Taib Mahmud is not stepping down. “His family members do not want him to stop serving the people” he said. “l shall continue on as the people want him to continue, and therefore I must not disappoint the people” he said it aloud to some 6500 people at Hornbill Skyhawk hangar in Kuching recently.
The statement by this 74-year old Sarawak BN leader ends the speculation of whether he stays in the feverish political ambience of Sarawak. In other words he is telling everyone that he is indispensible and does not have the time to retreat and retire. He still remains as the one and the only leader available to serve the people among the 2 million odd population of Sarawak.
The heavy issues against him that led to the defeat of SUPP candidate that represent BN in Sibu by-election months ago does not shirk his urge and appetite to stay at the helm like an emperors the Chinese dynasties. The Chinese dynasties ended with the Qing in 1910 when the people initiated ‘the people revolution’.
He insists that he stays while the process of forming a new team is in progress. No one knows how the up-to-the-minute team is like but this can be another justification for him the stay on in the subsequent election as by then this new team would still be ill-equipped to take on the mantle. So Taib’s plan is meandering towards reassuring him to stay on even in the subsequent state election in 2016. Hence he is not retiring; as no one in Sarawak is fit replace him, at least within his life time.
The multi-ethnic and multiracial attribute of population in Sarawak make up for Taib to rule with tight fist that anyone that he sees as a threat to him will always encounter with problems which in the end be shown exit door and consequently be in political oblivion. Names like Abang Abu Bakar, Adnan Satem, Effendi Norwawi and numerous others within PBB were taking turn to be ostracized unceremoniously.
Hence the leadership vacuity in Sarawak became so unambiguous and Taib stands tall all alone without fearing anyone outdoing him within Sarawak BN. Now the dummy god Taib is under tremendous pressure from the public instead of the leaders. The voting public feels that he has been over staying and that sentiment over his obsession to cling to power is unbearable to some.
BN Sarawak has more or less identical problem to that of the Peninsula. SUPP represents the Chinese and that party’s support from the Chinese is dwindling and it is going to affect all the urban and sub-urban constituencies. The rejection in Sibu by election was an obvious indication that the Chinese are taking DAP as an alternative party for them. George Chan has mountable problem in demanding to contain the support from the Chinese as had always been before.
If MCA members are deserting BN because of UMNO, in Sarawak SUPP is rejected because of PBB leadership, in particular Taib himself. Of late Taib is facing rejection as his time to call it a day is long overdue.
The voting public is waiting anxiously for a new leader to sit on the driver’s seat as Taib has lost all his appeal and effectiveness to steer the state to a greater height. The voters in the urban and sub-urban are some what ready for political adjustment.
However Taib and his PBB/BN is still confident of getting the majority votes in the hinterland as BN will be more advantageous with their easy accessibility to the voters. BN has all the means to reach the Rumah Panjang with Iban domination.
It is expected that the ruling party will disallow the opposition to get to the hinterland by not allowing helicopters and small planes flying the opposition leaders to fly within the state during the election period. The state government had done that before and nothing can stop from doing it again.
With the power of money of Taib, the voters in the hinterland will incline to give their votes and support for Taib and his party. If the opposition election workers are serious of getting to reach these groups of voters they have to travel by land days or week before the voting date to stay near to them.
Now can Taib and his party win the government by just having the support deep rural voters? Even if Taib wins the whole rural voters the losses in the urban and sub-urban with Chinese majority may only give back the government with razor-thin majority in the State Legislative Assembly without the two third majorities like what is faced by NS State Assembly and Perak dubious State government. BUT some quarters are more inclined to believe that BN is going to experience a simple defeat in this coming crucial State Election.
The wind of change is ever growing in Sarawak and many quarters believe with Taib’s intention to loiter around still, to the best BN will almost loose the government. OR the whole chunk of winning BN candidates will be at the opposition bench.