CM Sarawak Taib Mahmud has finally vented his anger at the stamping of the Bahasa Malaysia bible (AlKitab) by calling the action taken by the federal authorities as a STUPID IDEA that should not be applied to Sarawak. Taib Mahmud further said that he had spoken to PM Najib about not stamping the bible which the latter agreed.
Such harsh statement coming from Taib Mahmud at a critical time of the Sarawak state election does not augur well for federal-state relations. The statement hits at the very heart of the federal authorities, in particular the Home Ministry, and to be more direct at Minister Hishamuddin himself. I am just too eager to see how Hishamuddin reacts to the statement made by Taib Mahmud, and the word STUPID, I think must have severely dented Hishamuddin’s ego.
And by implicating PM Najib in this, Taib Mahmud is trying to tell the Christians in Sarawak that PM Najib has reneged in his agreement not to stamp the bible. What is Taib Mahmud trying to show the Christians in Sarawak? By his statements, is he not implying that PM Najib has not kept his word, and is therefore not to be trusted? To me, that is the impression I get out of Taib Mahmud’s statement. Clearly, Taib Mahmud is trying to show the Christians in the state that he cares, and hitting out at the federal authorities, Minister Hishamuddin and including PM Najib is simply to show power against the federal authorities including his boss, that he hopes will translate into popular support for him in this Saturday’s state election. He is purely playing politics here, and he knows that the loss of Christian support spells doom for his 30 odd years of rule.
I think PM Najib is being placed against the wall now over Taib Mahmud’s statement. Likewise, the same goes to Minister Hishamuddin. What can both the cousins do now to react, or will they ever dare react at all? Can they just ignore Taib Mahmud? Can they sideline him and get an alternative leader from among the BN component parties to lead the coalition government; should BN win this state election? Will PM Najib be bold enough to ask Taib Mahmud to step down, or can Najib garner sufficient support to pressure Taib Mahmud to relinquish the post, the way UMNO did to Tun Abdullah Badawi? I personally think that 30 odd years at the helm of the state administration is much too long, and stepping down now is far too risky for Taib Mahmud in light of the massive exposure by Sarawak Report of his plundering and corrupt practices.
As I see it, PM Najib’s dilemma is Taib Mahmud’s strength. Bringing down Taib Mahmud now either through unpopular means or by way of persuasion may cause the fall of the federal government as well. Clearly, this is what PM Najib does not want. Even if Taib Mahmud willingly steps down, there is no guarantee that his replacement is strong enough to lead the state, as Taib Mahmud never really had someone ready and capable enough to take over the helm. I am told that all his subordinates are being held at arm’s length; certainly not in the departments where Taib Mahmud’s has direct control to plunder the state’s wealth with impunity.
I think this state election will not bring about the expectant changes that the PR has hoped for. The PR may win additional seats, especially in the Chinese dominated urban areas; certainly not the rural areas where 30 years of Taib Mahmud’s rule is well embedded in the minds of the rural folks, where Sarawak is synonymous with Taib Mahmud. They can be easily manipulated by mere promises at every state election, and being simple rural folks, an unfulfilled promise really means nothing to them. They are too simple to even bother to ask for electricity and clean drinking water.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION