The Chief Minister tells BN members that there was nothing to fear about the Opposition’s politics of perception
IN COMBATIVE MOOD: Taib stressing a point at the State BN Convention. – Photo by Jeffery Mostapa
KUCHING: Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud unleashed the battle cry for the coming state election when he told Barisan Nasional (BN) members to “fight all out” against the Opposition.
Addressing some 5,300 strong BN supporters from four component parties, Taib, who is also the state BN chairman, said the BN had nothing to fear when facing the Opposition.
However, he also advised them to understand BN’s core struggle so that they would know how to fight off their opponents.
“Our struggle has always been centred on the well-being of our people, regardless of their race and religion. I am the chief minister of all races and not just for the Malays, Chinese, Ibans, Bidayuhs, Melanaus and Orangs Ulus,” Taib said in his keynote address at the State BN Convention held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here yesterday.
He stressed that BN had always been practising the principles of democracy which is ‘Of the people, by the people and for the people’ unlike certain quarters, especially the opposition, who have been telling the people to go against the present government.
“This is a solid case between politics of perception (as practised by the opposition) and politics of reality,” he said.
Taib, who is also PBB president, said he would not mind to debate with the opposition if they have enough evidence.
“I will ask Tan Sri Datuk Amar Adenan Satem to standby and debate with them,” he said.
The opposition, especially state PKR chief Baru Bian and state DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen, recently issued a challenge to Taib for an open debate on various issues regarding Native Customary Rights (NCR) land and his personal matters.
The chief minister reiterated that the state government had never robbed landowners of their land and that it was doing all it could to assist poor landowners to be better off.
He disclosed that the government in fact has a long term plan to transform Sarawak into a fully industrialised state by 2030.
Taib said all the people regardless of their race will benefit from the government’s plan such as SCORE.
He also cast aside the perception created by the opposition that the present state government is not fair in the distribution of wealth and harvesting of resources.
“We have to be realistic and care for the people’s stomach and their well-being. We cannot just depend on the theory of democracy but we must practise it,” he said.
Taib also stressed that the crux of the coming election would be a test between the government’s service to the people and the opposition’s mere rhetoric.
“’Jauh pawi’ (It is beyond their reach)…that they would be able to achieve what they promised and run the government,” he pointed out.
He also warned BN supporters not to become turncoats and abandon the BN ship as such a move would be suicidal.
“We must admit that we have weaknesses but we have the NKRA to address it. We don’t need the opposition to tell us what to do and how to run the government,” he said.
Taib said that it would not be logical for Sarawak to ask for one third of the country’s budget as the state has only 2.5 million people which is only one tenth of the country’s population.
He said such magnanimous request for allocation would be unfair to the bulk of the population in Peninsular Malaysia who also need to develop their states.
“But the special relationship between state and federal leaders have enabled Sarawak to get special attention from both the prime minister and the deputy prime minister,” he added.