Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah

Money and a lot of it is key to winning Sarawak elections says former Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in exclusive interview with Malaysiakini.

“Money is a big factor there… if you don’t go in with big money there is no way you can change the attitude of the people,” he said and then clarified he was talking from the practical side, not that he encouraging use of money or money politics. “But that how the game is played,” he said.

Razaleigh said being a big state, getting the messages across to people who are scattered in a vast areas is already a daunting task that need lot of money.

“We hear all kind of stories out of Sarawak. It’s not easy to have access. You go in there before the election, suddenly find all helicopters have been chartered, all the boats have been on requisition by the ruling parties.”

“Where you go from there, you can’t even go up the Rejang river. It’s so big a river. It’s so difficult to communicate and the campaigning period is only seven days”.

“How do you get from point A to point B is not easy,” Razaleigh said.

To compound the problems according to Razaleigh Sarawak is also made up of so many different ethnics that speak different languages.

“We [though] could win the people over, but they are all over, so far to get to them.”

“They speak different lingual… the Melanau, the Iban, Land Dayak.. they are all different people. Even the Chinese clans in Kuching are different from Chinese in Sibu”

“It’s not easy.There are so many parties involved,” he added.