The Sarawak state elections will be held on 16 April 2011. This election is a barometer for the ruling party. East Malaysia is currently the Barisan Nasional’s (BN) fixed deposit. Should BN lose its two-thirds majority in this election, Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia will most likely be heading the way of his predecessor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who lasted for just one term, after the catastrophic defeat at the 12th General Election.

Meanwhile, the Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) has listed 30 reasons why Sarawak’s Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud, should go.

1) He has been chief minister for 30 years, overstaying his welcome.

2) He listens to nobody except himself.

3) He creates and perpetuates himself into a dangerous, cultish image of invincibility.

4) He does not hesitate to let all know that he is all powerful, almighty and untouchable – glaring images of a dictator.

5) He is out of control. Nobody can control him, not even the Prime Minister, perhaps not even God. A person who is beyond control is dangerous.

6) He is not in the best of health to administer a state. He said he has colon cancer.

7) He spends more time outside Sarawak than inside. Over the past six months, he was hardly in the state for one month. That means he has no more time for Sarawak.

8 ) He is paid a salary by the state as chief minister. But he is not working at all, preferring to spend his time overseas looking after his business empire, or continuing his perpetual honeymoon.

9) He lied to Abang Johari, Adenan Satem and Effendi Norwawi, telling them they were being groomed to take over. After 30 years, they are still not groomed yet and incapable of taking over as CM.

10) He does not want anyone to succeed him. A leader without a successor is no leader at all.

11) He is incapable of tolerating dissent. He will not hesitate to sack members of his Cabinet, even at the slightest provocation.

12) He is a very hot-tempered man with a short fuse. On one occasion, he had created a public scene by kicking a flower pot and had thrown books and files at people in a rage.

13) He is vindictive. He will leave no stones unturned to ensure that those who oppose him suffer in his hands for the rest of their life.

14) He dabbles in ‘bomohism’ and black magic. His uncle, Abdul Rahman Yakub, the first person to accuse him of believing in the Occult and the Dark Side, should know better.

15) He practices favouritism in the Sarawak Civil Service. Officers he favours can jump several notches to be departmental heads, side-stepping other more senior and deserving staff. The State Civil Service has become a very demoralized institution as a result.

16) He is the Grandmaster of the divide-and-rule game. As CM, he should be forging unity among the people of Sarawak. Instead, he takes great pleasure in dividing them.

17) He keeps the main ministerial portfolios for himself, unwilling to designate power and authority to his Cabinet colleagues. With the portfolios he gives himself, he is virtually in control of all resources in Sarawak.

18) He does not believe in transparency and accountability in handling government development funds and projects.

19) He does not understand the meaning of ‘Open Tender’. Public contracts become his personal business, grabbing the projects for himself. All he knows is “This is me, mine and myself”.

20) He is seen as a bully of the highest order among component parties in the Sarawak BN.

21) He is unable to improve the living standard of Sarawakians, especially the Dayak communities. Instead he misuses his power to make them subservient towards him.

22) He pays no attention to the plight of the indigenous groups in Sarawak, alleged to have robbed them of their NCR land via plantation companies owned by his family and cronies. He never said a word after the Penan girls were raped by loggers.

23) He continues to ‘prostitute’ Sarawak resources to the Federal Government and has never fought for Sarawak’s interests in Peninsular Malaysia. His failure to pursue a review of the Petroleum Agreement is an example.

24) He has failed or not done enough to develop Sarawak to be at par with Peninsular Malaysia, resulting in the state being consistently 20 years behind the peninsula.

25) He allows UMNO policies to prevail and dominate nationally with total disregard to the rights and interests of the state’s minorities. And UMNO is one party which many Sarawakians do not want to see in their state.

26) He treats the Opposition unfairly in and outside the State Legislative Assembly. He controls the whole House and ensures that the allegations about his dubious dealings are not recorded in the assembly’s hansard.

27) He favours skewed delineation of electoral boundaries to ensure that he has the numbers to keep him in power. Gerrymandering is rampant in every new delineation exercise in Sarawak.

28) He is well known for leaving Sarawakians in a lurch in times of natural calamities like the haze occurrences and great floods. He leaves the state whenever it is enveloped by haze but he is also responsible for the destruction of Sarawak’s forests.

29) He is extremely wealthy beyond comprehension. His enormous wealth is believed to have been amassed through illegal and dishonest means.

30) He has not given a single response to all the accusations and allegations against him as contained in the Sarawak Report website, Bruno Manser Fund and other whistleblowers despite the overwhelming evidence. MoCS has declared him guilty of all the accusations labelled at him on March 13 this year.

– Extracted from Movement for Change, Sarawak, “30 reasons why Taib must go“, Malaysian Mirror, 26 March 2011.