I read with a certain sense of mirth your comments published at Free Malaysia Today's article, "Insincere members will kill off BN in polls" today. Kindly allow me to respond, in red.
KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) has warned that “insincerity” in the ranks of Barisan Nasional "may lead the coalition to lose" some of its seats to the opposition in the coming state election.
“We lost the Ngemah seat to an independent Gabriel Adit in the 2006 state election because of the betrayal by members of the BN.
“They voted for Adit instead of the PRS-BN candidate Alexander Vincent,” said PRS president James Masing.
“We lost Ngemah because of back-stabbing. Even now there exists in the BN insincerity which may lead the coalition to lose some of the seats in the coming polls.
Name one truly sincere politician who keeps his word like a gentleman, James. Just one.
“There are certain quarters in the BN who have been trying to undermine my leadership. I am aware of it. As a politician, you cannot avoid it. I have been informed by people outside the country of attempts to smear my name and to destabilise me as a politician. This is very unhealthy."
Why is it unhealthy, James? He who is upright and on the side of truth and justice has nothing to fear.
Masing, who is State Land Development Minister, was interviewed recently on the achievements, setbacks and future direction of the party in conjunction with PRS's sixth anniversary.
On the party's future, he expressed hoped that PRS would replace the defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) as a leading Dayak-based party. “Our mission is to consolidate all the Dayak-based constituencies under one political umbrella. We hope to be the party for Dayaks by the Dayaks. “I want to do this before I quit politics,” said Masing.
You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time, James. The Dayaks have abandoned the BN in droves and have put their trust in PKR and DAP. That is the political reality on the ground, and if you wish to dismiss it, by all means, do.
He, however, stressed that PRS's desire to have Dayak-based constituencies was not aimed at “competing against anybody”.
Yeah. Right. Jabu and Pesaka PBB, take note. Doctor James has spoken. Let the poaching begin.
“It will further strengthen the BN."It is not a competition against anybody; we do not have any hidden agenda, because the whole objective is to ensure that BN will be strengthened.”
There is a proverb in the Old Testament that says, "The guilty flee when none pursue." No one is pursuing you, James, so why are you hammering home this point? Unless...
Uncertain urban seats
Masing warned that the BN cannot rely too much on urban seats, because those seats were uncertain. “The BN has to depend on the rural seats to win in the coming election,” he added.
And how certain are you that the rural seats are yours for the taking? 101% certain, James? Do not be too confident of your 'fixed deposits'. They are tired of your incessant talking.
PRS was registered on Oct 21, 2004, the very day that PBDS was deregistered after an unsolvable leadership crisis between Daniel Tajem and Joseph Salang on one side and Masing and Sng Chee Hua on the other.
Like PBDS, PRS was also passing through turbulent and stormy political waters and even before its inaugural assembly on March 23, 2005, there were signs of cracks within the party.
This time, the quarrel was between Masing and his deputy over the direction of the party. When Sng was forced to step down, the leadership tussle continued with Sng’s son, Larry Sng, taking on the assault against Masing’s leadership.
The crisis, which almost led to its deregistration, ended in April 2009 after the Registrar of Societies recognised Masing’s authority to expel Sng and his supporters from the party. Sng is now partyless.
“Now we have got rid of money or towkay politics which have haunted Dayak political organisations since in 1963,” Masing said, adding that the party is now inculcating the spirit of self-reliance.
The fact that the party is on its own is itself a form of achievement, he said.
He said that PRS' biggest achievement was during the 2008 parliamentary election, when it won six seats – Julau, Kanowit, Lubok Antu, Selangau, Sri Aman and Ulu Rajang. Two of these, however, were won uncontested.
Masing said that PRS was slowly being accepted by the Dayak community and is recognised by the BN as a party to represent the Dayaks.
In the federal government, the party has two deputy ministers and a senator. At the state level, PRS has one full-fledged minister, two assistant ministers (actually three including the one assigned to Sng) and three political secretaries.
Masing said PRS wanted to play a bigger role in serving the people, especially those in the rural areas who needed attention and more development.
PRS, he added, could be the vehicle to deliver the goods and services to the rural people.
You had your chance to prove yourself to the Dayak community. We gave you so many elections and terms. Nothing has changed for the better. After 47 years of independence, we still have no tarred roads, electricity or clean piped water in the majority of rural and interior areas. It's not like we're asking for modern luxuries or shopping malls or tall buildings or flyovers and dual carriage-ways. We're only asking for the most basic necessities enjoyed by the rest of the citizenry of this prosperous nation so that our children can drink clean water, study at night and travel safely to school. Is that too much to ask, James?
It's a bit too late now, James. The Dayaks are tired of broken promises. It is time to give the Opposition a chance to prove themselves.