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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Adenan may win, but lose his moral ground to lead


COMMENT Adenan Satem will win the election this round, but he may lose his moral ground to lead the state.
At least, watching from here, it appears more character flaws in the chief minister than what his public image suggests. The ‘Adenan team’ has become the name of the game in this coming state elections.
Since taking over the state administration, Adenan has been able to convince Sarawakians that he is a good chief minister compared to his predecessor, but he appears to be losing his own credibility fast, based on what we see in his recently actions.
Some Sarawakians told me that, although Adenan appears to be more amiable to his people than Taib Mahmud, he has also been making statements that are hypocritical.
Ironies or simply hypocritical?
One one hand, he does not welcome Umno politics into Sarawak; on the other hand, he is working hand-in-hand with Umno as part of Barisan Nasional. One vote for Adenan is, in fact, a vote for Umno.
He has also said that national issues involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) should not be used during this election, but he welcomes the man behind 1MDB the scandal that has since June last year, rocked the nation, and become one of the biggest scandals publicised worldwide.
Like it or not, when 1MDB defaulted in payment of US$50 million in interest, this will be paid from the country’s coffers. The money could have been used to alleviate the people in Sarawak from the vicious cycle of poverty.
While Adenan targeted mainly the urban voters, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has mainly reached the voters in the outskirts, avoiding those who understood the implication of the 1MDB scandal.
The 1Malaysia prime minister has not even dealt with Adenan’s One Country, Two Systems approach in the immigration rules, in which opposition leaders were not even allowed to enter the land of the hornbills, suggesting an unlevel playing field.
Even volunteers from peninsular Malaysia were asked to leave the state by May 5, which affects mainly the opposition.
One candidate from the opposition, for example, complained that this new rule which she heard rumours about, will force her service centre to be closed. Meanwhile, the Barisan Nasional candidates have deep pockets to pay their workers.
Bersih 2.0 chairperon Maria Chin Abdullah confirmed that the rule also affects the Bersih observers who are there to monitor the election.
At the same time, reports are coming out of Sarawak that the Christian community is largely unhappy with the latest development where the federal government has appealed against a judgment by High Court of Kuching over a local who had converted to Christianity. This decision is enough to turn the Christian community away from Adenan. More about it tomorrow.
Losing moral ground
Therefore, although Adenan will win the coming elections, he will lose his moral ground to lead his people in the state.
Firstly, he has not proven himself to be a liberal. Adenan is prepared to do all within his powers to ensure a big victory for his team. It will certainly come with a hefty price to pay for Adenan, especially with the federal election coming on in just two years’ time.
The boy can call wolf once, or even twice; thereafter, people will no longer trust his word.
Secondly, the people whom he had picked for his team are members of the business community. This means that when they win the election, they will form the state government - both businessmen and politicians.

This is a a perfect combination of what Sarawakians will experience - a bigger gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. Some of the state representatives who have vested interest in their own businesses will undoubtedly ask for projects that benefit themselves or their cronies.
Thirdly, Adenan’s leadership will come under the microscope more from now on. His honeymoon is over. There will be more brickbats coming his way.

STEPHEN NG is an ordinary citizen with an avid interest in following political developments in the country since 2008. -Mkini

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