We accept the choice the Sarawakians made. As regards the Chinese who have provided the main support to DAP, they are playing a smart game. They are spreading the bets wisely.

As far as relations with the Federal government is concerned, Sarawakians have demonstrated they understand and want decentralization of power. We cannot argue with the logic that locals know better the issues than the Malayans. We ought to know, locals have different priorities. If the elections is a means to get the amenities that have been denied to them for so long, Sarawakians will vote with their pockets, stomach and body. RM100 is a big amount to people accustomed able only to earn that amount in a month. Having food on the table is important to those who cannot afford them. Water, electricity and other creature comforts are needed by the body. To some Sarawakians, the people who can provide these, in the form of wakil rakyats are demigods who cannot be challenged and to whom loyalty is owed to.

Sarawakians are treating these day to day issues as more important than the issues we think are important.  In the end, it’s their own free choice.  And the overriding message in the recent Sarawak elections, they want to do it their way. It involves also, preventing others especially Malayans from dictating terms. Unfortunately, that message was applied more forcefully on the opposition simply because, it was the more practical thing to do.

They have demonstrated that to DAP. Perhaps Sarawakian DAP supporters don’t want to be dictated by DAP centralists. But here is the thing. If that sentiment applies to DAP, it also applies to Najib. Najib and his gang observed first hand, the desire by the Sarawakians to free themselves from control by centralists.

I don’t think, the significance is lost on Najib and his gang. The euphoria over the victory in Sarawak did not last long. It still does not free Najib from his other worries. His victory is generally ignored by the UMNO people. Because they also know what Najib has already known- the Sarawakians who voted for the pro-BN ruling parties in Sarawak did so out of practical and business considerations and not out of love and affection or allegiance to higher principles.

In fact I think after this, Najib will get more worried. PBB can earn the trust of Sarawakian Chinese while UMNO in Malaya, failed in that aspect. And Najib knows, he can’t change the leopard sports of UMNO. In some ways he may even be envious with Adenan Satem. Adenan Satem doesn't have to play the race card, does not have to project a holier than thou image or have to support religion bashing and so on.

Most importantly, Najib does not relish the idea that the Sarawakians can squeeze his balls.


Sunday 15 May 2016

Pasar Minggu Bandar, Raub.

Esok satu artikel mengenai politik akan diterbitkan. Artikel itu saya tulis seminggu yang lalu ketika saya pulang dari Sarawak. Ianya impresi saya mengenai PRN Sarawak. Ianya artikel yang berjadual. Salah satu ciri penulisan blog ialah terdapat satu feature dimana posting boleh dijadualkan. Suatu artikel boleh ditulis terdahulu dan disiarkan kemudian.
Tapi hari ini, saya mahu upload article yang bukan politik. Terlalu banyak menulis mengenai politik agak menjemukan. Maka saya rasa, elok saya menulis mengenai perkara yang kurang menaikkan tekanan darah.
Ianya mengenai kawasan saya Raub. Saya mahu mempromosi Raub sebagai suatu destinasi untuk orang ramai berkunjung . Raub bukanlah satu tempat yang hanya terkenal kerana musang King nya atau lombong emas Bukit Koman yang penuh dengan kontroversi.
Setiap hari minggu, kita boleh melawat pasar minggu bandar Raub. Ianya juga routine saya setiap hari minggu untuk berkunjung dan bertegur sapa dengan penjaja dan orang ramai. Pasar minggu ini  diadakan diseberang jalan dihadapan Rest House Raub. Penjaja dari seluruh daerah Raub akan menjaja hasil mahsul mereka di pasar minggu ini.
Dan Raub sebenarnya mengadakan pasar minggu atau pekan sehari (pekan sari) pada setiap hari. Petang Selasa, kita boleh berkunjung di Pekan Dong. Petang Khamis kita boleh berkunjung di Bukit Koman. Kita boleh melawat pada hari2 mana pun dalam dareah Raub, pasti ada Pekan sehari. 

penjaja asam keping. sebelah kanan. Dalam tupperware itu suatu jenis sambal yang dinamakan asam rong. Pelbagai macam kuih tradisional ditawarkan. sayang sekali, hari ini penjual putu piring tidak ada. sudah 3 minggu tidak kelihatan.

Penjual sayur di pasar minggu menjual pelbagai jenis sayuran. Jika tidak ada meja, penjaja menjual diatas 'lantai' beralaskan plastik. 

  sayur kulat yang dikutip untuk jualan. Penjualan buah kelapa style old school. 

sayur pucuk paku enak dijadikan kerabu pucuk paku. Halia dan mentimun. Bunga Kantan banyak terdapat didaerah raub terutama di Kampung Tamalian Ulu Dong. 

 Sebelah kiri- ikan pekasam kegemaran penduduk Raub. juga digemari pengunjung dari luar Raub.
Gambar kanan, dibelakang piringan Rebung, terdapat delicacy orang Raub- kulit kerbau. Ia juga dikenali sebagai belulang. Terima kasih kepada pembaca yang  mengingat saya. 
saya sudah merasai masakan versi gulai tempoyak bersama dengan seorang teman. itu merupakan pengalaman pertama kami makan kulit kerbau atau belulang. Walaupun saya orang Pahang, itu juga pengalaman pertama saya memakan kulit kerbau. Ia mempunyai texture agar2 keras. 
 Makcik menjual pisang dari kebun sendiri. pisang organik baja asli tanpa penggunaan racun. sebelah kanan- cara mematikan ikan keli-dengan memposisikan penyengat dicelah tangan, kepala keli dipatahkan.
Kalau pembaca yang budiman ada kelapangan, silalah berkunjung ke Raub. Dan pembaca boleh membuat hasil pengamatan yang sendiri dan peribadi mengenai status ekonomi warga penjaja pekan sehari Raub ini. Datanglah- Raub hanya satu jam setengah dari Kuala Lumpur.
Mohon maaf susunan gambar tidak rapi. Saya tidak mahir dalam perkara ini.


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