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Tomorrow 16 April 2011 Sarawakians in East Malaysia will be going to the polls to choose their leaders for the next five years. It has been touted as the fiercest battle between the incumbent National Front (Barisan Nasional-BN) consisting of PBB and SUPP and the opposition made of DAP (Democratic Action Party), PKR (People Justice Party), SNAP, PAS and some independents.

Anwar Ibrahim -opposition leader also came down to campaign

While the campaign period is rather short, it is not without dramas especially when leaders from the Federal levels from both camps came down to lend their support to their respective parties. Million of Ringgit ( Malaysian currency) are being promised to the voters. Campaign rallies took the life of carnivals and people noted which party’s rally have more attendances. So far in the urban Chinese-dominated areas, it looks like DAP is having the upper hand.

Many people still maintain that BN will romp home to power albeit with less majority. What the opposition is hoping is for BN to be denied of the two-third majority; the same fate meted out by the angry public to the BN in the general election 2008. This Sarawak election will also give an indication on the popularity of Najib’s economic programs and to enable him to decide whether to seek a new mandate for his leadership of Malaysia. And so for these reasons, Malaysians might well stay up late tomorrow evening to wait for the results.

Hard working PM Najib

International news portals are telling their readers that the polls results will act as the popularity barometer of PM Najib. To some extent this might be true since Najib has been going around promising million to the voters all around. But I feel Taib Mahmud, the long-serving and alleged legendary corrupt incumbent Chief Minister is the obstacle to BN’s winning big. PM Najib might very well be the one to stop the rout due to Taib’s unpopularity among urban voters.

If you read blogs and news portals which are focusing on Sarawak election, you would notice that due to persistent reports and evidences of naked corrupt practices of Taib Mahmud, many have agreed that the Chief Minister should heed the cry of the people asking him to step down after 30 years of plundering the State’s resources. His reluctance to withdraw despite promising to do so well back in 2000 is making people frustrated and angry.

Taib Mahmud’s corruption is by far the biggest in the history of Malaysian politicians. His children, siblings, in-laws are all benefiting from his abuse of power as the Chief Minister. Just look at the photographic evidence of the filthy wealth that each of them has coupled with the indulgence and decadent lifestyle that they flaunt. It really makes me cringe (certainly not envious) as their wealth was not due to their working hard in some industry but due to multi-million dollar land transactions and timber concessions facilitated by Taib Mahmud through power abuse.

You can go here for posting on Taib Mahmud’s sources of dirty wealth and corruption galore

PM Najib, aware of the pressure for Taib Mahmud to step down, has indicated that the aging CM would do so after the election but many people are not convinced as there is no clear succession plan and no successor’s name being announced. I can see that it is going to be hard for Najib to get rid of Taib. I will hazard a reason in my next posting .

Taib Mahmud and his Young Lebanese Bride

There is also speculation that Taib will only step down if PM Najib recommends him to the King to be the next Governor of Sarawak! God forbid! Is that why he decided to marry, A Lebanese woman 45 years his junior, to get ready for the ultimate post! He is not fit to assume that post. It would be the greatest humiliation to Malaysia in the eyes of the international community for this blinking corrupt person to be the Head of State. Another reason why Taib Mahmud craves for the post is the fact that he might get immunity against possible prosecution of his chronic corruption.

If Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and his sons could be brought to justice for their corruption during the old man’s as long a tenure as Taib’s, I do not see why Malaysia cannot do the same to Taib Mahmud and his family especially his scheming younger sister Raziah and her opportunist Lebanese husband Robert Geneid.

So tomorrow evening 16 April, do not so much look at the rural areas where Taib Mahmud could still fool the poor and low educated populace, but look at the urban areas (Kucing, Miri, Sibu) where people are internet-savvy and able to analyze what is happening in Sarawak. You can see the Taib Mahmud factor in operation in areas where people are aware of his plundering nature and corrupt ways.

For the sake of Sarawak in particular and Malaysia in general, I hope Taib Mahmud will step down and just fade away.

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