The reason UMNO is Rejected by Sarawakians Part I

Umno di haramkan ke Sarawak]

Zainnal Ajamain

Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud is stepping down as the Chief Minister of Sarawak after holding the reign for 33 long years, much longer than Mahathir Mohammad as the Prime Minister of Malaysia by more than a decade.  His length as the Chief Minister speaks volume of the politician who stayed in office longer than any other leaders in Malaysia.

In his speech to the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Supreme Council Pehin Sri requires two prerequisites for his coming successor.  Firstly, United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) shall not be allowed to enter Sarawak simply because Pehin Sri acknowledges that there are vast differences between the people in Sarawak and those from Malaya.  Secondly, his successor must maintain the rights of Sarawak when forming Malaysia which is based on “the Malaysia Agreement 1963, nothing more, nothing less”, these two fundamentals turn Malaysia politics on its head and may have a far wider and in-depth consequences.

Therefore, it is interesting to note that never in the history of Malaysia that a head of State acknowledges that UMNO is NOT as good as it advertises itself to be and that UMNO should be rejected from Sarawak.  Pehin Sri have every reason to see UMNO as what it really is, UMNO has over the years showing that they are becoming more racist, showing their intolerance, barking hate overtones, and using words of threats to whoever is against them in short Malaysia is becoming a Fascist State.  For a responsible and visionary leader in Sarawak, this is a disease he does not want to spread in Sarawak.

In addition, Sabah which is Sarawak closest neighbor embraces UMNO in 1990.  In the process of embracing UMNO, the people in Sabah have to sacrifice USNO.  In order for this to happen, its founder and the father of independence for Sabah have to demote himself to a Timbalan Perhubungan Sabah UMNO.  But after UMNO manage to secure its position in Sabah Tun Mustapha bin Datu Harun was simply discarded like some dirty old rag into the dustbin of history.  Tun Mustapha bin Datu Harun died not as UMNO member, his USNO was already dusts and he was buried just as a simple man not even given the respect due to a leader in Sabah.

This is how ungrateful, churlish and crude UMNO is to Sabah and its leaders, The Baarisan Nasional (BN) component parties are just ornaments that Kuala Lumpur will use at their convenience.  It is not about the people’s welfare and their needs, it is about what Kuala Lumpur needs it takes, this is not a secret and the people in Sarawak are fully aware of this.

The Sarawakians knows that if not for Sabah, UMNO would have been in the opposition since 1999, if not because of Sabah UMNO would have lost in 2008 and if it is not because of Sabah, UMNO would have lost in 2013.

Yet even with all the sacrifices, losses, disadvantages and cost, Sabah was never given any special treatment from UMNO and the spineless UMNO leaders in Sabah are too cowardly to assert their demands and made it known to Kuala Lumpur.  Instead Sabah is treated as if it is a poor pesky distant cousin coming to Kuala Lumpur begging for money even when the money in Kuala Lumpur is actually coming from Sabah.  This is what Najib meant when he says Sabah is BN Fix Deposit – you are used when needed but keep for safe keeping when you are not needed and you have to survive on your own.

This means Malaysians in Sarawak are learning from the mistakes and pitfalls experienced in Sabah.  Sarawakians have every reason to reject UMNO from ever entering the country this is because UMNO is becoming more racist, spreading religious bigotry, intolerance, hateful and threatening as if Malaysia only belongs to the Malay Supremacist.  There is no empathy, no reasoning and no conscience, only Malaya knows what is best for Sabah and Sarawak.

If UMNO is good then it is obvious that Malaysians in Sarawak would have accepted UMNO with brass-bands, confetti’s and with open arms.

Zainnal Ajamain is an economist by profession, graduating with a Masters degree from the University of East Anglia. He has held several high ranking civil service positions in government and government think tanks and has worked as a university lecturer, senior researcher, stockbroker, and economist and published several papers in international media journals. He was the co-author behind the Sabah Government’s vision for development and progress in the Sabah Development Corridor and created the first Offshore Islamic Fund in Labuan. He also held the position of Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems at the University Malaysia Sabah.  He was the Co-Founder of the United Borneo Front (UBF) and a passionate activist to abolish the Cabotage Policy.  He is also the Secretary General of a newly formed political party in Sabah.