For yet another posting, I have no other source but for The Borneo Post (online version) as my inspiration.
I’ve just been too caught up with the realities of life…that the rituals of observing political goings-on (coffeeshop talk and scouring the blogos’ raves and rants) has been put on hold for now.
Unfortunately, that meant I couldn’t discuss in detail about the recent Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) annual general assembly with fellow political observers and friends in the media.
I’ve been meaning to get to the bottom of the “SPDP 5” saga, assuming of course the saga is still on and there still is an “SPDP 5”. If they’ve patched up with the President, then I don’t think I’ll bother getting into that anymore.
From the SPDP general assembly, The Borneo Post published a story about the Sarawak Chief Minister reportedly agreeing to a public debate on Native Customary Rights (NCR) land issues, if a certain Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) liaison chief can submit proof rather than just drop allegations on such issues.
For those who frequently visit the ‘Bash Taib Report’ (or better known as Sarawak Report), this PKR liaison chief would be better known as “the saviour of Sarawak”, as that is how the sister-in-law of Gordon Brown and her team have branded him in the pro-opposition blog.
The PKR liaison chief is not well known in the State but online, he’s made out to be more popular than any other member of the opposition.
That is obviously because the always controversial Sarawak Report is focused solely on making the PKR liaison chief, as the primus inter pares of the Sarawak opposition.
I suspect funding for the Sarawak Report blog is only to cater to the grand strategy of PKR and its supporters all based outside Sarawak…and not necessarily the other parties (DAP, SNAP, PCM and/or KITA) in the less than convincing coalition known as Pakatan Rakyat.
It’s a rather good strategy actually.
It also involves putting out as few stories from PKR’s leaders as possible.
That’s why we don’t hear too much about PKR President, PKR Deputy President or PKR’s only elected representative in the pro-opposition Sarawak Report blog because they tend to be “off message” most of the time and could derail efforts that have been carefully conceptualized in London.
The Borneo Post’s report on CM’s press conference at yesterday’s SPDP event:
CM accepts Baru’s challenge
by Yunus Yussop. Posted on February 28, 2011, Monday
BINTULU: Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said he is ready for a public debate with state Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) liaison chief Baru Bian if the latter can come out with strong evidence to support his allegation that the government had seized Native Customary Rights (NCR) land.
Taib said it was better for him (Baru) to submit proof before throwing the challenge to debate on NCR land issue.
“That allegation is without foundation and intentionally inflicted. He (Baru) just wants to argue and if he wants, he has to prove it (allegation is true),” he told reporters at the opening of the 8th annual general assembly of Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) here yesterday.
He was commenting on Baru’s challenge for a debate with him on NCR land issue which the government said was an ‘old issue’.
Taib said as the state government had never seized land titles, claims on seizure of NCR land must be accompanied by evidence.
He cited a case whereby folk of Rh Chang in Miri were given back their land in early 1980s after he found a letter containing their claim.
“If I had bad intention when I saw the letter at the Miri Land and Survey office, I would certainly hide it.
“But I found a written evidence showing that the land is owned by Rh Chang. To date Rh Chang is still there,” he said.
Baru issued the challenge in response to Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan’s statement last Friday that “the opposition always harps on NCR land issues” which he said was an “old issue”.
Awang Tengah was also quoted as saying the government had never robbed landowners of land, of which Baru disagreed.
Baru suggested that Taib send either Awang Tengah or Minister of Land Development Dato Sri Dr James Masing to represent him in the debate if he could not make it.
He suggested that the debate be held at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) with television coverage.
He urged the government to respond within two weeks, after which he would write an official invitation.