Wednesday April 5, 2006
Anti-govt politicians campaigning in remote Sarawak villages
By STEPHEN THEN
MIRI: Opposition parties, aspiring independent candidates and those with grouses against the Barisan Nasional government are believed to have held nocturnal political ceramah in the rural heartlands of Sarawak ahead of the state polls.
They hold talks with groups of villagers in remote settlements, criticising the ruling party leaders and trying to influence the rural folks to vote against the ruling coalition.
Barisan component party Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) has labelled these political opponents as ular (snake) politicians.
These people only come out very late at night and spread their poison everywhere, SPDP deputy president Datuk Peter Nyarok told The Star yesterday.
They hide in the darkness, afraid to be seen. They are like snakes. They only come out at night in search of prey.
Nyarok, who is Assistant State Agriculture Modernisation Minister, said he had received information from rural folks about the activities of these campaigners holding secret gatherings deep in the rural constituencies.
According to him, these people had infiltrated areas where there were many native voters.
They are outsiders. They come mostly from urban areas, like Kuching, said Nyarok, who is state assemblyman for Krian.
They will move in small numbers to very isolated farmlands and then go around gathering farmers and settlers into small groups, telling to converge at some farm huts late at night.
There, these people would spread their lies against Barisan leaders.
They dont dare go into the longhouses and villages because they are afraid of being chased out by the tuai rumah and village chiefs.
Nyarok said he knew who these people were and the parties they represented.
He said they raised issues that weresensitive such as claims of natives being exploited and alleged unfair land acquisition policies.
Nyarok said he had visited the 226 rural villages in his constituency to neutralise the poison spread by these people.
He said his party had gone to the ground to disseminate information about future development plans for rural Sarawak.
Sarawakians are expected to go to the polls very soon, possibly within two months.