The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.— Thomas Sowell, American economist
More than four years ago, a Barisan Nasional (BN) campaign banner was put up at a roundabout near my place.
It read, “If you think Adenan (Pehin Sri Adenan Satem) has done a lot for Sarawak, you’re in for more surprises because you ain’t seen nothin’ yet”.
I remember that I snickered at the writing and drove away. I thought to myself that the banner was cleverly written, pandering to the voters, who at the time had nothing but love for the late chief minister.
But then, the Democratic Action Party (DAP) thought they found a way to somehow ‘reply’ to Adenan.
Their banner, cheekily put up beside the BN banner read, “53 years we’ve seen enough”. Among others it claimed that the state government had provided poor facilities since 1971, made empty promises and failed in implementing its projects.
As the upcoming state election edges closer, I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be good if everyone turn in their report card for the public to see what they have been doing in the last four years?
I came across a social media post last week, detailing the achievements of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg in the past three years in the form of a record card.
In the post, it said that the chief minister had introduced a slew of initiatives, divided over seven talking points.
Among others, it credited Abang Johari with implementing the digital economy, which I believed the man fully deserved; it also discussed the implementation of better public transport facilities planned by the state government.
It also touched on the moral ground of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government which the opposition claimed the coalition had lost when it entered into a pact with United Malay National Organisation (Umno) and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS).
One point from the piece was when it refuted that the state government lost out on the chance to promote the concept of racial harmony in Malaya after snubbing Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal as prime minister nominee, as alleged by the opposition.
“What they don’t realise is that the harmony that is seen among the people in Sarawak did not happen by accident.
“This was the effort of past leaders to shun extremists and bigots who are masquerading their agenda in the name of democracy and freedom of speech,” it read.
We have grown up thinking that the way we live, the environment we are in happens naturally for some unexplained reason.
This is not true. State leaders have been protective of the state and no more has this been expressed in terms of the infamous ‘immigration blacklist’, which some said includes hardline religious personalities from Malaya.
For the life of me, the idea of putting Shafie as prime minister so that he can unilaterally wield executive power to undo the polarised race relations across the South China Sea is baffling.
If it is as simple as that, then it would have been done already.
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak tried to do it as well, promoting the ‘1Malaysia’ slogan, even rubber stamping it at almost every federal government programmes, but we all know how that went.
Back to my point on record cards, I would love to see what the DAP, Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) have done in the last three years.
DAP and PKR were part of the federal government for 22 months and PSB or rather, United People’s Party (UPP) was in the state government for almost three years before they were shown the door.
To say that they weren’t able to accomplish anything due to them not being in the government would be farcical. They had their chance.
Let the people judge on what these parties have done for them aside from political rhetoric and mere perceptions.
As far as the people are concerned, as the DAP would put it four years ago, “we have seen enough” of these parties.
And also, as far as they too are concerned, Sarawakians would feel that based on track records, accomplishments and policy decisions, they would want to see more from GPS and Abang Johari.
Any right-thinking person would back the state government for it to be reelected and would want to see it given a fresh mandate by the people.