Anwar reveals the Sarawak state election is a war over timber

(The Vibes) – The upcoming Sarawak election must be one that puts the people at the heart of it, and not a proxy war among timber tycoons.

This is the scathing reminder from opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the run-up to the December 18 polls.

“The rakyat must reject elections that act as a proxy battle among timber tycoons.

“Choose Sarawak representatives who will champion the people’s interests, not those who will champion the special interests of individuals and who only want to enrich themselves,” he told The Vibes.

Larry Sng, who funded PKR Sarawak, is also a timber tycoon

Yesterday, at a press conference in Kuching, Anwar slammed Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu vice-president Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah for saying that PKR will win “zero seats”.

“This is a sign of arrogance. I know PKR is a relatively poorer party; we don’t have the big timber tycoons of Sarawak to back us up, unlike other parties.

“So, we will continue to do this, to appeal to the sentiments of the people and in multiracial correlation, Bumiputera, Chinese and others in this state,” Anwar was reported as saying.

“PKR will continue its endeavour, which would not be an easy task because we do not have the backing from the ‘big tycoons’,” he said, repeating his statement from yesterday.

“Confidence is one thing, arrogance is another. People who have been in power too long and have amassed too much wealth tend to be extremely arrogant, and I would advise my colleagues in particular, (in) Keadilan, to display humility, to work hard and achieve the desired results,” Malay Mail Online reported him as saying.

Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) is contesting in all 82 seats but the odds are stacked against it; what with stringent SOPs (standard operating procedures) for campaigning and rising airfares that have discouraged voters in the Peninsular from returning home.

Anwar, meanwhile, expressed concerns that just like in the Melaka election last month, Covid-19 protocols will end up frustrating the campaign and only give an advantage to certain parties.

“Just like in Melaka, the Sarawak election SOPs are designed to disallow effective campaigning.”

He said in Melaka candidates were not allowed ceramahs, and had to be continuously be on the move without stopping to speak to anyone despite candidates and the people observing social distancing, while the enforcement of the SOPs seem to be discriminatory at times.

“Don’t get me wrong. Health and safety is of utmost importance, but some of the SOPs seem to be created to frustrate campaigners,” he said.

The Melaka election was one of the worst performances of the PH coalition, which saw DAP winning four seats and Amanah winning just one of the 28 seats up for grabs.

DAP also lost four of its stronghold seats. PKR did not win a single seat.