Jumaat, 15 April 2011

Booting out the 'Pirates of Borneo': Showdown April 16, Saturday

Booting out the 'Pirates of Borneo': Showdown April 16, SaturdayLet's not mince words. All over Sarawak and even in the peninsula Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud and his deputy George Chan have been labelled the Pirates of Borneo. As to why, they should know better than their accusers!
What's for sure is that tomorrow is D-Day for these two men, who have grown accustomed to decades of the best luxuries, the finest cigars, the best liquers and the most beautiful women that money could buy.
Like Marie Antoinette, their by-now aged necks will on the chopping block. It is no wonder they are pulling out all stops in order to stay because once they are pushed out, the wheels of change will be unrelenting.
Pakatan Rakyat has promised to go after all the ill-gotten gains filched by corrupt officials without fear or favor.

Najib's popularity on the wane
Meanwhile, all over the campaign routes, the BN crowd is usually those made up of their own supporters, party workers and those who go for the goodie bags and other freebies.
It is clear Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's popularity is on the downturn.
This great illusionist, however, still has many cards up his sleeve and Pakatan campaigners should never underestimate his penchant for relying on dubious tactics in order to win.  One of his more commonly used tricks is to deceive the masses into thinking that only BN has the money to bring progress to the people.
This is a great fallacy as Sarawak, although is a rich state has now become one of the poorest states afterr 48 years of BN rule. The voters have been kept in ignorance all this while so that they will continue to think of BN as some kind of a providence deity.
Final hurrah
Another card thrown out by Najib that has been scorned by the Pakatan is Taib's purported exit. In a bid to win over the hearts and minds of the Sarawakians, he announced that Taib will soon be retiring but it backfired on him as Taib publicly snubbed him the next day and insisted that he was staying for another "2 or 3" years more.
As for George Chan, he too has promised that he will be retiring. Again - just like Taib - no one who knows Sarawak politics believed him at all. 

Meanwhile, Malaysia Chronicle spoke to PAS MP for Kuala Krai Dr Hatta Ramli, who has been travelling far and wide across the deepest recesses of the Sarawak interior to help the Pakatan campaign.
According to Hatta, the ploy by Najib to give the impression that both Taib and George were on the way out might yet work. Hatta believes many of the village folk might wish to give Taib a "final hurrah".  Whether this simple-hearted gesture from the people who lost out the most is enough remains to be seen on balloting day on April 16.

"Yes, Najib may be simply telling an outright lie. After all, why should we believe him when he has given no definite date for Taib's retirement. Have you also noticed that during his speeches, he always says 'trust me'?  As if he is begging for trust, that shows he has zero credibility," said Hatta, who is also the PAS Treasurer.
The days of thunder
Another PAS MP in Kuching was Khalid Samad, the Shah Alam MP.

According to Khalid, the mood in Kuching is good as the people are not interested in whatever BN is saying anymore.  SUPP candidates who are contesting in Kuching are left without any issues to attack Pakatan except to say that the coalition led by Anwar Ibrahim is full of empty rhetoric.
Taib and George Chan in their ceramahs have never failed to remind the voters of the progress they have brought to Sarawak, namely in Kuching, Sibu, Miri and Kota Samarahan.  "These places are thriving due to BN's funding", is their mantra. 

But time waits for no man or woman. And their days of thunder are now surely gone.

"Taib and Chan have been in power for too long and they have overstayed their welcome. I think they underestimated the people's anger towards their regime. But at the end of the day, you can't be certain until the votes are counted. The amount of cheating and gerrymandering by the BN is historical. The money they are splashing now just to buy votes, they might as well have spent years ago to develop long-term projects that can benefit the people," said Hatta.

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