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Sunday, April 30, 2017

BARU BIAN: COUNTRY ON PATH TO TALIBAN-LIKE STATE

Sarawak PKR chief blames PAS president and the PM for jeopardising harmony between multiracial, multi-religious population.
FMT) – Malaysia’s secularism and the peace enjoyed by its multi-ethnic and multi-faith society have been put in jeopardy by the actions of PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and Prime Minister Najib Razak, says Sarawak PKR.
The party’s state chairman Baru Bian charged that the two leaders had brought the country to the brink of becoming an Islamic theocratic state as a result of their “political games”.
“All major institutions in the country have been compromised, and we are now a country where the rule of law does not apply,” Baru said in his opening speech at Sarawak PKR’s convention held here today.
“The country is at risk of becoming a radical Taliban-like state, thanks to the efforts of people like Hadi Awang, assisted by Najib in their political games to control the country,” Baru said.
Also present were PKR’s Petaling Jaya South MP Hee Loy Sian, its Youth chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How, other state party leaders and several hundred party members.
Baru said that in his vision for a better Sarawak, people were free to practice the religion of their choice without interference from religious authorities or third parties.
He added that Malaysians of all races who had determination and drive should be given equal opportunity to succeed and prosper.
“Unfortunately, what I had hoped to fight against, such as politics based on race and religion, have been getting more obvious and intense, instead of decreasing.”
“The Umno leadership’s modus operandi has been to politicise race and religion to stoke fear and hatred among the various ethnic groups in order to divide and rule the people.
“That in itself is nothing new, but with the advancement of technology and the widespread use of social media, the impact of these dangerous tactics is even more far-reaching and the damage magnified,” Baru said.
He further described the country to be in “dire straits” with Najib and “his cronies” no longer caring about the common people.
The state assemblyman for Ba’ Kelalan said there was a lack of transparency and accountability with the ruling government approving mega projects and awarding contracts without tender to foreign firms.
He added that there were other “worrying developments” such as the “blatant corrupt practices” of government officials, the worsening economic situation, the mismanagement of the country’s assets and resources and the scandals of 1MDB, Felda and MARA.
“The scenario for Malaysia’s future looks bleak. However, we must not give up. It is even more crucial now that we must keep pushing for change,” he said.
“I have been called a dreamer, and politicians from BN have said many times that the opposition can only dream of winning the elections. I said then that it is not wrong to dream, no matter how difficult the road ahead looks.
“No matter how formidable the obstacles, it is only right that we should have a vision. For where there is no vision, the people perish,” Baru said.
Tony Pua ban in Sabah
Meanwhile, Baru expressed little surprise at DAP’s Tony Pua being barred from entering Sabah.
Yesterday, the Petaling Jaya Utara MP was escorted to an aircraft bound for Kuala Lumpur after being denied entry into Sabah.
Neither immigration authorities nor the state government gave a reason for the ban on Pua from entering Sabah.
“I am not surprised by that action from the state government of Sabah and I won’t be surprised if it were to be implemented in Sarawak in the coming general election,” Baru told reporters at a press conference.
“They’ve done it before, there’s nothing to stop them from doing it again. To me, it’s a sign of desperation. It’s a sign that they are trying to prevent people who are very aware of the truth from sharing the truth with us in Sabah and Sarawak,” Baru said.
He said the East Malaysian state governments were fearful of “the very powerful, personal testimonies” of expert lawmakers.
“When they see leaders – who they have only read about in the papers or see on television – come over and share with us in Sabah and Sarawak of the success stories of Pulau Pinang and Selangor, I’m very confident the people of Sabah and Sarawak would be convinced for a change of government,” Baru said.
In the run-up to the Sarawak state election last May, at least 40 opposition lawmakers, activists and academicians were on the state government’s immigration ban list.
They included Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR), Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad (Amanah), Seremban MP Anthony Loke (DAP), Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo (DAP), and Dr Afif Bahardin (PKR).
The ban was quietly lifted the following month after the state BN, led by the late Adenan Satem, won 72 out of 82 state seats.

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