Thursday, January 22, 2009

From the people back to the people

From the people back to the people

After a litany of refusal by hotel operators and other venue owners, finally Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) managed to secure an open ground at 4th Mile Kuching-Serian Road for the venue of its January 9th dinner. In preparation for unpredictable January rain, a roofed canvas makeshift hall was erected. Judging from the total number of numbered tables and chairs without tables, the crowd at the dinner was in the region of 4,000 to 4,500 people.

This writing, however, is not about dinner or for that matter, PKR's dinner. It is about choice; peoples'choice. The subject matter of choice is voting for Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat in the next Sarawak State General Election. The dinner was just an opportunity to congregate people from all walks of life to listen to speeches by PKR leaders. Besides Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, among the speakers were Menteri Besar of Selangor, YAB Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, Angkatan Muda Keadilan Chief, saudara Shamsul Iskandar and Gopeng MP, YB Dr Lim Boon Chai.

'From the people back to the people'. That was the gist of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's speech referring to the wealth of the State of Sarawak, which he (Anwar Ibrahim) said had been plundered and continue to be plundered by some leading state's politicians. The role of PKR and its partners, DAP and PAS is to end the 45 consecutive years rule of the BN in Sarawak. It is only by so doing that the peoples' wealth could be legitimately returned to the people.

Either the term plundered is appropriate or otherwise is something subjective. But there is certainly much truth that thousands of acres of land had been alienated to companies owned by State's Barisan Nasional politicians or their families. And among the latest alienation (27th June 2007), in which I have documentary record, is 12,000acres of state land in Baram District to a company owned by the wife of a very senior civil servant. On what basis such a large piece of land being alienated to a very senior state civil servant is not known. This is just one instance. There are a lot more in which we also have documentary record.

By the way, the aforesaid dinner ended with the handing over a memorandum of protest to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrhim by the people of Bengoh over the building of several dams in Bengoh. From the information that I have those dams will greatly benefit only TWO personalities on the pretext of providing electricity to some of the Bidayuh kampongs.

The initial hunting for proper venue of the aforesid dinner reminds me of a proverb, "All's Well That Ends Well", which is also one of Shakepeare's plays. The countenance drawn on the forehead of the people who came out of the makeshift hall after the dinner had ended was an indication of personal satisfaction. Some people reasoned that many who were there only came for free meals. I doubt such allusion carries much truth as many who came were from afar at their own expenses. Why should they come all the way just for a simple dinner? The truth was, they wanted to hear the message that Anwar Ibrahim brought. To them Anwar Ibrahim is more than just a Malay leader but a national leader and a leader for all races.

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