Monday, March 10, 2008

We, the Stupid

By 2:30 am, it was confirmed that the urban constituencies of Api-api, Luyang, Sandakan and Tawau were won by BN candidates. Those few of us who were still in my house at that hour were foaming at our mouths in disbelief, frustration, shock and anger even though we were surprised and happy with the results of the West Malaysian states. The question that everyone has been asking since then is: Why are Sabahans so stupid?? How can we still give 95% support (correction: BN won 59 out of 60 state seats so it is 98.3%. 95% is the figure for parlimentary seats won by BN in Sabah) to the BN party while other states have broken free of their grip?? How can we be blind to state issues such as these:

1. Sabah went from being the richest to the poorest state in Malaysia in the last thirty years.

2. Sabah only gets a pittance of 5% from its oil and gas revenues, the 95% taken by the Federal Government to develop other states.

3. The island of Labuan was given away free to the Federal Govt. Thousands of acres of land on the mainland are now owned by West Malaysian oil palm companies and politicians.

4. Our Chief Ministers and politicians have one by one become multi millionaires/billionaires. The poor in the interiors have no schools, no hospitals, no electricity and no food.

5. Illegals are all over the state, bursting our hospitals and jacking up the crime rate. Some reports state that over 500,000 people in Sabah are illegals, but the figure could be underestimated.

6. Our oil revenues are being robbed by the Feds, the timber from our jungles gone, the corals and fish bombed by Filipino fishermen. No viable industries or projects have been set up, forcing our young people to work in West Malaysia and Singapore.

7.We have always had the highest cost of living and probably lowest salaries, with university graduates getting RM600 to RM1000 per month now (if they do get a job), lower than my pay of RM1,350 per month when I first started working over 20 years ago.

In my opinion, Sabahans only look at the small picture. Our roads have been widened. The drains are cleared, the streetlights fixed, the (empty) malls are mushrooming everywhere. I can accept that that's why they voted in the same party at the state level. But at the national or parlimentary level, it is incomprehensible why our protest was hardly a whimper, giving the opposition only 1 seat out of 25. While our more educated and informed West Malaysians countrymen are infuriated with issues that threaten the country's future, we in Sabah are continuing the Bornean complacency of "Enough to eat, enough to wear, who cares about democracy. Never mind if the state ministers are multi billionaires, after all if one is replaced, the new one will be corrupted anyway." I think it was the PBS government that disillusioned the people of Sabah to this extent of cynicism and fatalism because when we voted them in twenty years ago (because we had enough of the Harris government), the PBS leaders betrayed us and jumped to BN when the going got tough.

The people of Sarawak are even more stupid/backward than those in Sabah. At least we have had several changes of Chief Ministers while Sarawak faithfully uphold their CM who has been around for over 25 years like he owned the state. And despite my utter dislike of Dr M, I must thank him for setting the ball rolling by incarcerating Anwar. If not for that, Anwar would still be arrogant like the other BN leaders, and BN would still be running the show. One up on Singapore, Malaysia. At least we can vote against our leadership.

On the bright side, I am proud that Malaysians have matured and risen up to smack the leaders in their faces and shown them that the govenment should be for and by the people. I would be happy if the opposition parties can force the ruling party into a more tranparent and clean governance. I would be happy to see younger righteous leaders who mean it when they talk of racial harmony and religious freedom. I dream of the day when we can have a Prime Minister who is fair to all the races, and of the day when all Malaysians, whether minorities or majority races, are truly treated like Malaysians. The weakening of the rule-and-divide BN Party was something most of us never expected to see in our lifetime and now it has happened. Not only that, there has been no violence. Let us celebrate and pray that this is the beginning of a better Malaysia, a Malaysia we have all been praying for.


Mandy said...

my heart is saddened that 95% of Sabahan voted BN. I mean, really? That's a shockingly high vote of support.

Anonymous said...

Me too, very frustrated, I mean we have overthrown two govts b4.

Someone described Sabahans were raped, we are enjoying it and we want more!

I won't put it in the way that we r stupid. I think we were seriously mis-informed. How many of us actually know the real facts, like what you'd listed? Someone hv to have the courage the spread the 'news'.

Do i get to see more politics here?

Aims said...

Loud post and it really moved me. It's like you have taken those words out of my mouth. Why are WE so STUPID?? Thanks for the post Terri!

Btw, I am a Sabahan living in Thailand and a constant reader of your blog. ;)

Anonymous said...

The beginning of a better Malaysia.. Yes, Amen.


CK-II said...

I'm sad to say that Sarawak is no better than Sabah. :(

b said...

I agree that at least few more seats should have gone to the opposition.

In a twist of events, it would be interesting to see how Sabah and Sarawak can benefit and be better represented as almost 40 percent of the BN seats are in Sabah and Sarawak.

For me the take home message is to look at the election process as a whole that this is the first time in Malaysia that we have tasted People Power.

A layperson like me now know that a difference can be made through the ballot box (though there are weaknesses).

As for promoting more balanced governance and a check and balance system in Sabah - like jeff ooi says in his blog - let preparations for General Election 2013 begin!

Greg Wee said...

Sabah & Sarawak makes very good comparison as both states succumbed to a thundering victory for BN. However in Sarawak, we can say that ALL major Chinese votes went out to DAP. The problem is alternative parties for the indigenious races do not exist, & it's difficult for the opposition to reach them in the interiors (cos BN doesn't make enough roads & bridges). But there is hope, DAP knows this & it's already in their plans. Hopefully they have astrong resolve, & the financial backing to carry it out. Getting just a portion of these indigenous support will swing the votes.

Anonymous said...

If PKR & DAP has agreed to a pact the opposition might have 4 more seats:

N13 - INANAM Turnout : 13606 (70.5%) Spoilt: 274 Voters: 19300
Clarence Chin @ Olay (IND - IND) 196
Daniel John Jambun (OPP - PKR) 4293
>> * Goh Chin Lok @ Johnny Goh (BN - PBS) 5979 Maj: 1686
Jeffrey Kumin @ John (OPP - DAP) 2864

N14 - LIKAS Turnout : 9519 (62.7%) Spoilt: 111 Voters: 15178
>> * Liew Teck Chan (BN - SAPP) 4097 Maj: 862
Yap Siew Kiong (OPP - PKR) 1888
Joan Goh Penn Nee (OPP - DAP) 3235

N19 - KAPAYAN Turnout : 14120 (68.1%) Spoilt: 200 Voters: 20723
Chau Chin Thong @ Chau Chin Tang (OPP - PKR) 3658
Stephen Jacob Jimbangan (OPP - DAP) 4100
>> * Khoo Keok Hai (BN - MCA) 6162 Maj: 2062

N57 - SRI TANJONG Turnout : 12807 (63.1%) Spoilt: 171 Voters: 20306
* Samson Chin Chee Tsu (BN - PBS) 4187
>> @ Wong Sze Phin @ Jimmy (OPP - DAP) 5359 Maj: 1172
Kong Hong Ming @ Kong Fo Min (OPP - PKR) 3090

Christina Liew lost by a few votes only in the state seats. DAP won the parliamentary seat for KK is a sign that DAP is better received in Sabah.

If the BR does well in the next few years in the 5 states, Sabah might turn for the better, hopefully.

Let's rejoice for the surprising turn of event for the whole of Malaysia. It is a watershed. Pray that the 5 states governments will show an example in how non racial, non religious politics can work in the future. The signs are positive.

WoMbOk™♂ said...

Tis a time to celebrate indeed. Hopefully we will see a breakthrough here in the east in future. Let the rockets fly!

Greg Wee said...

Don't forget. It's a major setback for BN DESPITE all the dirty tricks - splicing of the voting constituencies to their advantage, buying of votes (RM100-500 each), unfair/unseen control of the postal votes, intimidation/ snatching of votes at polls, transferring busloads of non-registered voters, changing of voter's addresses, buying of independent candidates, use of gangsters to intimidate the opposition & their supporters & heavy betting to influence the votes.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

mandy: u r a true thinking Sabahan. 'Sad' is how most of my friends said they felt when the results were confirmed. n the % is 98.3, not 05% (my mistake) for state seats! no wonder our ever-grinning CM took out a full page in every local newspaper today to thank Sabahans--for making sure he n his cronies continue what they have been doing.

minormatters: i think tt's d problem. we got's why i am upset tt all those PBS guys (whom i overwhelmingly supported when they challenged the Harris govt) still hang on. but in reality, east msia is backward in terms of media coverage, plus dirty campaigning as gregwee spelt out was a big factor. i couldn't understand some friends who expressed fears of being found out if they voted opposition. one even asked tt the sms tt he sent us-u know those jokes n stuff- be erased once we've read them! ppl r still not sure they have democratic rights but i think tt is changing.

most of us either don't know or don't want to rock the boat. look at the 6.6.76 aircrash--does anyone dare write or investigate into tt incident???

a few of my friends suggested i do a 'Jeff Ooi'. My reply is that'll be the day when a food blogger gets into parliment. the 1st thing i'll do is ration sugar consumption.:) kidding.

raina: yes, sista, we have come a long way but there's hope.
on a random note, i'm ,moving to Penang, have always love their food.

ck: ya loh, but sarawak worst than sabah lah, %-wise. imagine if we got 4 more parli. seats n sarawak 4more..gosh, baring his ban, Anwar would've been made the PM!n is it me only, isn't Nurul the most graceful n innocent face in Msian politics now?! (so random, but i'm happy today. have accepted the results)

b: i guess u were too young to taste people power back in the early 80s when the PBS took over Sabah. What happened after tt was BN-Fed squeezed the state so hard, many ppl even migrated to other countries.but this time, it is diff bc BN will have to listen to the ppl or face destruction, n the opp. will also fall all over each other to prove to the ppl they can do the job. so this is really great. n rmber to register to vote next time!

anony: exactly. my hub told Christina tt she'll win if she gives up the parlimentary seat bc ppl will say she's really sincere. i even told her she'll loose to Yee even tho i supported her. but i also told Hiew he'll loose when i bumped into him. but thank God i was wrong. basically, like you've said, if the votes were not split bet the two opps, def we'll have a better representatn frm the opp parties.

and now it would be interesting to see what'll happen to the 4 seats tt PKR wants to challenge in court. BN only formed the govt by the skin of its x@#%, which is 8 seats margin. more fun to come :))

wombok: yeah!

gregwee: u've summed it all. i thot it only happened in Sabah.somebody who went back to Sandakan actually received RM150...
about the delineation of the constituencies, I have been told by a blogger tt its called 'gerrymandering'. I think it is high time they do something about the constituency thing. If i'm not wrong, the # 0f parlimentary seats assigned to each state is based on the land size of the state, n not the population. That's why Sabah has 25n Sarawak 31 (the highest no of seats) while Perlis has only 3 parlimentary seats. The 2 most backward states.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

mandy: 95% not 05%

Anonymous said...


First food blogger to the partliament? why not? Jeff handling the tech area, a good food blogger like u (how i wish my wife can cook like u) can definitely handle the bread & butter problem of the people well. You hv my vote. :)

Anonymous said...

Move to Penang? Good idea but I think it would be an even better idea if you stand for Parliament in the next election. I'll campaign for you.. be your agent..driver..etc.


Shan said...

Haha I love the title of this post!

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

aims: oops, i've missed ur comment!How's the situation in Thailand?? do continue to read n give feedback, cheers:)

minormatters, raina: i am too honest n clean to be a politician :DD

shan: *sigh* i get too emo over justice issues...btw it was a plagarized title frm I Not Stupid n all those cries of "Why r Sabahans still so stupid oh?!" when the election results came out.

Susu Kacang said...

either stupid or forgetful. we need to be reminded sometimes. it's human nature to forget the unpleasant experience or pretend things did not happen. maybe we need a strong, courageous leader to show us the way. i think there is a consensus here that a food blogger makes a very good candidate;)

happy wishes to you in Penang ;)

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