Have Datuk Seri Najib Razak the Deputy Prime Minister succeeded in winning the heart and mind of the Dayaks during his short three-day visit? Likely. As money can sometimes buy loyalty. Just remember “politics of development” and the recently “politics of frogging” in Perak if you disagree!
Back to Najib whirlwind tour of Sarawak. It certainly, wasn’t Najib’s first visit to Sarawak as he had visited the state numerous times before. But there was something different this time around. The Deputy Prime Minister visit carefully planned to coincide with relief efforts to help thousand of flood victims in the state. Why? For maximum political impacts of course.
Thank also for all the media attention. Prior to Najib visit, the opposition especially DAP was accused of politicizing the flood disaster. But, now look – who’s talking. The BN government manipulate the disaster relief efforts for political mileage. Unabashedly claimed it as an example of caring government!
During his three-day tour of Sarawak, the Deputy Prime Minister attentively listen to the various ethnic groups grouses. Jet setting from Kuching to Miri, meeting the Malays, Bidayuh, Ibans, and Orang Ulu.
On his second day, the Deputy Prime Minister visited Dayak Bidayuh National Association headquarter, in Kuching. There he reported to have stunned the Bidayuh with surprised announcement of RM4 million grant to build a multi purpose hall.
A pleasant surprised for a community once felt they have been left out – when Abdullah decided to omit their representative from his post March 2008 cabinet line up.
The association Chief Adviser Datuk Micheal Manyin said they were “stunned and very, very, very happy,” for Najib generosity.
They have forgotten ‘saving private Riot’ drama. The pain of seeing the only Bidayuh deputy minister dropped from a federal cabinet vanished in minutes upon hearing RM4 million!
The Deputy Prime Minister also said to have touched thousands of flood victims in the state . According to a Borneo Post news report on Saturday, many were happy with the RM300 per family aid announced by Najib.
A flood victim from Kampung Kudei in Kuching told the local daily that it showed the government was very attentive to their plight!
“I’m very grateful for this aid. This prove that the government is very attentive to our plight although we did not move to evacuation center,” Azmi Hipni, 35 was quoted as saying.
A total of RM10.5 million cash aid were given to flood victims alone. Another few hundred millions likely to follow, as Najib promised to repair all infrastructure facilities damaged in the flood – at federal government expenses. Very generous indeed.
Also, for the first time, a federal leader admitted there has been no monitoring of minority Bumiputera (Dayaks) progress and development. Not at all a surprising, as New Economic Policy (NEP) essentially meant to help the Malays.
Although there were talks of it would also be extended to non Malay, non-Muslim Bumiputera in Sarawak and Sabah after the two states joined Malaysia federation. But that hardly happened – as the non-Malay, non-Muslim Bumiputeras in the two states only getting ‘sisa sisa’ or left over of the NEP.
In a meeting with Dayak business community attended by Dr Chan, but no Jabu, Najib promised that Dayak Chamber of Commerce Industry’s proposals will included in his mini budget to be tabled in parliament in March 10. Najib aslo acknowledged that Dayak business communities in the state do need government help.
Although Najib said Sarawakians were still solidly behind BN, he also aware of several issues that the state Barisan Nasional need to address in order retain the state come next state general next election – likely to be held before 2011.