Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.

– Ernest Benn, British publisher, writer and political publicist

Well, it has been an interesting time over the last few weeks and several issues grabbed the attention of the public.

On the social media front, there was considerable uproar from netizens caused by comments made by Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah.

He highlighted some legal rules in the Finas Act 1981 that requires all film producers to provide the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) with seven-day advanced notification before filming. In addition to this to also have a company with a paid-up capital of RM50,000.

On the face of this, there is no issue. However, he is reported to have said this rule was also applicable to social media platforms.

This, of course, caused consternation to put it mildly. Netizens lampooned him unceasingly. One even asked if he had applied for such a licence since he also used social media.

It seems the massive onslaught by the netizens towards his interpretation of the Finas Act had the desired effect.

There was a quick ‘clarification’ by him that the rules did not apply to social media users. It was an unwise statement generally and politically suicidal if it had been applied.

It would indeed have been gelap days ahead for netizens and politicians if these rules had been implemented. The legal profession would certainly have had a field day refuting them in courts.

The 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal also reared its head again. Goldman Sachs Group Inc which was implicated in the scandal, in a statement said it will hand over a cash payment of US$2.5 billion (about RM10.65 billion) to the Malaysian government in the next two months.

Our Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz announced that this cash payment forms part of the total settlement of US$3.9 billion (about RM16.6 billion).

Let us all pray no one is salivating over their designs on this money. 

Today, also, barring any issues, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will face his first verdict related to 1MDB. The outcome, in this case, will have some political implications.

The court decision would one way or another play a part in the decision-making by voters in the next parliamentary election

On another matter that incurred the ire of some Sarawakians was when they were allegedly prevented from flying and displaying the old Sarawak flag in conjunction with Sarawak Day on July 22.

The alleged confiscation of the Sarawak Crown flags has led to some police reports being lodged against the police.

People met the alleged action by the police with much dismay. Many young netizens expressed their displeasure on social media. Videos of the happenings raked up considerable comments and sharing.

The Sarawak Crown flag came into existence when it became the British Colony from July 1, 1946, and continued to be flown in Sarawak for another 10 years after the formation of Malaysia

Many are still puzzled to this day why the police took such drastic and surprising action.

On the political parties front in Sarawak, there were some developments. Some of the PBB Pujut branch members crossed over to Parti Sarawak Bersatu.

Earth-shattering political news, you might think. But in practical terms, however, those familiar with the political scene here have opined that talent and credibility wise there is no real loss to the branch.

In fact, it could be seen as a blessing because the incoming acting chairman will be Lukanisman Awang Sauni, the Member of Parliament from Sibuti.

He is a young, dynamic, loyal and experienced individual who can lift the branch to new heights and serve the members and people effectively. The members there are looking forward to his leadership and the revival of the branch.

DAP, on the other hand, has suffered a significant blow to their image and credibility. Two days ago, their Padungan assemblyman Wong King Wei resigned from the Democratic Action Party (DAP).

He expressed his disillusionment with the direction and the way the party has been managed recently.

His press statement echoed the sentiments of many Sarawakians.

Well, Sarawakians, rest assured if you stay on the ‘Sarawak First’ course, you are going in the right direction.

The views expressed here are those of the columnist and do not necessarily represent the views of New Sarawak Tribune.