Sarawak Politics learning lessons from Al-Jazeera news

Posted on March 6, 2011


The opposition in Sarawak politics seems to be taking its cue from events they see broadcast in the increasingly-popular Al-Jazeera news channel, to gain political mileage

Yes, Al-Jazeera is very popular in Sarawak now, and I dare say has become the favourite satellite news channel in most Sarawakian homes.

Of course, I can’t confirm this because I only spoke to three people about it, but hey, that’s how news works sometimes in the western media. Be the first to report it, and if possible also be the most sensational. We can clarify later.

Anyway, Al-Jazeera’s popularity as a news source for current international affairs is for one very specific reason – the trouble in the Middle East.

No, not THAT trouble! The one in Libya, Egypt and all those other places where the country’s leaders have been booted out or are being pressured to get out of office. THAT trouble in the Middle East.

Yes, we can all see it in a constant loop on our screens. Images of people protesting. Authorities taking action against protesters. People from both sides (mostly protesters) getting hurt. Talking heads discussing what’s happening. Then back to images of people protesting. It is fascinating stuff.

But just because it makes for great TV, doesn’t mean we have to follow what’s happening on screen, do we?

When I was a kid, and Superman was popular on the big screen (I mean cinema screen, by way) and the little screen (TV, not tablet or mobile phone screens), other little kids managed to strong arm their parents to get them little Superman costumes. But I did just fine with an old blanket as a cape (although I can’t remember if I wore red underwear over my pants, or not?).

Now this costume issue caused a minor stir because some parents thought that kids might not understand the difference between reality (not reality TV) and what’s happening on the superman show. The costume doesn’t give you the power to fly, kids. Silly kids!

In other words, adults were so worried that droves of little kids in superman costumes might be jumping off buildings or other tall structures…to serious injuries, or worse.

Of course, thankfully their fears did not turn into reality, but because I was small at the time, I can’t recall if any kid did jump off a building wearing said costume. Or if they banned the sale of said costume.

The point is, even though the stuff we see on Al-Jazeera was not crafted by scriptwriters, we shouldn’t go all out to emulate what we see on our screens, as has been the case by the Sarawak opposition. Especially, those Sarawak opposition members and/or supporters overseas, who have conveniently branded themselves as Sarawakians in self-imposed exile.

I’ve touched in a previous posting about our dear protesters in London and Ottawa earlier this month, and now it seems they’re doing so in the city of Seattle, in the great state of Washington, USA.

Again, I am quite envious about what great locations they are choosing for their protests. Nice cities, all of them. Not hot and humid like Kuching. I’m happy that you are all over there, dear protesters. And not here in hot and humid Sarawak with us.

Congratulations once more to opposition Sarawak Report blog. The people behind the opposition blog have managed to organize another protest overseas. And yet again, the protest has been sensationalized online.

The opposition-run Sarawak Report blog is run by none other than the sister-in-law of the former prime minister of the UK and for the protest in Seattle, it seems to have joined hands with a foreign NGO.

Yet again the PKR, the Malaya-based party, has shown how it prefers to use foreign influence to achieve political change in our country and our great state of Sarawak.

Of course, you have to understand that these foreigners have a different mindset to how rimauataskerusi (more popularly known as democracy) should be in our part of the world.

They’ve had rimauataskerusi for years and years. They know better. They’ve seen more and sustained more forms of corruption for years and years. They’ve plundered their natural resources for far, far longer than we have (and continue to do so). So who better to tell us how to run our rimauataskerusi?

The west has practiced and adopted rimauataskerusi for years and years and years. As they say, with age comes wisdom. Which is not true by the way, because sometimes sadly you just get old and remain stupid and ignorant.

I’ve digressed a bit. Let me get back to what I was trying to say.

Protests overseas give a bad image to Sarawak overseas.

We actively send people out to countries like UK, USA and Canada to promote tourism and to get people overseas to invest in Sarawak to transform our State from the poorest to the richest State in the country.

If another group of people are trying to sabo our efforts just for their political ambitions, we are royally screwed!

I’d hate to use the term anti-progress or anti-development on these people, but it might just appropriate for them, especially for what they are doing right now to Sarawak.

Malaya-based party PKR’s strategy for the State election this year is to attack the leader of the BN, the Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud. And that’s it apparently. Nothing else.

The Malaya-based opposition party is tactically doing it through the opposition Sarawak Report blog (also known as Bash-Taib-Mahmud Report) and letting the other parties ride along with using the content that it creates.

The tactic hopes that international pressure, or foreign forces, would change Sarawak. I categorize this as dirty politics, by the way because it causes enormous harm to Sarawak.

I don’t understand why Malaya-based PKR can’t just campaign like Malaya-based DAP. Malaya-based DAP doesn’t need to protest. They make a lot of noise in the State Legislative Assembly and point at a lot of clogged drains (in hot and humid Sarawak) and hold up a lot of papers in press conferences, and that’s it.

Maybe it’s because out of all the Malaya-based opposition parties in Sarawak, only DAP has an inkling of how to win seats in Sarawak (especially urban Sarawak).

Maybe Malaya-based PKR is just not popular in Sarawak. That’s why it feels it must bring in the foreigners to tell us what to do. Maybe.

Posted in: DAP, PKR, Sarawak Politics