Today is the first time we meet here, and I would like to use this opportunity to say hello to all of you.
This year, as we all know, is an election year in Sarawak. The mandate of the current state government ends on June 20, 2016.
As in any elections, there are many issues that can affect the results of the elections. The incumbent BN government will try to highlight the positive things that it has done to and for the state, while the opposition will try to highlight its shortcoming, the scandals among its leaders and so on, in an attempt to make the people to not trust them anymore, and to switch camp.
Another significant factor in this forthcoming Sarawak State Elections is the new state leadership, as this is the first time in the last thirty-five years that the State BN is led by a new person. Chief Minister Adenan needs his own mandate, otherwise he is going to be the John Turner of Sarawak. John Turner inherited the Canadian premiership from Pierre Trudeau but he lost to Bryan Mulroney’s Conservative party in an election held two months later, and in the process had the distinction of being the shortest reigned Prime Minister in Canadian history.
The thing a lot of people like about Adenan is that he smiles a lot and he makes his constituents laugh a lot. Is this good for his politics?
Adenan is just about two years into his Chief Ministership, and if we care to look back 24 months or so, he remains, at least, as we see it on the surface, to be same as he was at this time two years ago, and if we may wish to dwell into the past to understand him more, he seems not to change much: smiling, happy and confident.
Adenan is not the new kid on the block in Sarawak politics but the come back kid. Not many politicians who has been in his predicament, who has experienced the political wilderness, and knocked down flat on the floor, managed to get back on his feet and win the big prize.
You may say he is safe by the bell – to use the boxing term – but then there is more to it than meet the eyes. Not many expected him to succeed Taib Mahmud. Now many people have acknowledged that he is the right and the best person to head the State Cabinet and to helm the State into the next era of Sarawak politics.
He was his party’s publicity chief before he become the Chief Minister. For anyone who dreams to be a member of the cabinet, let alone the chief minister of a progressive and dynamic state, this is hardly a position that one would wish for. Experience has shown that this position is often given to the up-and-coming politicians, and in a much smaller political party, often it is given to a non-elected politician.
But the Chief Minister is a man full of wisdom and I think deep inside he knows it himself.
His appointment as Special Minister in the previous leadership indicated his usefulness to the state cabinet and to the state a whole. It is always important and significant to have special ability, intelligence, character and aura in politics.
Will the state BN reap the benefits of his leadership? As in the Sydney Hobart yacht race, he is the skipper of his yacht and as to whether they could reach the destination first, and safe and sound depends a lot on his steering, organising skill, and his accrate reading of the compass. He must ensure that his yacth can withstand the rough seas and its mast can last the entire race.
But the Chief Minister is a person who smiles a lot and his humor makes many people laugh. A smile and a laugh can be very contagious. This, plus his political skills are some of the reasons that make many people to believe that he will anchor the BN yacht first and pretty much safe and trouble free in the forthcoming Sarawak State Elections. – Sarawak Voice