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Jan 29, 2017

2/1/17 THE CHANGING COACH ..... so must the game play, a thought for Abang Jo (draft)

First of all, I would like to congratulate Abang Abdul Rahman Zohari, hereafter to be referred as Abang Jo whom Alhamdullilah by default is now the Officer in Chief, the Chief Minister of Sarawak. Immediately upon Tok Nan death announcement, people in Sarawak and even lots of friends in Malaya had been speculating hard on whom will take over as the Chief Minister of Sarawak. By then I read in the Borneo Post, that the TYT has the right not to accept the nomination of Chief Minister. If such is so, then our TYT in term of his authority to appoint the Officer in Chief is equivalent to the daulat of the Sultan of Perak, Johor, Selangor and Kelantan. Abang Jo was speculated would not make it, based on his past political glitch. Nonetheless, knowing Taib, I have a very strong confident the TYT knows what is right. I strongly said to most friends, Abang Jo will make it. Alhamdullillah, Allah the Al Mighty put His hands firm, both the TYT and Abang Jo are blessed with His best wisdom. 

(2) Looking back into his political past, to me Abang Jo, is again another example of Allah mystery in how He manages things or His Qadha and Qadar. Abang Jo, whom had been seen as the aristocratic Malays of Sarawak, at certain period is not well received at the State political system. He once had been sideline for his aristocrat reason. The Malays consist about 30 per cents of the State population. I would estimate, there are about 300,000 Malays in Kuching. Muhibbah-Patinggan and Tupong-Gersik, apart from Santubong, Gobel-Muara Tebas might be the most olden Malays settlements in Kuching. These Malays I would believe originally came from certain part of the Bantam-Sambas side of Kalimantan. They by virtue of their earlier close association with the Muda Hashim of Brunei and later with the Brookes, was then treated as close allies to both. Such close association later made them being seen as the favored some and the leaders were given special treatment as the abangan sort of brotherhood to both the than the Sultanate of Brunei and Brookes. In the 1960-70s, this group of Malays used to be called the Kuching Malays. Accordingly, there are others inflow of Malays from the larger and much numerous islands of Indonesia and southern coastal Kalimantan and Brunei. These group of migrants preferred to dominate the other coastal and river mouths of the larger Sarawak. Among them, they are Malays, Kedayan, Melanaus, Javanese, Bugis etc. Today, especially in the 1960s,-1970s these group of Malays are known as the Coastal Malays. Orang Laut so they were called by the Kuching Malays. My best estimate, about 70-80 per cents of the Sarawak Malays are Urang Laut. Due to rural-urban migration, especially during the timber and sawmilling boom in the 1970s in Kuchng, I would believe, today at least 60-70 per cents of the Malays in Kuching are of the Urang Laut origins. 

(3) With the above estimated facts, and by virtue of his blessed position by Allah, indeed I can't see why Abang Jo has to be treated as the suspicious aristocrat. Even Abang Jo himself should realizes, he indeed is not the aristocrat. He must not carry himself as the aristocrat. Surely, that sound funny for his father Tun Openg, was the first TYT of the State. Yes, he must be respected, but not to be ardor or worst worship. The Malay proverb Enggang sama enggang, pipit sama pipit.. which implies a very caste social structure should had been discarded and forgotten. Well, such naming of who and who is aristocrat, I would say is the matter of the past. Those are feudalistic. Islam had been sent by Allah among the Malays to abolish feudalistic that had governed our lives for centuries at time of Buddhism and Hinduism. Feudalism had made the Malays as slaves for centuries. Even the coming of the Portuguese, then the Dutch, then British, then Japan and again British and even the American, if one really think and look up high into the skies, he should realize indeed Allah had re-enforce His desire to see the Malays to discard the feudalistic system. Islam and the West indeed had infused democracy as a system that the Malays must accept. Islam recognizes meritocracy. Democracy is about  meritocracy. Sarawak politic, and Malaysia for that matter had subscribed to democracy, thus we must then subscribe to meritocracy. But definitely, meritocracy in the true Islamic and Democratic sense is totally different from meritocracy of greed. In a simple words, the Malays support to Abang Jo is the support by the total Malays of Sarawak. He is where he is, for the total Malays want him to be there, and as such Allah blessed him. Definitely, he is now being accept as the Chiff in Command for the whole of Sarawak by every Sarawakians. Alhamdullillah.

(4) Not by accident, I am writing this article, while I'm in Tanjung, the old name for Penang. Tanjung in the past was owned by the Malays of Kedah. But the Malays of Tanjung saw themselves as Proudly Tanjung as compared to those traditional paddy farmers of the inland Kedah. To them they are much special. Even in 1970-1990s, as I came across, the mixed blood Malays-Indian of Tanjung was so proud that any marriage between anak Mummy and the normal Kedahan, the later would need to show how many relong of paddy field he has. Only the has Malay was eligible to take on anak Mummy. The Tanjung Malays in the past were traders and even the British workers. By such, they saw themselves as the higher class Malays as compared to the inland Malays orang Ulu despite most I would say are slaves to the British. Just by reason, they served the British, having inter-marriage with the trading Indians, so they tent to look down at their inland brothers, so much so, with such distinct paradigm, the
British being the smart manipulator bought over Tanjung from Kedah and renamed it as Penang. Today, the Penang Malays are nothing better than their inland Kedah Malays. They are indeed even worst except their boria talent made them survive well in the world of I would say riak and falsehood. They I would say are the third class population of Penang. Such historical fact, the Sarawak Malays be they the Kuching Malays, Orang Laut, Melanau, Kedayan, Javanese, Bugis and even Banjar has to take serious note of. The Malays must discard riak as their way of lives. The Al Quran makes it very clear that riak will lead us to destruction. Islam requires the Ummah to live a humble honorable lives.

(5) The more or less 1,000,000 Sarawak Malays are indeed a mere probably 100,000-150,000 Kuching Malays, 500,000-600,000 Orang Laut, 100,000-150,000 Melanau, 30,000-50,000 Kedayan and less than 10,000 Javanese, Bugis and Banjar. From such rough estimated figures, I would say Abang Jo should be clear of his political footing. The Sarawak Malays is only 30 per cents of the total State population. Without the Malays and especially Abang Jo to make himself to be the most exemplary Malays in his governance practices, I would say sooner or later even the Malays support to him will split. By then, only Allah knows what would be the fate and mode of struggle of the Sarawak Malays be they the Kuching Malays, Urang Laut, Melanau, Kedayan, Javanese, Bugis or Banjar. Islam had eliminated caste system in the Malays culture, so let keep to such to make ourselves even closer to His Arrahman and Arrahim. In Shaa Allah.

(5) In today world things had changed a lots. The goal post is no more fixed. Even the Malays thinking had changed. We have to admit, despite numerous of imperfection, our education system had one way or another changed our people paradigms. People expectation and understanding of things had changed a lots. People are no more looking at one side of lives. They have the tendency to see lives from multi-facets dimension. In 1970-2000, the Sarawak style of politic of domination worst the politic of patronage is no more relevant. Sarawak now need to move on as a consolidated force to face the challenging world. Every Sarawakian has to come into one to serve Sarawak. No one part of a race, can assert their domination or patronage over the others. Worst if such a practice is accompanied by no respect to meritocracy or even pseudo-meritocracy. Accordingly, definitely along the way, we had been victimised. Such also doesn't warrant us to take vengence. Revenge will always be accompanied at later stage by a nother revenge. We must cut the attitude of vengence. Let Allah deal with such at His mercy. Today split in UMNO, PAS or even PKR is all about who must be dominant? On the other side of the larger Malays community, the common goal is no more of key concern, but self greed is controlling their main course. Sarawak PBB particularly the Bumiputera component of it at this juncture seem to be solid, but I would believe such must never be taken for granted. The Malays saying air tenang jangan disangka tidak berbuaya which literally means calm water must never be taken for granted is without the crocodiles must be well comprehend by every Malays.

(6) To me at this time of the Country and World political and economic climate, Abang Jo and the whole Sarawak Malays must work as a solid force to lead the State in the most Allah accepted governance fair, honest and most importantly accountable in the Islamic sense. We must honor Allah blessing that we are given the chance to govern, so let us govern everything to His best commanded practice ie accountable; amanah. Indeed, we as Allah had set us to live in the tropical system, we must clearly understand Allah's rules of the natural tropical sciences that He lays surrounding us. Our forest, is never about homogeneity. Our forest is all about diversity. Diversity makes our forest unique and the most useful. Thus Sarawak must continues to celebrate diversity. Even the Penan, if they choose to be seclusive as they wish, we must honor as such. The Penan and us still can symbiosis to our existence, just that we need to see things in a very open heart approach. In the Penan seclusive demand, for instance is a blessing since Sarawak Biodiversity Center (SBC), definitely can benefit so much from the presence and natural ethno-botanical skills of the Penan. Accordingly, the State can tape into the economic wealth of such association if we can see things much openly. We must never impose our values onto them or any sector of our people. I have a strong believe that, there is always a hikmah by keeping things to their natural deeds.

(7) Like it or not, of late young  Sarawakians has been moving out of the State to seek employments. There are many arguments about it. But let not come to a stage of denial. My worst predicament, Sarawakian are moving out by reason our State economy doesn't move to match our own people interest. While our education is biased toward soft skills, our economic press is more toward hard skills requirements. To the end we come to a situation of kera di hutan disusukan, anak sendiri mati kelaparan ie we feed the wild monkeys yet our very kids die to hunger. Therefore, Abang Jo need to reassess our primary strengths and weaknesses and thereon he must move the State to the most advantage economic positioning. To me, we are strong in at least five key areas. All these while, these areas had been mainly developed either of patronage, greed, and definitely cronyism basis. Firstly oil and gas. Sarawak need to exert our right over the matter. Sarawak must optimize to benefit from such sector. Secondly, our timber industry is not dying. It is our mind set that had paralyzed. Allah had given us the most easy resource to be great. We had wasted the resources due to greed and stingy approach. May be we need to get rid of our traditional investment in the sector and let start seeing the sector not from the timber per se but renewal energy, fertilizer and so many other bio-based products. I believe we had been stuck for too long with people whom can't see beyond tradition in the timber industry. To me, all is nothing but their greed and being stingy had kept them from innovation. They are not willing to change by reason the politic of patronage had kept them to be the most complacent. Thirdly, oil palm should be our savior in many ways. We must work hard to have at least 3,000,000 hectares of oil palm in the State. We must begin to see, oil palm as our engine of changing our rural economic landscape. We must use oil palm as a commodity to place Sarawak into the World Map of innovative agro-industry revolution. Sarawak must move into the whole integration of palm oil-based industry. We must have our share in the Oleo-Chemical Industry. Palm oil industrial clustering must be put in place to ensure we have a significant say in the future oil palm industry. Fourthly, while those energy intensive industries under Taib could be pursued, indeed our real strength is to facilitate in the future building construction industries, In the coming future, except for the geologically unstable region, building construction will be of steel, aluminium and glass-based. Sarawak and her neighboring States has lots of white sand resources, thus this must be quickly study and we should explore the development of our domestic and industrial glass manufacturing. Last but not least, I would say Allah gifts of our natural diversity is our greatest wealth. Let look at nature-based tourism as our strongest service sector push. Nature-based tourism should be develop along the total intent of our rural development. Our diversified local customs and tradition should be well integrated into such effort. Accordingly, marine fisheries is our high potential area that we should explore very differently. We should just shift from all the present traditional and even cronyism practises. Let take this sector away from our present local traditional profession and made such into the real fish-based industry. The tradition ship building industry should be integrated with this direction changes. Let us be bold, tradition fisheries had not move the coastal Malays, Melanau and Kedayan higher up the economic hierarchy. They are indeed trapped in the volatile poverty cycle. Sarawak being closer to the equatorial line, our quality and quantity of sunshine is of a very great advantages. In exotic tropical fruits production we definitely is in a great better position as compared to many other states. Thus, looking at oil palm, fisheries and fruits-based industries, we definitely could complement our nature-based tourism development to the very best.

(8) My above proposition may sound tradition. Nothing are new since say 1980s. Yes, in term of commodities, those are our greatest strengths. But, here I'm not talking about those commodities development per se, but is more toward how should we approach their development. Our way of developing those commodities must be devoid of our tradition patronizing, cronyism, greed and self interest approaches. We must develop all those resources strictly on what Allah had called upon us ie to be fair equitable for all and sustainable. Whatever we are doing, Allah had called upon us to be the most accountable not only within and among us, but to all His very creations.

(9) I have a very strong believe, now we have to organize our people into a well planned corporate basis. The management talents that had developed ever since must now be translated into a much productive system. As much as possible our public and private assets should be organize for the good of the State, people and entrepreneurs. As such, all the present State GLC should be move hard to change from the present public entities to public-corporate entities. Their objectives should remain as public but the way they conduct their business must be truly professional. These agencies must be clean up from all the possible corrupt and cronyism practices. Smarter privatization should be organized among the balance of the State public departments. We should keep our public operating cost to the minimum. State economic productivity must be of our greatest interest.

(10) I would believe, by virtue of the though struggles he had over come to rise to his current position, Abang Jo, at this age, at this position, just as Tok Nan, he has nothing much personal gain to work on. I would believe, he could easily dedicated his political profession to lift to the level to take the Sarawak Malays to the most respectable positioning. For such, he need the team that want and can work to such noble intent.

(11) The greatest weaknesses that Taib had left over during his last 5-10 years service as the Chief Minister was, I would say he was too preoccupied by families, personal business interest and as well as repositioning his personal political grip, thus he had left the government machinery system to drift to lukewarm and probably corrupt. I dare to say, at present our public machinery is in the state of inertia. Tok Nan, I believe he knew this, thus immediately upon taking over, he launched his attack on the matter, but as a health handicap person, he can't do much. Thus, I love to see Abang Jo to courageously and immediately revisit both our economic and public administration governance system if he wants to make a quick U-turn on the fate of Sarawak at time, where I believe, the Federal government is in the chaotic stage. The possible immediate future economic problem that we may be facing at the Federal Government system, I would believe that would leave Sarawak to dare enough to take a much bolder approach in determining our future course.

(12) I pray to Allah that Abang Jo to steadfast to govern this State to the true course of Allah had bestowed upon us as the caliph of His creations, to serve to the most fair and accountable basis. In Shaa Allah, such will take the Sarawak Malays and Sarawakian as a whole to the best honorable position.

Tanjung Penang, Malaysia
29 January, 2017

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