Sunday, June 26, 2022

The arts of apple-polishing in Sarawak politics

Secara Rawak

The reckless apple-polishing by Sarawak politicians the moment Prime Minister Najib Razak visits the state is beginning to leave a bad taste in one’s mouth.

It is one to offer compliments and praise where it is due but to simply drop statements that border on being mere fancy talk merely insults the intelligence of those that hear them.

No doubt such apple-polishing has caused Putrajaya to dump insane amounts of money into Sarawak months ahead of the state election, yet does it mean we should stoop so low just so development comes our way?

We must constantly remember, that the Barisan Nasional government has been in control for more than 50 years.

And now in the year 2016; we are still hearing announcements upon announcements of more allocation to fix roads, fix schools, lay pipe to bring pipe water or even to electrify rural communities.

And while we are at that topic, isn’t it crazy to talk about creating a more internet savvy rural Sarawak when some places do not have constant electricity?

And we see this pattern over and over again come state election. Promises and more promises and more promises are made yet after said election; promises remain promises. No action till another election comes around.

Yet 2016 seems different if looking at the amount of apple-polishing going about. Either from Putrajaya or those from Sarawak.

In praising the prime minister for his 47 visits to Sarawak, Chief Minister Adenan Satem even joked that the prime minister should take for himself an Iban wife. Though in jest, it was not one taken lightly by some quarters.

Then there is the one calling Najib the best prime minister for Sarawak since he had approved the building of the Pan Borneo Highway project and his concern for the development of the state to be on par with that of the peninsula.

For those in the know, the Pan Borneo Highway idea has been floating for so long under the BN government.

The fact that the decision to build it now is more to do with populist politics than genuine concern for the people.

Bottom line is, all this apple-polishing is merely to puff up the image of both Putrajaya and the Sarawak government. And though Adenan Satem is riding a wave of popularity at the moment, much can be said about Najib.

Apple-polishing and patting each other on the back does not hide the fact that till 2016, development has been painfully slow for Sarawak.

The wealth of Sarawak have been shipped to the Peninsula to drive their development. Development for Sarawak, building of highways, electricity and running water and better living standards; could have been settled long ago.

We had the resources and the means to fund them. We had the capacity to be more advance than those from across the pond. But the government of the day, strategically kept Sarawak poor in order to constantly sell the idea of ‘development vote’. Vote BN and enjoy more development.

Putrajaya and the prime minister and enjoy more money.

“You help me, and I’ll help you,” said Najib some years ago in Sibu.

Has it come to this, that we have to beg for development when it should be the social responsibility of the sitting government?

Maybe it is time, the government start apple-polishing the rakyat rather than each other; since it is the rakyat who keep them in office and grants them another day to taste the riches of the land. – SARAWAKVOICE.COM

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of

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