Be Wary of The Adenan Fever

Posted on May 4, 2016


If you are in Sarawak right now during this period of campaigning for the State Election, it would be quite obvious that the BN strategists have decided to ride on the Chief Minister Tan Sri Patinggi Adenan Satem’s brand name, the same way they rode on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s during the 13th General Election.

You would be forgiven if you thought that it was a US-style presidential election that is taking place. Everywhere you go you see huge billboards at every junctions declaring Adenan this, Adenan that. You have Team Adenan, The Adenan Way and even The Adenan Fever!
The man has shrewdly moved away from the big black shadow of his predecessor, Taib Mahmud, who retired from office as one of the most reviled man in Malaysia for his excessive corruption. It is easy to love someone when he seems to act and talk different from someone as tainted as Taib Mahmud.

Adenan branded himself as a reformer, a Mr Clean, a straight-talker and a defender of Sarawakians. But is he? The way he is conducting himself during this election alone should be a warning to Sarawakians that he is not what he made himself out to be.

These are some of the reasons why all Sarawakians should be wary of the Adenan Fever.

  1. His arrogance showed when he usurp the Election Commission’s right to decide on polling day by announcing that it would be April 30th. In the end the EC set it as May 7th. He also boasted that he has successfully told the EC to create the Murum and Mulu seats for the Kenyah and Kelabit people. In his eagerness to show what a big man he is, he has no qualms in shaming the EC who is suppose to be conduct the election and carry out the re-delineation exercise independently.
  2. He disregarded Section 67 of the Immigration Act that states clearly that the State Authority cannot stop anyone from entering to engage in legitimate political activities. He banned scores of opposition politicians and activists from West Malaysia coming to help in the election. What is he afraid of if he is so popular? Or does he just want to show that he has the power and is not afraid to use? This is called abuse of power and in this case, he is breaking the law.
  3. He again disregarded the law by violating Section 10 of the Election Offences Act on bribery by using state funds to make allocations to constituents during campaigning. Hundreds of millions of Ringgit so far has been “allocated” to constituencies throughout Sarawak by both Federal and State governments. There have been reported instances where such allocations are conditional that the Barisan Nasional’s candidate win in that constituency. Such blatant violation of the Election Offences Act goes on and Adenan is party to all these violations.
  4. He is not above using the race card to win votes when he urged the Bumiputras to unite so that they can win the 3 state seats in Miri. He again played to the Bidayuh crowd at Serian when he lied that the Opposition was against them (Bidayuh) having more seats by opposing the re-delineation exercise. The Judicial Review taken by PKR’s YB See Chee How was against the Notice given by the EC to the affected voters, that it was insufficient, not against the seat increase, much less against the Bidayuh seats. So Adenan is not above blatantly lying and playing the race card. With such behaviours, UMNO doesn’t need to come in to Sarawak, PBB is doing a pretty good job of racial politics themselves.
  5. He does not separate big businesses from politics when he directly appoints tycoons as BN candidates. No prize for guessing what would be their priority when it comes to making money for themselves or serving the people. Cronyism is legitimized. Sarawak has suffered enough through decades of such partnerships between politicians and big business and it could ill afford another round of plunder and pillage by these people.
  6. His arrogance showed again when he had the audacity to ask fellow Chief Ministers, Azmin Ali and Lim Guan Eng to apply for permission to extend their stay beyond the 2nd and 5th of May that they were restricted to. Such blatant disrespect for their office is a sign that public institutions mean little to him. Did he really expect these men who represented Selangor and Penang to go crawling to him on all fours?

When you have lawmakers who are willing to break the law, then you have people who think they are above the law. To them the law is a big stick they use to keep the rest of us in line.

Adenan is no reformer. He is no Bernie Sanders, Jokowi or Aung Sang Suu Kyi. He was the Special Adviser to Taib Mahmud and part of of Taib’s inner circle for decades. How can he be a reformer overnight and a defender of Sarawakians when he is part of the same Barisan Nasional regime that has been and is still plundering the wealth of Sarawak?

Yes, as those big billboards in Sarawak declared, “There is a new fever in Sarawak and it’s called the Adenan Fever.” That should be a warning sign that the second poorest state in Malaysia is about to be duped (again) into giving this man a big mandate.

Remember that the real Team Adenan are people like Najib Razak and Taib Mahmud, whom he openly admits he is very close to and enjoys good working relationships with. Just like Najib was the poster boy of BN during the 13th General Election, Adenan may show his true colours soon after the election.

A fever is an indicator of a problem, a blood infection in the body and we should be very wary of the Adenan Fever, it may kill you!