This by-election in Batu Sapi is seeing an unprecedented amount of activity on the part of the educated Urban Sabahan – Young and Old. There is a never-seen-before sense of wanting change, wanting change from the present to a rosier, better future! First time voters mostly MalaysiaToday Readers and FaceBook Users could make this by-election an election where the urban voter and indeed the young vote count!
The rhetoric and sloganeering of Political parties and willing internet portals and media continue unabated and doesn’t make the choice of who to cast your vote for easier and as one young first time voter-to-be asked me in Sandakan quite innocently – how do I decide who to vote for ba?
Actually the answer to this question is far simpler than you think.
Anyway, I just got back from Sandakan. Batu Sapi to be exact.
Batu Sapi by-elections has a day to conclude, polling day is this November 4th and that’s Deepavali eve. This parliamentary seat has 25,582 voters comprising 15,099 or 59.02 per cent are Muslim bumiputeras, 689 or 2.69 are non-Muslim bumiputeras, 9,737 or 38.06 per cent are Chinese and 57 or 0.22 per cent are others.
This is going to be a close contest between SAPP’s Taiko Yong Teck Lee and PBS/BN’s Datin Linda Tsen Thau Lin who is said to be the favourite in the race and I can say for sure she is going to win, and my friend the third contender, Lawyer Ansari from PKR, is having an uphill battle and unlikely to make any impact in this election since falling 2 times into the sea during campaigning.
Normally the voter turnout hovers between 65% to 70% here in Batu Sapi. So at 65% to 70% about 12,000 to 13,000 registered voters are expected to cast their ballots on Nov 4, and this is not going to be a very close call.
Would like to talk a little bit about Taiko Yong Teck Lee mainly because he is giving the other contenders in this by-election a run, which he thinks he does as he is bragging openly that he is going to win. But I doubt it.
Yong Teck Lee unveiled his slogan which he is using to contest this by-election – “Sabah For Sabahans” “Autonomy For Sabah”. Yong Teck Lee in fact hijacked this slogan from PBS as it was the same battle-cry of the Parti Bersatu Sabah 25 years ago that saw PBS unseat the Parti Berjaya state government in 1985.
Yong Teck Lee is also urging voters to take a second look at his SAPP and he has accused the BN and PKR being a Westmalaysian party, which is, but true.
But he was together with all of them in one big BARISAN family and was even made Chief Minister for 2 years and had all the chance to highlight all the issues and get the attention of the Federal Government during his many years as part of the ruling coalition, but he did not do so. Yong Teck Lee NEVER raised the issues he is now shouting so loudly about when he was a state minister, deputy chief minister and later as chief minister. How come?
I have a few more questions for Yong Teck Lee.
I wanna know Datuk Yong, before you stepped down as chief minister, how many acres of Sabah agricultural land were given to west Malaysian companies during your 2-year term as chief minister? Plenty right!
How may acres of coastal lands were given to companies and individuals during your 2-year term as chief minister? Most of Kota Kinabalu sea frontage all gone right!
How many acres of forest reserves were given away as Forest Management Units (FMU) and as individual logging concessions during your 2-year term as chief minister? 100,000 acres? More like 100,000 hectares right!
How many logging licenses were issued to private companies to harvest logs from areas within FMUs during your term of office? 50?
What action has been taken during your 2-year term as chief minister to rescue the unit value of Saham Amanah Sabah (SAS) which now stands at a mere 17 cents per unit???? No? Yes?
In my opinion, SAPP is trying to remain unaligned in the hopes that they can opt to join the winning side in the next GE. I doubt SAPP is really committed to reforms of any kind. As far as I can tell, SAPP’s platform is not for support of reforms in our political, judicial and justice system in Malaysia. I wouldn’t give parliamentary seats to SAPP unless SAPP agrees to champion reforms for the entire nation and not just for Sabah.
Parliamentary By-election is always a referendum on the incumbent KL Government, in this case, the Najib government! Similarly State by-elections are a referendum on the performance of Musa Aman State government! Therefore the question to ask yourself before you vote in the coming days is – Are you happy with the performance of the Najib’s Government over its term or do you want Change? Similarly, are you happy with the performance of Najib’s CEO for Sabah Musa Aman?
So either you are amongst those Sabahans, who have followed the Internet and read MalaysiaToday or the newspapers and agree that Premier Najib ran a great government and deserves to be given a pat and Musa Aman his CEO for Sabah is also doing a great job and should be supported with a win in this by-election.
Or you are amongst those who think that – a government with each minister pursuing his own agenda, the cash for votes enabled confidence vote victory in Parliament, allegations of fixing the Judiciary by its own Political ally, constantly changing political alliances/partners with no constant ideology, a derailed economy with concerns of security, illegals and joblessness – are not signs of great achievement then you say Thanks but no thanks to another term and get change!
And if you are amongst the second category of Sabahans, Who do you vote in as the change?
Ask the same questions – With the 150,000 Filipinos waiting to come into Sabah, at our borders, with failed/ unstable Philippines around us – Who will provide us the leadership for a secure Sabah? Who can take our economy and the increasing joblessness and revive the economy with strong, decisive steps? Who can take our broken Government and fix it and make it more accountable and responsive to all of us? Who can put a stop to the illegals coming into Sabah once and for all? Yes, only Musa Aman can do it. Remember, after all, Musa Aman is doing a fantastic job for Sabah and history has shown us that no other chief ministers from Sabah, from Tun Mustapha right up to Pairin Kitingan to Chong kah Kiat or even Haris Salleh could ever match Musa Aman’s performance index since taking over in 2003. This by-election is not about PBS but its about Musa Aman and his role in the development of Sabah and his role in helping Premier Najib achieve 1Malaysia objectives.
Voting is never difficult if you ask the right questions!