Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said today it is his duty to correct any false impression, especially media reports that are regarded as acts of sabotage against the Sarawak government.

He was confident that the truth would eventually emerge following a lot of false things being mentioned about land issues in Sarawak lately, which the people, particularly in the rural areas were interested about.

“Sometimes you have to take tough action in order to get things done. The trend (on the opposition populist politics) now is okay unless they go too far and create a lot of disorder,” he told reporters after opening the three-day Parliamentary Discourse On Government entitled “Scenario Planning and Change Management : Managing Score and the Future here”, here today.

“The people choose the issues they want to listen but they cannot escape from watching that their life is far better off now than, say, 20 years ago,” said Taib, who recently took the national media to task over recent reports about the eviction notice served to some 10,000 Kadayan-Malay villagers in Bekenu, near Miri and the alleged rape of Penan girls by logging company workers in the remote Baram area.

Asked to comment on the opposition’s populist politics, he said it took more to deliver than just sympathise with the people because one had to grapple with the realities on the ground. “We (government) started our politics with our concern and care for the people except we do not speak with too much exaggeration for the simple reason we know the reality of how to deliver,” he added.

Earlier in his speech, he said it was not justifiable to practise populist politics by trying to exploit human rights, ecological and other social issues if the people were still struggling from poverty even 50 years after the country gained independence.

Like most developing countries, which faced the challenge of safeguarding their democracy after independence, Taib said, Malaysia’s most difficult phase of development was to successfully defeated the communist threat.

In the case of Sarawak, which had very good race relationship, he said, reforms were introduced based on inter-racial development.

“That is the greatest pleasure,” he said, adding that the parliamentary discourse being attended by the Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) state assemblymen, Members of Parliament and senior state civil servants was useful in justifying the course of action taken by the government, in terms of policy- making and implementation,

— BERNAMA