By : JOE FERNANDEZ
THE 5 MAY 13th General Election results in Sabah have come as a good dose of reality for Pakatan Rakyat (PR), the Malaya-based national coalition which rivals the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), a similar set-up, in Borneo as in Malaya.
There will be those in PR who will beg to disagree with the 'dose of reality’ theory.
They will swear the same thing could be said of the State Reform Party (Star) led by Jeffrey Kitingan, the newly-elected state assemblymen for Bingkor, his old seat from his days with the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), a party still led by elder brother Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
PR’s thinking that Jeffrey is not being realistic appears to imply, to put it simply, that he must either roll over and play dead or simply drop dead in politics if he’s not willing to allow the Orang Malaya to walk all over him.
Jeffrey knows which side his bread is buttered despite the handicaps. He’s dealing with an electorate, especially the young, which has been deliberately kept in ignorance on how Sabah and Sarawak came to be, unfortunately, in Malaysia. The Agenda Borneo is battling not only the Agenda Malaya but also a thick wall of ignorance especially among the young. However, no one can go wrong when he's defending his country from being stolen by outsiders.
Malaysia must be the only country in the world which doesn’t teach the history of its formation to its students. Instead, it promotes fairy tales like 'Sabah dan Sarawak mencapai kemerdekaan mereka melalui Malaysia' (56 Tahun) - 'Sabah and Sarawak obtained their independence through Malaysia' (56 years old). 16 Sept, 1963 to 16 Sept, 2013 is not 56 years.
The fact is that Star is on home ground in Borneo as a national party while PR is in Sabah and Sarawak, as outsiders from some god-forsaken place far away, only hell bent on making up the seat numbers which they would need from Borneo to seize the reins of power in Putrajaya from BN.
Henceforth, given the unbridgeable political divide in Malaya, it’s not possible for BN and PR to form the Federal Government without the support of parliamentary seats from Sabah and Sarawak. God works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform!
The only persons standing between PR and Putrajaya in Borneo at the moment are Jeffrey and Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim. The former is likely to be in that role for a good many years to come. His win in Bingkor is just a case of warming up. Star, a glance at the May 5 election results will reveal, is a player and game-changer in Borneo beyond Bingkor. Anwar is his own worst enemy.
There’s no lost between Jeffrey and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in particular, a party where he was shabbily treated as vice president over Borneo rights and virtually forced to resign. Most of the bad blood is between Jeffrey and de facto PKR Chief Anwar who, it has been alleged, is not too fond of the Orang Asal (Original People) especially if they are Christian and insist on running their own affairs.
Anwar, for a man credited with being the so-called glue between Dap and Pas in Pakatan Rakyat (PR), is either incredibly naïve or chooses to be so when it comes to Sabah and Sarawak. Like others he has reached, to quote management guru Peter Drucker, his level of incompetence.
He remains obsessed with Umno Sabah remaining intact so that, (1) Muslim domination of Sabah, more illegal rather than local, continues at the expense of the Orang Asal for the greater glory of Putrajaya's colonialist aims in the region; and (2) Umno Sabah can be converted to PKR when he’s ready to take Putrajaya. So Anwar has no time for people like Jeffrey.
Apparently, he rather be in cahoots with Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari, another outsider like him eyeing Sabah with no consideration whatsoever for the Orang Asal, to woo the Suluk votes in particular for him.
In return, Anwar has purportedly assured that Sabah will have autonomy in Malaysia but under the illegal immigrants and not the Orang Asal. The BN is not investigating the assurance and the alleged Anwar-Nur Misuari link for Suluk votes but rather the recent Lahad Datu intrusion. It's unlikely that Anwar is involved, as alleged by Umno.
It remains to be seen whether Anwar continues with his ignorance is bliss approach to Sabah and Sarawak.
Anwar’s only known talent, besides being the glue, is to stand up suddenly and make a good speech and just as suddenly sit down again. He leaves the organising, the details and the running around to others trading on his so-called 'brand name' while he presides in imperial splendor over all that he sees and surveys around him. In short, Anwar has never changed from his rabble-rousing days as a student at Universiti Malaya.
It's a tragedy that Upko leader Bernard Dompok, outspoken on Christian if not Borneo rights, lost his Penampang parliamentary seat to a young PKR leader despite Star entering the fray to split the Opposition votes. It appears that Dompok was denied the postal votes while the illegals voted for PKR.
Jeffrey lost the Keningau parliamentary seat to Pairin, the Huguan Siou (Paramount Chief), only because PKR fielded a candidate as well and drew some 7,000 votes away from him.
Jeffrey lost by 5,000 votes to Pairin in a seat which allegedly has some 6,000 illegal immigrants on the electoral rolls and bolstered by postal votes. If not for PKR, Jeffrey could have won and been more effective in Parliament than Pairin who doesn't open his mouth on the rights of Borneo.
Anwar showed poor judgment in Keningau where Jeffrey was selling the message that the Huguan Siou must remain above politics so that Sabahans in general, the Orang Asal in particular, would remain united and defend their nation’s rights in Malaysia.
PKR is putting out the fairy tale that Jeffrey only contested in Keningau to save his brother from getting a drubbing at the hands of the party.
Another theory, this time from Star insiders, is that Umno told Pairin to postpone his retirement to the 14th GE and help ensure that Jeffrey does not come to Parliament with his case against Malaysia in Sabah and Sarawak. According to them, PKR and BN were on the same page in Keningau.
PKR must have taken leave of its senses to think that it can come all the way from Malaya and defeat the Huguan Siou in his own country through local Judas-like traitors who, like those in Sabah BN, are willing to be their local proxies, their stooges and rogue elements in return for the proverbial 30 pieces of silver.
PKR points out that it won seven state seats in Sabah on May 5 and one parliamentary seat compared with just Bingkor for Star. Dap won two parliamentary seats and four state seats, all in Chinese areas, but unlike PKR isn’t rubbing Star’s nose in the dirt over these victories. They are mindful that they are in other people's country. Dap has been careful to maintain good ties with Star, Jeffrey in particular, and sees no reason to rub the Orang Asal the wrong way.
Anwar, it appears, wants the Orang Asal to shamelessly worship the very ground that he walks on and kow tow to him.
Three parliamentary seats for PR from Sabah, when they set a target of 10, really means nothing. It doesn't help with the race to Putrajaya. PR could have obtained these 10 seats, had it pragmatically kept out of Sabah and Sarawak, and worked with Jeffrey instead of relying on the illegals.
Sarawak might be a study in contrast as Star aside, Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud -- the Registrar of Societies (ROS) in his pocket --has made a thorough job of destroying local opposition parties and splintering Dayak politics and the votebank. Taib thinks like Anwar here.
In Sabah, to add insult to injury, PR contested the state seats too which have nothing to do with it taking power in Putrajaya. Malayan parties cannot be expected to fight for the autonomy of Sabah and Sarawak.
In the end, Star denied PR many more seats it had targeted to win just as the latter drew away votes from the former with sheer lies that Jeffrey being a Kitingan is a BN mole, a Trojan Horse, the King of the Frogs, who will not hesitate to re-join BN after denying PR victory in Sabah and Sarawak. (Jeffrey had always maintained that he had always been a good frog).
These blatant lies on a purported link with BN had a telling effect on Star and cost it many seats, apart from multi-cornered fights being a crippling factor. BN won Kota Marudu, Tenom, Keningau, and the state seats of Melalap and Kundasang by default.
The history-illiterate younger voters especially bought the PR line that unlike Star it can bring down the BN Government in Putrajaya with their help. Left unsaid was that Star’s political struggle is all about the state’s rights and autonomy in Malaysia and has nothing to do with who rules in Putrajaya.
As Star's 3rd Force ally Hindraf Makkal Sakthi chairman P. Waythamoorthy has remarked, albeit controversially: "It doesn't matter whether Rama (a diety) or Ravana (a demon) takes Putrajaya."
Obviously, Waytha sees a big difference between a Rama who gives him the short end of the stick and a Ravana who's willing to apologise to him for past wrongs. In the original myth, the jury is still out on whether Rama or Ravana was the greater evil.
Kadamaian, Matunggong, Kota Belud, Tenom and Ranau are all indications that the Orang Asal are moving away from the BN.
Many young voters in Sabah and Sarawak failed to consider that PR ruling in Putrajaya means nothing to them just as it means nothing with BN in power.
The BN remained in power with the help of Sabah and Sarawak after the political tsunami of Sat 8 Mar, 2008. However, such support did not translate into a sharing of the Federal Government between the three territories as envisaged under the Malaysia Agreement.
May 5 has seen the BN even more dependent than ever on Sabah and Sarawak to keep Putrajaya. It remains to be seen whether there will be any benefits in this for the two Borneo nations.
Had PR taken Putrajaya on May 5, it would have done a BN too to Sabah and Sarawak. This is the message that’s going out from Star to the people in the two nations.
Star has vowed that there will be hell to pay this time if the Najib Government ignores Sabah and Sarawak and instead, like his predecessor Abdullah Badawi, continues to woo at their expense the Indians, Chinese and Malays in Malaya who have no interest whatsoever in BN or his Umno for that matter.
Najib, for starters, must appoint a non-Muslim Orang Asal from Sabah or Sarawak as a Deputy Prime Minister.
It’s politically incorrect to insist that the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister must be Malays and Muslims from Malaya for all eternity. It goes against the Spirit of the Malaysia Agreement.
The reality of the May 5 results must dictate the politics and no longer the Indian, Chinese, Malay and Lain Lain (Others) mould of thinking in Putrajaya.
If there are no Chinese from Malaya in the Najib Cabinet so what? Are the Chinese going to come running back to MCA and Gerakan just because there are members of their community holding token posts in the Najib Cabinet? If having Chinese in Government is a must, the BN should consider sharing Federal Cabinet and Government posts with the Opposition, but not at the expense Sabah, Sarawak or Hindraf.
If PR is to ever smell Putrajaya, it must keep out of Sabah and Sarawak unless it wants to engage in a fruitless quest. It's not in its interest to emulate what Umno and the other Malayan parties are doing in Sabah and in Putrajaya. Again, it must keep out of Sabah and Sarawak if it wants Star's 'blessing' to seize the reins of power in Putrajaya.
The Malaysia Agreement and the related constitutional documents on Malaysia clearly stipulate that Malaya would not have more than one seat less two-thirds in the Malaysian Parliament. Given the 222 seats in parliament, that means 147 seats but Malaya has 165 seats i.e. 18 seats having been stolen from Sabah and Sarawak to diminish their voice.
To add insult to injury, Malaysian parties have stolen further seats in Sabah and Sarawak, not only in Parliament but in the respective state assemblies too. The entire process is being facilitated by local traitors, for want of a better term, on both sides of the political divide. When people are too poor despite being in rich states, they will do anything for anyone even outsiders in their desperation.
The 14th GE in Borneo can be Star's. There should be no kacau (disturb) business again from PR and the now irrelevant Sapp which was wiped out by May 5 in their attempts to further divide the Orang Asal in cahoots with BN.
Star is expected to focus on the following strategies for the 14th GE: (1) taking away the Orang Asal state seats from Sabah Umno; (2) wiping out Upko, PBRS, and the parti parti Malaya like MCA and Gerakan in Sabah; (3) taking away the Dayak state seats from PBB; (4) contesting all parliamentary seats in Sarawak and Sabah including Labuan; and (5) contesting all 3rd Force seats in Malaya for Parliament and the state assemblies.
The issues will be kept alive through FaceBook pages for every seat, parliament and state.
Jeffrey is expected to raise, in the State Assembly, the BN including the 20 Points in their Manifesto for Sabah. In paying lip service, the Manifesto mentioned the Spirit of the 20 Points. The Star Chief will demand to know what that means and without the semantics. He needs to know that BN Sabah and Star are on the same page on the issue of Malaysia in Borneo.
This is expected to test the 11 state assemblymen from PR as well. The proof of the pudding is in the eating although there are no second chances for PR.
As Star conducts its post-mortem on May 5, it will discover that not all the blame can be placed on PKR and Anwar.
Jeffrey took the people for granted to a certain extent by fielding quite a number of dubious characters, BN rejects and people who could hardly open their mouths and deliver a good ceramah (political talk).
He surrounded himself at the same time with too many people whispering too many things in his ears and this put off many young leaders and veteran strategists who could have helped the party make a bigger difference. Jeffrey should keep away from well-meaning do-gooders in Malaya who are appaling ignorant on Sabah and Sarawak. Their campaign contributions are welcome but that does not mean they have a right to dictate to him.
Also, it seems that campaign funds were simply pocketed by quite a number of unscrupulous candidates, party workers were not paid, and the state of the logistics to prevent the illegals voting left a lot to be desired. He forgot that the anti-BN illegals were willing to vote for PKR.
Jeffrey should know what to do if he wants his party to continue being a player and a game changer in Sabah and Sarawak. He needs to acquire some of the killer instinct and pure political animism that drives Anwar. He should not continue to fall back on his goody goody, padre-like academician's "I am the Gospel Truth" approach to politics. Many of his press statements, drafted to "prevent hurting the feelings of our comrades in arms in the Opposition", were pure gibberish.
To its credit, Dap screened its candidates well this time in Sabah and that brought a bonus for PKR as well. The Chinese were all for PKR through Dap. Jeffrey lost the Chinese vote in Keningau, for example, to PKR.