Sarawak-Sabah to the Fore!


Pak Lah is surely focusing on securing Sarawak and Sabah MPs support to maintain status quo in the control of Parliament.  At the same time, do not be surprised that Anwar is working overtime to gain their trust and support as well.  Sarawak and Sabah will be the focus in the foreseeable future especially in light of Anwar’s constant reminder that September 16 is a virtual certainty now that he’s finally back in Parliament.

With Shafie Apdal trying to win points for Pak Lah and himself in his attempt to garner support from 20 MPs from East Malaysia (read here), this is the beginning of the patronising of East Malaysia all the way.

Fiddling with Dignity

It is for certain there will be heaps of attention on Sarawak MPs for now.  They are the ones who has yet to show their hand with Anwar and remained quiet and appeared steadfast to Pak Lah.  They have become the king makers.  As for Sabah MPs, they too remain defiant of Shafie Apdal’s attempt to lure them to play his game.  They retorted firmly against that attempt (read here) and deflected to all BN MPs instead.

State Barisan Backbenchers Club chairman Datuk Anifah Aman said the move proposed by Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal was an insult to the Sabah MPs. He added that the pledge should instead be signed by all Barisan MPs nationwide.

Money Politics?

Did anyone think that money will buy them over to either side?  Certainly, it is not far fetched that it is a possibility and Mahathir also alluded to that recently (read here).

The former prime minister said the Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser might think he could “buy” MPs to jump to his camp but it would be impossible for him to “outbid the other bidders who have more money.”

However, it will be highly unlikely for any money transaction to take place for now.  The ACA has been very visible lately and active in their publicity campaign.  So whoever dares to even venture into that space with Anwar will do so at their own peril for now.  Which will mean that the money issue with Anwar can only be real after Anwar comes into power if there’s any truth in this matter.  If they venture to take the so-called BN’s lure, whoever takes it will be forever indebted and be subject to the ACA threat anytime should they take a different stance from BN.  They become slaves virtually speaking.  Money can’t make things work now.

How can MPs Take Their Stand?

So how can Sarawak and Sabah MPs even cross over to PR?  Not because of money but because of more noble and righteous reasons.  None of them can be fingered for taking money from any party.  Moreover, the ACA threat looms over anyone who dares.

Now is the time to prepare the best reasons for crossover or not to crossover and the reason cannot be mere money although many would argue that money is all the politicians go for.

In the situation with Sarawak and Sabah, there are more pertinent and urgent issues to tackle than in West Malaysia.  The issues revolves around long ignored or swept aside matters that have been raised by these MPs for quite a while now.

Issues like illegal immigrants, oil royalties, more autonomy, and reinstatement of what was taken out from the constitution are paramount matters.  For MPs to crossover, they must have clarity that Anwar will work this out for them.  This is the noble reason for the Sarawak and Sabah MPs to crossover, nothing less.

What About Not Crossing Over

This is also the noble reason for Sarawak and Sabah MPs to stay put and rooted with BN.  Unless the Federal Government tackles these issues head-on and sincerely, there’s very little hope that these MPs will remain steadfast with Pak Lah.

The Federal Government had earlier reiterated that the 5% royalty for oil will not be discussed again.  Limited actions on illegal immigrants and no discussions on more autonomy per original constitution all presents additional push for the East Malaysian MPs to seriously consider switching camps.  A few outspoken MPs from Sabah already voiced out, one even gave August as a deadline for the BN Government to act on them.  Yet even with the 2009 Budget, East Malaysia saw nothing in line with their demands.

The only way for BN to keep their ties strong with East Malaysia is not a pledge by MPs done as a show.  It’s what the BN must do for East Malaysia so that these MPs have the most noble reason to remain with the BN and that is their HONOUR and to stand up for the HONOUR of their two states.  Otherwise, they are open to do the other most noble thing – to stand with Anwar because of HONOUR of their two states.  Either way, BN must see that the issues are real, not a pledge will suffice, not a one-time budget to build roads after being long forgotten, not a promise to look into things but nothing is done still.

Serious Discussions in Serious Times

BN and Anwar will have to extend a more wholesome package to East Malaysia, tackling each state individually with the utmost respect.  Their decision to stay with BN or switch to PR will have a long term impact.  It is going to be historic.  Made wrong, they will be most hated for generations to come.  Made right, they will become heros going down in history for giving back their states the rightful place in Malaysia.

These are serious decisions by Sarawak-Sabah MPs requiring serious propositions by both Pak Lah and Anwar because we are now living in serious times with the control of Parliament and formation of the Government as the highest possible stakes in the political history of Malaysia.

Let this be done in the true Merdeka spirit, with honour and dignity and respect for all Malaysians, especially the East Malaysians.  After all, GE12 and Pematang Pauh have shown the world that Malaysians are mature and can vote with their conscience without fear.  Now is the time for the voted MPs to seriously do their stuff for a place in history.

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