Home Media statements 2011 Media Statements Federal govt contesting Sarawak polls – not BN

Federal govt contesting Sarawak polls – not BN

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We are witnessing the worst human behavior employed and deployed in the pursuit of political power in the Sarawak election campaign, observes P Ramakrishnan. And to think that our national leaders are involved in this despicable conduct is really nauseating.

When power and position means everything, ethics can go to hell, every principle of the Rukun Negara can be totally discarded, pious religious edicts can be ignored with impunity – everything becomes subservient to greed and power.

We are witnessing the worst human behavior employed and deployed in the pursuit of political power. And to think that our national leaders are involved in this despicable conduct is really nauseating.

The Sarawak election should be a contest among political parties. This is the practice in mature democracies in the civilised world. What we are witnessing in Sarawak only confirms that we are not a democracy and our conduct is not civilised in keeping with the rule of law.

The high profile figures of the Barisan Nasional are not there as leaders of the BN. They are there as leaders of the federal government and cabinet ministers. It is in these capacities that they are campaigning.

As leaders of the BN, they can only make promises but cannot grant outright allocations for projects. In this capacity they will be equal in footing with the rest of the contesting political parties. Under such circumstance, the Sarawak election would be deemed as fair and free with equal opportunity for all political parties to contest fairly.

But this is not the case in this instance. The entire cabinet seems to have descended in Sarawak for this state election. Enticing promises are made, generous allocations are declared to seduce and win over the voters with such inducements. This is nothing but vote-buying; this is nothing but political corruption.

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But how is it the Election Commission does not see this as corruption? What is their definition of corruption?

Free dinners and goodies during an election – what does one make of it? New projects announced and grants declared – what is the meaning of this?

During the intervening five years after the last Sarawak election in 2006, where was this concern? Where was this compassion for the impoverished people of Sarawak many of whom exist in abject poverty, without employment, piped water, electricity, proper roads, the much needed health clinics and schools to support the communities in their locality? There was so much indifference during these five years.

But now that the election is here, it is outrageously revolting that the BN should be so suddenly concerned with the welfare of the Sarawakians. So much so, even the weekly cabinet meeting had to be cancelled to allow for the prime minister, deputy prime minister and cabinet ministers to campaign, abandoning their ministerial duties in Putrajaya.

The coarse and vulgar campaign will only get even worse as polling day approaches. Already the porno video is available on Ipad in Sarawak. How is this possible when only the infamous Datuk Trio and the police were the ones in possession of this video? Who leaked or released this scandalous porno tape? Are they all responsible for this turn of events?

To be sure, on Friday it will be announced that the Omega watch that was stolen by the prostitute belongs to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. We can read the likely pattern that will follow in order to clinch the election for the BN – come what may.

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Fellow Sarawakians, your destiny is beckoning you to put right what is clearly wrong. The time has arrived for you to set the example for the rest of the country to reject corrupt officials and political bribery. This is the moment to inject morality and bring back good behavior into public life. This sacred duty to bring about change is in your hands.

You cannot be silent or indifferent to your calling in this hour of opportunity.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
–Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—

P Ramakrishnan is president of Aliran

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