Saving Sarawak

I see several Sarawak-related pages claiming that no one, including the mainstream media, cares or has given coverage to the flood situation in Sarawak.

Comparing the response both the government and non-governmental organisations gave to the floods on Kelantan and Pahang to the ones now in Sarawak, the Sarawak-related pages say that there is very little that is being done by the Federal Government.

Government Assistance

All Federal Government agencies in Sarawak have been put on flood watch standby as early as December 2017. This includes, but not limited to, the Army 1st Division, the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), and the Fire and Rescue Services Department (FRSD).

The FRSD has been evacuating people from flooded areas, and in one particular instance, evacuated Suriah Bakar, 35, of Kampung Parong, Kota Marudu, who was in labour.

Prime Minister Najib Razak himself is constantly monitoring the flood situation in Sarawak and has promised to ensure that relief reaches all flood victims.

As at noon today (Thursday 8 Feb 2018), only five areas in three divisions in Sarawak have recorded water level above the Alert level. They are in the Miri, Bintulu and Kapit districts.

Only the Bintulu-Belaga road in Bintulu, and Long Jegan and Long Panai in Miri have water levels that are above the Danger level, while Ng Merurung in Kapit and Kuala Binyo in Bintulu have water levels that are above the Alert level.

The areas that are affected by the floods are Samarahan. Sarikei, Sibu, Serian, Bintulu, Mukah and Limbang.

Malaya-Biased Media?

While the Borneo Post has been actively updating the flood situations in Sarawak, Sarawakians complain that the Peninsular-based media, especially the electronic media, have not been giving ample coverage.

This is absolutely not true. Just yesterday I pointed to a Sarawakian friend URLs of mainstream media reports on the flood situations there, including the ones by NST, Berita Harian and Utusan Malaysia.

BERNAMA and RTM have been airing the plight of Sarawak flood victims. Even the station most hated by the Opposition, TV3, has been consistently reporting on the flood situations in Sarawak, covering flood relief centers as well as the latest evacuation operation this morning by the Civil Defence Force (APM) involving a woman in labour at Klinik Entabai, in Julau, Sarikei.

Social Media and Floods Fever

As far as social media is concerned, there is very little that the ordinary Semenanjung folks can do. While we can start collection centers here, sending stuff over there would not be economical at all.

Whilst there have been many flooding in the Peninsular, I made myself available for three – the Johor floods of 2006-2007, the Pahang floods of 2013, and the Kelantan floods of 2014. Those were the flood disasters that Peninsular people got together and helped government agencies to provide assistance to flood victims.

In Johor, I provided assistance between Parit Botak and Rengit. In Pahang, I assisted Her Highness the Tengku Puan Pahang in the Kuantan and Pekan areas. In Kelantan, my former classmates and I brought supplies from Putrajaya to the hospitals in Gua Musang, Kuala Krai and Jeli.

In Johor back in 2006-2007, two waves of floods hit the state. In the first wave, 90,000 people were evacuated. Just when they thought it was safe to return home, a second wave struck and caused 109,831 people to evacuate.

In 2013 Pahang, 40,819 people were evacuated.

In 2014 Kelantan, more than 170,000 had to be evacuated. The scale of destruction that I saw with my own eyes in Gua Musang, Manek Urai and Kuala Krai was just beyond comprehension. Even Kuala Muda in the aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami did not look as bad. Yes, I was there too in 2004 with a Malaysia Airlines aircraft captain friend (he now flies for Air Asia).

I took the above photo at Kampung Bukit Tebuk near Chiku while on the way from Kuala Krai to Gua Musang on 31 December 2014 because I saw this man at the Manek Urai relief center queuing for food for his family earlier in the morning. At this point he had walked 14 kilometres to get home.

Pulau Pinang in November 2017 saw 71,294 people evacuated. This was when Lim Guan Eng was seen crying for help…literally.

In comparison, the total number of evacuees in Sarawak as of last night was 4,859 people. It is a number that is still very manageable by the state government and its NGOs.

I have not seen any NGO in Sarawak running a donation campaign to collect cash and kind for flood victims there. If there is such a fund I am sure people in Malaya (a term fondly used by Sarawakians for Peninsular people which isn’t a nice term) would be glad to chip in. After all, I have relatives in Samarahan, Kuching, Miri, and friends working on the Pan Borneo Highway project that are affected by the floods.

Nor do I see throngs of 4X4 vehicles (which happens to be in abundance in Sarawak) carrying relief items to affected areas like it was done in the Peninsular.

How can anyone start anything if the Sarawakians themselves don’t do anything for fellow Sarawakians? I promise not to ask how many Sarawakians actually donated to flood victims and relief missions in Kelantan, Pulau Pinang, Johor and Pahang. To where should we Malayans send our donations to?

So, the feverish pace you saw in the Peninsular was because of the magnitude of the floods and the destruction they caused. The absence of any social media hype by socmed practitioners in Sarawak on the flood situation says all that.

I am not saying that the flood situation in Sarawak is not bad. Any flood is bad. But it doesn’t do justice when people sit and complain about it on social media expecting to be spoon fed. Just start something instead of whining. There are many here on this side of the South China Sea who would want to help.

Bungling Bungalow Buyer

Ah Beng damn buay sai one – pic by NSTP

Corrupt Minister Lim Guan Eng a.k.a Tokong must be pretty livid at being attacked left, right and center.  We are not just talking about the attacks by members of his opponent parties, but also from his own party, the DAP.

Guan Eng was charged in court for corruption after abusing his position to purchase a RM4.7 million bungalow at No.25 Jalan Pinhorn for only RM2.8 million.  This was in return for the sale of a state land at Taman Manggis to a developer linked to the bungalow.

On Tuesday, BN’s Abdul Rahman Dahlan questioned the Pulau Pinang DAP-led government’s act to overpay by 400 percent above the gazetted scale of fees the feasibility studies and detailed design fees to concession holders.  Lim Guan Eng’s government paid RM31.3 million for the feasibility studies for 20.23 kilometers of road, and an additional RM177.5 million for the same for the detailed designs bringing the total paid to RM208.8 million.

Rahman Dahlan (center) holding up the Pulau Pinang Public Accounts Report 2016 that mentions the cost of the feasibility studies and detailed designs

This is way above the RM41 million calculated by the Malaysian Board of Engineers based on the gazetted scale of fees.  The project was signed in late 2013 and was supposed to have commenced in 2015 to be completed in 2018.  The project has yet to take off.

The 20.23 kilometers of roads are namely the 10.53km Tanjung Bungah-Teluk Bahang paired road; the 5.7km Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu-Air Itam bypass and the 4km Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu-Persiaran Gurney bypass..  These roads were supposed to be linked to the proposed Pulau Pinang undersea tunnel to the mainland which feasibility study has yet to be finalised despite the several changes of deadline.

The feasibility study for the undersea tunnel, promised to be completed at end of 2016 by Lim Guan Eng himself, has thus far cost RM305 million.  In April 2017, the Tokong announced that the study is only 87 percent completed and would be submitted to the Works Ministry in October 2017.

Tokong has also come under fire for excessively destroying the environment from within the DAP ranks.  Teh Chee Yau, the ADUN for Tanjung Bungah, has repeatedly protested the destruction of the environment namely the uprooting of old trees to make way for unnecessary widening of roads, as well as the sand dredging and reclamation projects offshore.

Veteran DAP lawmaker Tan Seng Giaw also voiced his concern against the excesses in Pulau Pinang in his Facebook and Twitter postings.

Retaliating to MCA Pulau Pinang Chief’s reference to Seng Giaw’s Facebook posting, Tokong, who is a unChristian habitual liar said that Seng Giaw had been incommunicado since the beginning of the year and will be dealt with internally.  Seng Giaw hit back by saying it is not true that he is incommunicado.

Perhaps, Tokong only knows how to use the Internet to spread lies on social media but does not know that besides searching for porn and spreading lies, the Internet could also be used to send messages through E-mail, WhatsApp and other media.

Tokong may be a bungling bungalow buyer, lying through his teeth and hope people will buy his lies. But you have to give it to him for believing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel he is not looking at.  Perhaps, people in DAP and Pulau Pinang can help him see the light even better by giving him the boot.

Lim Guan Eng peeping into the tunnel – adapted from Bill Day’s cartoon at http://www.smartcitymemphis.com/cartoon/light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel-a-bill-day-cartoon/

Apabila Berniat Jahat

Siapa ingat cerita bodoh di atas?

Pertama sekali, kejadian di atas bukanlah sepertimana yang telah digembar-gemburkan oleh penyebar kisah yang menggunakan nama Abam Supir di Facebook.

Abam Supir mendakwa sekumpulan penari berpakaian tradisional Sarawak telah dihalau keluar dari taman KLCC kerana berpakaian sedemikian.

Kisah ini telah mendapat perhatian rakan blogger saya, Bigdog.

Menurut Abam Supir kumpulan penari ini telah dihalau kerana berpakaian kurang bersesuaian di taman KLCC dan telah disembur dengan kata-kata kesat.


Kisah ini telah ditularkan oleh beberapa portal di Internet dan disebarkan terutamanya di kalangan orang negeri Sarawak. Di antaranya memberi komen seperti berikut:


Menurut Bigdog, kumpulan penari ini sebenarnya menunggu masa untuk ke Angkasapuri untuk membuat persembahan apabila mereka dibawa ke KLCC untuk bergambar.

Namun mereka telah membuat suatu tarian dan ini bercanggah dengan undang-undang kecil DBKL.

Pihak sekuriti telah meminta daripada mereka permit DBKL yang diperlukan tetapi mereka tidak dapat menunjukkan sebarang permit.

Ini mendorong pihak sekuriti untuk menyuruh mereka menghentikan tarian tersebut dan memberi mereka nombor pihak berkenaan untuk mereka hubungi untuk mendapatkan permit persembahan.

Malangnya, Abam Supir telah bertindak untuk memesongkan kisah tersebut dan membuat seolah-olah orang di Semenanjung tidak menghormati dan tidak toleran terhadap adat budaya Sarawak, dua minggu sebelum perayaan paling penting masyarakat Sarawak iaitu Hari Gawai dirayakan.

Abam Supir telah memadamkan posting Facebook beliau yang tersebut, tetapi tidak sebelum ianya menular di media sosial.


Apabila seorang pengguna Facebook yang juga penggiat aktif Twitter berhadapam dengan beliau di Facebook, Abam Supir akui bahawa kumpulan tersebut telah membuat tarian di taman tersebut.


Akibat tindakan tidak bertanggungjawab  yang disengajakan okeh Abam Supir dan lain-lain yang hadir semasa kejadian tersebut berlaku, perasaan orang Sarawak telah terguris dan rasa marah terhadap orang Semenanjung mula membara.

Di atas perbuatan tersebut saya menggesa pihak Polis DiRaja Malaysia menyiasat Abam Supir dan lain-lain di bawah Seksyen 505(c) Kanun Keseksaan kerana dengan sengaja berniat hendak mengapikan atau yang mungkin mengapikan mana-mana golongan atau kaum melakukan sesuatu kesalahan terhadap mana-mana golongan atau kaum lain.

Semoga mereka menjadi contoh dan pengajaran agar tidak menyebarkan fitnah dan menyalahgunakan platform kebebasan bersuara.