Thank God, there is less politicking in Sarawak

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 writer

Do not get me wrong. It’s not because I’m a Sarawakian and therefore, I feel duty bound to preach gladder tidings about my homeland.

In fact, as a Sarawakian, it is incumbent upon me to point out the wrongs too so that they could be corrected. And I have done so on a number of occasions.

However, on this subject of politicking, it is only fair of me to state that there is generally less political stress and tension in Sarawak. In a lot of ways, our politics is milder and less personal. So, kudos to my fellow Sarawakians.

Now, let me look at the situation in Malaya.

Many of us will surely want to slam this right in the faces of politicians whom we know can never stop politicking or squabbling among themselves — “Stop politicking? Good advice for yourself and your kind. Don’t just say it, do it!”

So, who is blaming who? Those in the PN government blame the opposition and vice versa. But we know both sides are guilty.

When everybody wants to win and neither side is prepared to lose, expect the quarrel to go round in circles and long haul.

It’s worrying that we have Malaysians who think that just because they are involved in politics, it’s also their job to indulge in politicking.

Better believe this — there are also those who are proud to proclaim that they are taught well to be spiteful, vengeful and dirty in politics. And they take great pleasure to brag about such notoriety. 

How childish and pathetic can that be? God help us if these are the kind of people who aspire to lead our nation.

I think we urgently need to look for a totally new breed of politicians with the correct mentality, foresight and wisdom on how to lead a diversified citizenry that is Malaysia. Same old same old will not do anymore.  

Happily, for Sarawak, we have less of the “troublesome” politicians than we see in Malaya. I like to think that we are more focused on battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sarawak is able to handle the pandemic better because we have less political distractions. This is a fact and this is a credit to both sides of the political divide.

Except for the small group in Pakatan Harapan in Sarawak, the bulk of the opposition comprise people who were in the government before.

They are not exactly the usual opposition folks in the first place and hence, less aggressive than the hardened opposition boys.

Some were also former ministers in the previous government, so there is a tendency for them to be more cautious in voicing their grouses against the current government.

Surely, they are also aware that their records while in the government are also known to their adversaries.

Attacks against the government have been cool and calculated and wisely devoid of personal attacks and name-calling. To be honest, I find most of their press statements monotonous and unimpressive.

Up to this day, I am still in the dark about the aims, objectives and agenda for Sarawak of a major party which has declared its intention to form the new Sarawak government after the next election.

I’ve also noticed that this particular party has attracted many former elected representatives and political failures trying to resuscitate their political lives.

Nothing wrong with that. This is a free country and all eligible citizens can run for public office, as many times as they wish.   

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg was on track when he declared that the priority of the GPS government was to help bring the country out of the Covid-19 crisis.

Stressing that this was not the time for politicking, he cautioned that politicking at this crucial juncture of the pandemic in the country would undermine the measures being implemented to contain it.

The chief minister also urged Sarawakians to remain calm amidst the political turmoil in Malaya.

Well-meaning advice from Abang Jo indeed.

Let those in Malaya continue their unending squabbles and dirty politics as they wish. When their concentration is on power and position and not the people’s welfare, the rakyat should know what to do.

Vote them out in the next election.

The same goes for self-serving and power-crazy politicians in Sarawak if we know who they are.

For now, as far as I’m concerned, I want all parties to stop politicking and focus on helping the people who are struggling because of the pandemic. The rakyat must always come first.

Sadly, I doubt the politicians will heed my call.

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