Hadi racially biased, says online poll

(The Star) KUCHING: More than 53% of respondents of an online poll have suggested that PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang was racially bias when he made his cawat remarks.

This was the initial result two days after Sarawak-based Internet portal Malaysia Pollster invited the public to voice their opinions and comments on Hadi’s statement reported by another online portal malaysiakini on July 11.

The question posed to respondents on www.malaysiapollster.com.my was “In my opinion, such a statement by Hadi suggests: (1) his ignorance of Sarawak politics; (2) arrogance on his part; (3) his racial inclination, and (4) his fair comment.”

Respondents can pick one of the four answers, and the poll is open until Aug 23.

Hadi was quoted by malaysiakini as saying that PKR/Pakatan Rakyat lost in the recent Batang Ai by-election because “these people” (Dayaks) did not know the meaning of voting as they are still wearing cawat (loincloth).

His remarks has been condemned by Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and other Barisan Nasional leaders, and raised the anger of many Dayaks.

In the by-election, Barisan candidate from PRS, Malcom Mussen Lamoh beat PKR’s Jawah Gerang, a former five-time Lubok Antu MP.

Malaysia Pollster said nearly 20% of the respondents blamed Hadi’s arrogance, 16% for his ignorance of Sarawak politics while the other 10% were of the opinion that he had made a fair comment.

It is not known how many respondents have been recorded so far.

State PKR wanita chief Doris Sophia Brodie said Hadi’s remarks could stir racial tension, and had shown that PAS and Pakatan Rakyat were not ethnic-sensitive.

“Pakatan Rakyat can forget about making its presence felt in Sarawak, especially in Dayak-predominant areas,’’ she added.

However, a Dayak blogger Dr John Brian came out to defend Hadi, saying that the PAS president did not meant the statement as an insult as Hadi was only trying to say that the people in Batang Ai and the rural areas were politically undeveloped.