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Sarawak election: Shameless politicians treating voters like beggars

Will Sarawakians voters’ decisive action at the ballot box make them game changers?

Trucks being loaded with food from Miri to be delivered into the interior areas of Sarawak - STEPHEN THEN/THE VIBES

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A news report (see photo above) clearly shows that unethical conduct continues to plague Malaysia’s political system.

After six decades of independence, politicians continue to treat citizens like beggars.

Every time an election appears, some politicians rush to literally bribe their way to the ballot box.

The modus operandi has not changed despite so many media exposes and repeated public outcries. Food rations and other supplies are rushed to voters close to a state election.

Aren’t such acts deemed bribery, inducements or corrupt conduct?

Let’s get real. If the politicians claim they are using the election period as an opportunity to do some good for the many poor voters who live in acute hardship in interior areas, you can simply call it bull.

According to the news report:

Local villagers, political campaign workers, and traders are now caught up in a frantic rush to deliver tons of essential items to rural settlements throughout Sarawak as the three million residents of this vast state prepare for the state election campaign.

The free supplies being frantically bought up (by political parties) and prepared for distribution among the poor include essential items such as rice, cooking oil, sugar, noodles, canned food, bottled drinking water, and dry foodstuffs. These supplies should last just two weeks.

Of the 82 constituencies, half are in rural areas, where a million people live in 6,000 longhouses.

What have these politicians and their party leaderships done for Sarawak since 1963, when Sarawak, along with Sabah, the peninsula and Singapore (which left two years later), formed the Federation of Malaysia.

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After almost 60 years of politicians serving these constituencies, many people are still struggling, especially in rural settings. For these people, a bag of rice, some bottles of cooking oil and bottled drinking water are like manna from heaven.

Are our politicians not ashamed of themselves and their political parties? Look at the unaccounted wealth and lavish lifestyles of Malaysian politicians. Why do we let such politicians cheat our own people?

Is there no law in this land to put a stop to such ‘fourth world’ tactics in a country that keeps proclaiming it is on the verge of becoming a first world nation?

What will the world think of us, especially when our leaders take photos with world leaders who have done great wonders in their own countries?

Will Sarawakians help make a difference?

The Sarawak state election falls on 18 December. Will Sarawakians deliver one of the best Christmas presents ever for all Malaysians?

In this much-watched state election, some 1.2 million registered voters, including over 20,000 military and police personnel and their spouses, are eligible to vote.

This is by far the largest state election under the Ismail Sabri administration.

How Sarawakians vote will also influence the timing and outcome of the country’s general election, which must be held by mid-2023.

The Sabah state election last year did not become a watershed for the country. And so, Sabahans continue to be haunted with a slew of old issues – lack of decent jobs and inadequate infrastructure, healthcare, education and housing.

Let’s not blame anyone. It was the collective decision of voters that pawned the future of the state with its almost four million people.

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Now with Sarawak entering a defining period, will Sarawakians lose sight of the big picture of a future that awaits all Malaysians, East and West?

Will Sarawakians make a decisive, informed and trusted decision when they cast their ballots on 18 December?

Or will the outcome continue to paralyse the nation – yet another twist in the journey to build a better Malaysia for all Malaysians, not just for the elite class, many of who continue to plunder the timber and minerals meant for future generations?

Will Sarawakians voters’ decisive action at the ballot box make them game changers who will pave the way in transforming the nation?

Given the pandemic threats and looming variants, it will be tough to achieve a 90% turnout. But whatever the final turnout, every vote must count as we move closer to the general election.

We pray that Sarawakian voters exercise good judgement. We can only hope that after all the suffering Malaysians have endured in recent years, Sarawak will be the ‘saviour’ where Sabah failed.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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6 Dec 2021 3.01pm

Shame is an alien word for the politicos.

Only the Sarawakians who are stupid enough to listen to the bull should take stock of where Sarawak is after decades as a partner of Malaysia.

The answer is so obvious that one wonders if Sarawakians enjoy their self inflicted suffering? …

What the non-Malay and non-Muslim face now on the peninsula WILL ultimately cross the seas and will impact Sarawak and Sabah especially when the racial and religious balance tilt to the Malays/Muslims.

Beware other Project Ms.

Gursharan Singh
Gursharan Singh
5 Dec 2021 10.19am

The way voters behave and wait for free handouts of goods or cash [not only in Sarawak but also in other States and the country] why should it not be perceived that voters are beggars and thus it may not be wrong for some politicians to treat voters as beggars?
Bless all

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