We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.

– Martin Luther King, American Christian minister and activist

Elections are just around the corner and Sarawakians, as usual, will decide who should helm the government.

When our government supported Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the eighth Prime Minister of Malaysia instead of Tun Dr Mahathir, it took a gamble.

If there was anyone to blame it was the evil that is permeating in the world – strifes, disasters, political discourse in USA and lately the deadly coronavirus.

Sarawak had no choice but to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea.

If they had supported former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir it would have been “business as usual” because for eons Sarawak has been treated as a village idiot in some faraway jungle called Borneo!

If you notice, after GE14 in 2018, Sarawak did not join any of the two opposing teams – the Umno-PAS block or the PH coalition of PKR, DAP and Bersatu.

In fact since the time of the late chief minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem who passed away in 2016, the Putrajaya has always viewed Sarawak as a spoilt child.

We asked for our rights to be returned according to MA63 and demanded for fair returns from our oilfields that the Malayans have usurped and tapped for almost 50 years.

And we were seen like spoilt brats.

After two years of haggling and probably frustrated by this, the GPS government decided to throw caution to the wind, go for broke and support the new government.

But who can blame us? We have been treated like an anak tiri (stepchild).

Even though Muhuddin’s Bersatu had teamed up with the old Umno government accused of kleptocratic practices and PAS, it was a chance Sarawak had to take.

After all, Sarawak had been with the Umno government since 1963 and it was only two years ago that we realised their true colours.

The recent on-going horse-trading between Sarawak and the Federal government had not borne fruit for far too long and this has riled our new set of politicians.

If it was anyone to blame it has to be the social media.

When we were part of Umno it was okay. Now that Umno has teamed up with PAS, it’s an unholy alliance!

Didn’t we know that PAS has been part of Malaysia’s political fabric since time immemorial?

To be fair, the going was good when Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was in charge of the country; his numerous visits to the Land of the Hornbills and handsome handouts endeared him to Sarawak’s political elite.

We behave as if Najib is the only kleptocrat in the country!

And the rest of Ali Baba’s gang of 40 are angels?

What had irked Sarawak most is that in recent times the “negotiators” on Sarawak’s rights were not people from the government but the opposition who were gloating at the fact that they were now the government of the day.

It was the same people in the DAP who had spent years in the State Legislative Assembly jousting with our politicians and hitting the headlines in the print media.

To say Sarawak cannot live with Umno is a lie! We have been coalition partners since Tunku Abdul Rahman days.

After all it is no secret that our MPs who have second homes in the federal capital have often spent their time in KL with their Umno friends and if we were in need some of them would lend a helping hand.

Even Najib has admitted that Sarawak is Umno’s “fixed deposit” which in short means the latter’s true friends in time of need.

Now that we have decided to support the new coalition of Umno and PAS, Sarawak’s non-Malay faction has expressed concern about possible heightened religious activities in the Sarawak.

Well, rest assured it will not happen because multi-religious Sarawak has never succumbed to external forces since its people have their own character and set of ideals.

One burden that lies on the shoulders of the our government is that a very small number of their members who were former federal ministers might still yearn for the pomp and grandeur that comes with being a federal minister.

There will be some who will be lobbying for ministerial posts or perks that come with the spoils of joining the winning side. Yes, there will also be perennial “political frogs” who will join any group for personal gain.

The Sarawak state election is due in 12months’ time. In this scenario, how will the Sarawak voters react?

Shakespeare once wrote:

“To be, or not to be, that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep…”

Let’s wait and see.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the New Sarawak Tribune.