Sunday, June 26, 2022

Cloud of scandals: Nothing changes in Sarawak

Secara Rawak

By now, most citizens in Malaysia would have seen the Four Corners documentary titled, “State of Fear: Money and Murder in Malaysia” which aired on March 28 on Australia’s ABC channel. And it is a damning documentary for the likes of the Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Whereby, in most countries; it would be enough to impeach their heads of state; but not so in Malaysia. Little effort is made to counter or deny the allegations; instead the Four Corners journalists are being demonised by those aligned to Najib Razak.

But would these revelations create an impact among the Sarawak voters, come the state election?

Who could forget the glowing accolade Sarawak Chief Minister, Adenan Satem, paid the prime minister even saying that he was the best prime minister and that he should be prime minister forever. And this was done so, even when investigations are currently ongoing in four countries into the financial dealings of 1MDB which is the brain-child of Najib Razak.

Cloud of scandals

Even with a cloud of scandals flouting over Najib Razak, Sarawakians will still elect a Barisan Nasional government.

Several factors come into play why Sarawakians would continue to elect BN into government.

Firstly, the votes are for Adenan Satem and may not be for Najib in general.

In reality, Adenan Satem is the popular leader, the people’s leader while Najib is merely the side-kick jumping onto the band-wagon. And when BN wins big in Sarawak, expect Najib to be first off the blocks to claim that the results are a clear indicator of support for him, when in essence; the people are throwing support behind Adenan Satem and not him.

Secondly, the issues of 1MDB is seen as a Malaya issue and not a Sarawak issue.

Devolution of power

The push for devolution of power by Adenan Satem has given rise to the idea that Sarawak is an entity all to itself, thus national issues that involve the likes of Najib Razak are seen as remote and a problem from across the pond. Sarawakians are more concern with distancing themselves from Malaya, as much as possible, and this plays into Adenan Satem’s hand. Aiding this separation is also the media black-out by the Najib administration on the 1MDB issue, which causes most Sarawakians; especially those in the rural area, to have no inkling as to what 1MDB is.

Thirdly, the lie that only through BN would development be possible in Sarawak is still very much the truth among rural voters.

Trump card used to the fullest

The systematic program to keep the rural poor and left behind, has created a community that is dependant on goverment aid in order to survive. And this trump card is used to the fullest each and every election in Sarawak. It cuts into the bread and butter issues of these communities, much more than a financial scandal ever would.

And this is what fuels the BN. At every meet the people session, at every function that gathers the prime minister or chief minister; there is a constant reminder that only through BN will development be real. That without BN, no development would ever be seen in Sarawak.

Would more damning revelations about Najib Razak turn Sarawak against the BN government? No.

The Sarawak state election would be an election that keeps a popular chief minister in place while creating a perception that a not so popular prime minister is still relevant. –

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