Sunday, August 14, 2022

Adenan, BN victimising own supporters

Secara Rawak

All this while I knew that Tan Sri Adenan Satem is going to do two things: one, he is going to announce the Bsrisan Nasional (BN) candidates, one person or one batch at a time. And two, he is sticking with establishment candidates.

The technique of announcing the different BN candidates at different times, dates and locations has allowed the Chief Minister to visit many places and meet thousands of potential BN voters.

Will this give Adenan a handicap over the oppositions in the race to solicit for votes and win the hearts of Sarawakians?

Adenan’s way

But is this the right tactic to employ? As Frank Sinatra’s song says, one may like to do things one’s way, but when the decisions to be made affect the thoughts and the actions of others, particularly that of the voters, doing it one’s way may not necessarily be the best way.

The decision to not announce the BN candidates at the same time could be perceived by the general public that Adenan still doesn’t know what to do with the BN’s incumbents from Teras and UPP.  

Adenan initially may have nothing to do with the problems affecting the BN incumbents from the two parties, but as the present CEO of the state, he has to be decisive and firm in tackling the issues.

The gatherings and the counter gatherings organised by SPDP and Teras, and by SUPP and UPP provide the Chief Minister the opportunity to sing his favourite number, ‘the Young One’.

A good singer

Adenan is a good singer. He can deliver many songs with ease, but there must be something about ‘the Young One’. Is there anything in the song that reminds him about the BN team that he wants the people to know so that they can continue to trust him and his group?

As the song goes, young people are supposed to be fearless and shine brightly. Is this the core message that he wants to convey to the people of Sarawak about the BN team?

There is no question that Adenan, as the State CEO, and his party, PBB, would like to be seen to remain neutral in the feuds between SPDP and Teras, and between SUPP and UPP, but a decision has to be made.

But decision-making, as we know it, is not value-free or done in a vacuum. It is often guided by certain principles, ideas, and norms, and it is also influenced by the personality-type and the background of the person making the decisions.

The Chief Minister cannot be so naïve that his decisions on the BN candidates are taken completely based on what he has seen on the ground.

Establishment candidates

What is the use of asking them to organise those gatherings when one actually have made one’s mind to stick with tradition and recognise only establishment candidates?

Or, is Adenan trying to test his popularity by making the four parties to hold ‘primaries’, similar to the ones that are currently conducted in America for its presidential candidates, to determine the candidates in SPDP and Teras held constituencies, and in SUPP or UPP held areas?

Delaying making the decision on the candidates will increase the number of aspirants, as everyone believes that they can win. If no decision has been made yet, this may mean that the boss is still not convinced yet with the earlier names mentioned, and this encourages others to join in.

And this could be the reason why as many as eight people offering themselves to be the BN candidate for Be’ Kalalan.

These eight people certainly have high opinion about themselves, as all of them might think that Baru Bian, the incumbent and the Sarawak PKR Chief, is now vulnerable and could be devoured easily at the coming poll.

According to the surveys conducted by some research organisations, Adenan is accepted by 85% of the people of Sarawak. Who doesn’t want to be identified with and rub shoulders with a hugely popular Chief Minister?

Things like this are not just about eight individuals hoping to be named as the BN candidate in the constituency. They are also about eight families (and more if we include extended families). Each family trusts that their son is the best candidate.

My son is a lawyer

‘My son is a lawyer, therefore he should be chosen’.

The second person may say that ‘his son is a successful contractor, and as such he is the most stable financially of the lots, therefore, he should be picked’.

The third person may say, ‘my son is an overseas-trained engineer, and his father in-law is a highly influential community leader in the area, therefore, he should be selected.

And another person may say that his ‘son is a lawyer too. What makes the other lawyer thinks that he is better than him. Therefore, he should be named as the candidate’.

Now, this becomes a battle between eight families.

In all of this, the ordinary folks will have to decide whom to support, promote, and market. They are forced to take side.

We know that election winners in Sarawak are not so magnanimous in victory to their non-supporters. What will happen to these people if the person that they support is not chosen as the candidate? What will happen to them if the party that they support is not given the seat? Will they be victimised by the winner or by the other party?

Will MRPs be denied to the longhouses or to the family units that have given their support to the losers or to the other party?

At the end of the day, how many casualties will there be among the longhouse and village headmen, the kapitans, the penghulus, and the other community leaders? –

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