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Fighting for the Golden Ticket in Borneo
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Sabah and Sarawak's politic was featured in Indonesia Newspaper today. The writter is the owner of one of the biggest newspaper group in Indonesia, Jawapos.

http://www.pontianakpost.com/berita/i ... sp?Berita=Utama&id=157040

Here is a translation of his article:

Surabaya,- This is the latest update in Malaysian politic that will shape the future of Borneo. The political constellation of the northern parts of the island is changing. Yes, we are talking about Sabah and Sarawak in regards to the last Malaysian election.

These neighbours of East and West Kalimantan are now the beauty queens of Malaysian politic. Their destinies, in the hands of the Malaysian federal government, are looking brighter than East (and West) Kalimantan in the hands of Indonesian central government.

The sidestepping of the Sabah and Sarawak by the federal government will soon be over. The reason, the UMNO government lead by Badawi was beaten up during the last election. UMNO who has been in power since the country was formed in 1957 has always won more than 2/3 of the seats contested (necessary to legalized any decision) is still in majority. But no longer 2/3 majority. Among the 222 parliamentarian, now seats 88 of the opposition coalition. And among the senate seats, opposition claimed 196 seats, despite UMNO still clinging 307 of them. On top of that, five of the 13 states and one federal territory is now controlled by the opposition. Including a very important federal territory, the capital of Malaysia, where opposition claim 10 seats, while UMNO only managed 3.

UMNO is still in control of nine states, mind you. But, 2 of those 9 are Sabah and Sarawak.

Thus, the political position of Sabah and Sarawak is now determining Malaysia's national political situation. If Sabah and Sarawak turn their support to the opposition, UMNO will loose power. Because, the seats won by UMNO in Sabah and Sarawak are tremendous, while the two states has 52 out of 222 seats in parliament. And of the 52 seats, opposition only won 2 seats. One in Sabah and one in Sarawak.

Today, UMNO has 140 of 222 seats, while opposition has 82. If 50 seats from Borneo switch to Anwar - the leader of opposition - the parliamentarian votes will be change to 132 in favour of the opposition, while UMNO will retain 90 seats.

The mathematics of the seats are now the hush words in the entire country. Suspicions and hopes are the talk at coffee shops: who will change boat and who will stay. The thread of many parliamentarian changing boat, is the one thing rocking Badawi's boat.

Anwar is trying hard to lure the Borneo parliamentarian. Anwar may not become Prime Minister since he is not an MP. But, he could appoint someone who is loyal to him. Two examples of half puppet governments have been created this year alone. Thaksin still controls Thailand from the outside, and Putin who is still numero uno in Russia despite being down graded from president to prime minister.

On the other hand, Badawi is trying very hard to defend his position. He has been cutting many deals for his people in Borneo. It is imaginable how "expensive" the Borneo seats are. The country's politicians are calculating who is going where on a daily basis. True, they are tied to the agreement within UMNO. But with the latest changes, any deals are off.

Of course Badawi knows that. It is because of that he decided on a populis action immediately: the price of fuel in Sabah and Sarawak are being brought down lower than in the peninsular. Since last week, the price of fuel in East Malaysia has dropped 8 cents per litre.

The drop is significant since the price of petrol is infact increasing, amidst the soaring global oil price.

Fuel, it seems, is a political weapon in Malaysia as much as Indonesia. The Indonesian government themselves has become irrational by defending the current price of fuel. Everyone knows that the policy will put a hole in the budget and the future economic development of the country will loose ground.

Is the sweetener offered by Badawi enough to retain the 42 golden ticket from Borneo? Not really, because the resentments of the people of Sabah and Sarwak who has been sidestepped for so long runs deep. That they are still with UMNO is because all this time they did not see any potential for real opposition. The existing oppoition in PAS was not acceptable because their syariah ideology was not suitable to the majority of Sabahan and Sarawakian whom are heterogeneous people.

But, with a more open coalition like the one lead by Anwar, their views are about to change. Moreover, during campaignings Anwar has been offering the people of the Northern parts of Borneo promises real developments for the two states. Anwar also promised to give back 20% of oil revenue generated from Sabah and Sarawak. That promise is much bigger than the current realisation. The federal government only return 5% of the oil revenues generated by the Eastern parts of the country. While in fact Sabah and Sarawak contributed 70% of oil revenue to the country.

Now the fate of the developments in northern Borneo lies solely on the hands of the parliament members and state governments of the two states. Will they really think about the developments of their states or opt for political bargaining that will benefit them personally. Both options are being laid in front of them. Because, the seats they hold now can be sell at a very high price.

Or maybe, the federal government will win because they also know that the leaders in Borneo are easily divided and easily tempted with powers and pleasure. One of them now has been seating comfortably as the chairman of the parliament.

The luck of the island of Borneo, at least the northern parts of it, will dramatically change. The people on the other parts of the island - at least the neighbours right next to them like East K, West K and Central K - will have additional right as well: the right to drool (envy) as much as they can. (*)

Posted on: 2008/5/3 10:13
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Re: Fighting for the Golden Ticket in Borneo
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Thanks for the article Downsouth.

I have never recalled things being so exciting and fluid in terms of politics in Malaysia. One really hopes that the present is the beginning of better things to come for the rakyat, especially East Malaysians who have been given the short end of the stick for so long.

Posted on: 2008/5/3 10:21
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Re: Fighting for the Golden Ticket in Borneo
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Quote:

nathan wrote:
Thanks for the article Downsouth.

I have never recalled things being so exciting and fluid in terms of politics in Malaysia. One really hopes that the present is the beginning of better things to come for the rakyat, especially East Malaysians who have been given the short end of the stick for so long.


Yeah... I hope things will turn better for Sabah and Sarawak in the future. And I hope, all of us to your south, will not only drools in envy, but manage to convince the Indonesian government to do the same.

Posted on: 2008/5/3 10:28
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Re: Fighting for the Golden Ticket in Borneo
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This is just the beginning of political wake! We'll see what happens if Anwar acquire more than 50 seats. By then, Dr. M will interfere. =.=' Good to see the fuel price drop and hope it never soar again, then we'll live happily ever after!

Posted on: 2008/5/3 11:14
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Re: Fighting for the Golden Ticket in Borneo
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bytez wrote:
This is just the beginning of political wake! We'll see what happens if Anwar acquire more than 50 seats. By then, Dr. M will interfere. =.=' Good to see the fuel price drop and hope it never soar again, then we'll live happily ever after!


Dr. M is history as far as I'm concerned. I look forward to the future, namely a Sarawak freed from the clutches of the bunch of robbers who've been raping it dry for the past few decades.

Posted on: 2008/5/5 22:32
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Re: Fighting for the Golden Ticket in Borneo
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why indonesian suddenly interested to east malaysian politics hmmm... maybe they want sabah and sarawak join them as their new territorry yea..


Posted on: 2008/5/5 23:37
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Re: Fighting for the Golden Ticket in Borneo
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Quote:

thrasher7 wrote:
why indonesian suddenly interested to east malaysian politics hmmm... maybe they want sabah and sarawak join them as their new territorry yea..



Dahlan Iskan, the writter of the article, is the owner of Jawapos Group of media companies. He is born and based in Surabaya, but was raised by his older sister in Kalimantan (Borneo).

He travel extensively through-out the world and has written alot about those countries he visited, mainly for comparison to the Indonesian people and government, about what they have missed because of wrong turns.

Two years ago, he spent about a year travelling China, learning the language and had a major surgery there (liver transplant). And written alot about China's effort to change and develop, and its efforts to fight corruption, etc.

He grew up as a poor farmer's son, and started work as a news reporter and slowly work his way up. He spoke alot and out loud about corruption in Indonesia, but in an indirect manner. His article about Sabah and Sarawak is not a sudden interest in East Malaysian Politics, it is an indirect way of telling the Indonesian government how Kalimantan has been unfairly treated.

He is currently working pro-bono for the East Java government, as a way of paying back to the community what he has gained from them.

His latest book is titled "Ganti Hati". In Bahasa Indonesia, it has two meanings, namely: 1. Liver Transplant, 2. Change of Heart.

For those who can read Bahasa Indonesia / Malaysia, you can find out more about him here:

http://ade-syahlan.blogspot.com/2007/ ... -hati-ganti-filosofi.html
http://dahlaniskan.blogdrive.com/

Posted on: 2008/5/6 9:13

Edited by Downsouth on 2008/5/6 9:29:46
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Re: Fighting for the Golden Ticket in Borneo
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nathan wrote:
Dr. M is history as far as I'm concerned. I look forward to the future, namely a Sarawak freed from the clutches of the bunch of robbers who've been raping it dry for the past few decades.


And we knew who the robbers were ei? So what can we do about it. Sue them? Threaten them? Jez.... As far as they live in this world, we can't harm them unless...

Posted on: 2008/5/6 10:00
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Re: Fighting for the Golden Ticket in Borneo
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bytez wrote:
And we knew who the robbers were ei? So what can we do about it. Sue them? Threaten them? Jez.... As far as they live in this world, we can't harm them unless...


We can vote them out! Look at what happened in West Malaysia, if it can happen there, it surely can happen on our shores. We just need to do our part in spreading the truth, especially to the folks in rural areas. A lot of the younger Malaysians from states like Kelantan and Terengganu who were working in cities like KL spread alternative news to their friends and families back home in the kampungs. The Opposition parties will also surely beef up their efforts in our State now given that they have a real chance of forming government. What they need is serious injection of funds so that their campaign can spread to rural areas instead of just capturing the urbanites in Kuching. But all of us can do our part to stop the rot.

Posted on: 2008/5/6 10:53
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Re: Fighting for the Golden Ticket in Borneo
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bytez wrote: This is just the beginning of political wake! We'll see what happens if Anwar acquire more than 50 seats. By then, Dr. M will interfere. =.=' Good to see the fuel price drop and hope it never soar again, then we'll live happily ever after!
Did fuel price dropped? really? the last i heard sarawak jet fuel was 7 times more expensive compare to west...

Posted on: 2008/5/7 10:31
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