Yesterday marked the day the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) was dissolved thus paving the way for the 11th State Election which must be held before June 20, 2016. The more than one million registered voters will be the ultimate decision makers who will decide which party will rule Sarawak for another five year term.
Based on past elections, the choice of the people has always been the Barisan Nasional (BN) and this time around will BN still becomes the people’s choice or will the opposition be able to take over more so with the emergence of a capable BN leader in the person of CM Adenan at the pilot’s seat.
Obviously, when a discussion centres on the local politics, the focal point will be on the Chief Minster, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem or CM Adenan as the man prefers to be called.
Therefore, it is of no surprise to hear words of praise and admiration being heaped on him from the people for being a practical yet humble leader and who walks the talks to bring his promises to become reality for Sarawakians. He really brings a breath of fresh air to Sarawak’s politic.
His often serious look belies his humorous side and his crooning prowess.
And it must be noted that the accolades are not only coming from Malaysians, even foreign based organisations based in Switzerland and The United Kingdom known as the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) and Nature Alert have also join in the chorus in praising him.
While attending an official duty in Melaka last year, a front manager of the hotel where I stayed had asked me if I was from Sarawak, when I said yes, he quickly said:“ Your chief minister is very good .” And a friend from another state quips, “ How I wish to have a Chief Minister like him”.
Such statements reflect how widespread is Adenan’s popularity within and outside Sarawak’s shore due to his positive policies and style of administration.
When it became very clear that Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud wanted to relinquish his post as the Chief Minister in the late 2013, the days leading to the event were rife with speculations and lots of guessing games going on in the political circle and among the ordinary people.
They gave their ideas, points and reasoning on who will be nominated as the next chief minister.
During that period, it was really the hottest talk of the town either in the coffee shops or in offices. It was made more intense with the rumour mills spurning out other potential names deem suitable to be chosen as the next Chief Minister from the state cabinet.
The names that came out were Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan. Even Datuk Seri Effendi Norwawi was not spared from their guessing lists.
But finally ending the speculation game, it was Adenan who was later named by the then Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud at a packed press conference held at the State Astana on 12 February 2014.
And two weeks later, another history was created when Adenan took his oath of office as the fifth Chief Minister of Sarawak on Feb 28 2014 before the new Head of State at the Astana.
Unassuming, humorous, bold, but firm and straight forward kind of person, Adenan really means business when he took over the helm of the state. Being a no nonsense leader with vast experiences in politics, he straightaway gets down to business and starts his order of the day that within his two years of tenure, he has introduced more than 50 definite changes in the state.
Among them, was to stop corruption in the timber industry and illegal logging, abolition of tolls at the Asean and Lanang bridges, imposition of RM1 fee for the Baram ferry service near Long Lama, freedom to use the word ‘Allah’, abolition of the quit rent and a hosts of other things.
To prove his seriousness in combatting corruption and illegal logging, he moves a step further by taking the lead to sign an integrity pledge followed by his cabinet colleagues and owners of the six major timber companies to follow suit. To compound his aspiration, he says there will no more timber concessions to be issued by the state government.
Truly a Chief Minister for all races, he endears himself to the Christian community when he assures that the word ‘Allah’ can be used by the local Christians in their prayer anytime as has been the practice for decades in vast contrast to the situation in Semenanjung Malaysia.
Thus, he quickly gains popularity for being a leader who gets things done and for being very practical. Non has anticipated that this man as many surprises up his sleeve in maneuvering the state.
Even the Chinese community warms up to him. It was evident when each time he would deliver his speech in a Chinese event, the community, young and old, would give their focus to the stage to watch him addressing the crowd.
Since his tenure as the Chief Minister, he has given assistance to the Chinese by granting a total of RM7 million government grants to Chinese independent schools, their eligibility to apply for state government scholarships and notably by being the first state in Malaysia to recognize the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) for its holders to apply for state government jobs.
They love him for his firmness, they love him for his hilarity when delivering his speech. They love him when he says Ho… Ha…in his opening speeches.
On the issue of asking for a 20 percent oil royalty from the Federal Government, with determination and persistent, the request could be successful, he has said in Miri at a Christmas parade gathering on December 6, 2015.
What stands out is that, his speech is never long and boring and is always interspersed with some light jokes. For instance at a Chinese New Year gathering which was attended by PM Mohd. Najib Tun Razak at Padungan early last year, in a jest he says ‘dulu kita sama-sama cari amoi ’ (before we used to look for girlfriends together) drawing immediate laughter from the majority Chinese crowd. And sometimes he mixes his speech with some Iban and Hokkien dialects to the delight of his audiences.
Such is his character, he is not really a man of protocol but he exudes an air of confidence. He is also not a man of controversy either as he would listen to all parties to hear their views on certain subjects.
For example, on the contentious issue of the proposed Baram Hydro Electric Dam Project, CM Adenan says he will not go ahead with the mammoth project to oblige to the wish of the people.
At over 70, it is conspicuous that his mind is still sharp and his intellectuality makes him a leader with a quality. Determine to accomplish his mission, he urges the people to give him another five years to enable him carry out more agendas for the state and the people as two years is not enough for him to settle his mission.
According the people and his colleagues in general, Adenan indeed deserves another mandate to lead the state as he has a clear direction, alignment and commitment in being a Chief Minister for all. His new brand of leadership style, his passion and his determination to serve the people deserves to be given another chance in this coming state elections expected to be held soon.
Apparently Adenan is the man for the job as he fits into the aphorism that in politics, it is pertinent for a leader to walk the talk. – Sarawakvoice.com