Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sarawak's Political Tsunami

We think it's coming. A tsunami in Sarawak, to rival that of the Peninsular's 2008 event. The BN, mainly in the form of the the PBB and the SUPP, is in trouble. They have been arrogant, they have learnt nothing from the Peninsular experience, and now they will pay for it.

The opposition rallies, particularly those featuring Mr.Anwar Ibrahim and other leaders are attracting unprecedented crowds. Some of the rallies appear to have attracted 8 to10 thousand rapt, cheering listeners. The BN rallies, by contrast, have sparse crowds.

Mr.Najib Razak, brought in to strengthen the BN's campaign in the last week, only managed to attract two to three hundred people in Saratok today. There is no 'Najib Factor', in Sarawak. Even Bernama, the government's propagandic mouthpiece, dared not exaggerate the number beyond a thousand.

Mr.Anwar smells blood, and is tearing through Sarawak like a fury, conducting 6 or 7 ceramahs a day. Few can keep his pace, so determined and untiring is he. His vaunted oratarical skills are on full display, his charisma undiminished and he yet retains, his legendary common touch. Opposition campaigners who planned 2 day trips, are now staying on, infected by the enthusiasm of the crowds, and the now undeniable prospect of victory.

Mr.Najib, on the other hand, struggles to escape his patrician upbringing. And he carries the weight of Mr.Taib Mahmud, like a millstone around his neck. Mr.Taib is as reviled by Sarawakians now, as Mr.Samy Velu was by the Indians in 2008. So lost and out-of-touch is Mr.Taib, that he appears to think to satisfy Sarawakians, by offering to leave in 5 years! He is, indeed, a Mubarak with a beard! While the morale of the BN's campaigners crumbles, as they face the unthinkable reality, of defeat.

The people, in towns and in rural areas, are angry. Much of their hatred is directed squarely at Mr.Taib Mahmud, who has clearly overstayed his welcome. Whoever you talk to, taxi driver or shopkeeper, you get the same message. Even in rural areas, where his writ is still supposed to run strong, they are unforgiving when it comes to the issue of stolen native lands.

The SUPP, the party which represents Sarawak's Chinese electorate, will suffer the fate of the Gerakan. They will be wiped out. Mr.George Chan, the SUPP's leader, dismissed as an ineffective syncophant by his constituents, will struggle to keep his own seat.The PBB will suffer severe damage.

We grant that a week is a long time in politics, but when this election is over, we may very well have a new State Government, headed by the unassuming Mr.Baru Bian.

Note :
The vote may yet be rigged, but it will have to be on a scale too massive to be ignored.

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