After taking a “test” I am informed that I am a right brain person, inherently impatient, assertive, aggressive and trying to be less abrasive. We “rightists” look first at the whole picture then the details as opposed to the left brain guy who look first at the pieces and then put them together to get the whole picture.
The whole picture is the eventual results in this Sarawak state Elections. Examining the details I conclusive say that the Elections will depend on the Tuai Rumah.
These are the formidable clutch of elected chiefs. My blog buddy Joe Tawie of the Broken Shield wrote: Today, the criteria for Tuai Rumah have changed; he must be educated at least up to Form Three, be pro-Barisan Nasional (BN) and not necessarily, as previously required, possess deep knowledge of Iban Adat (this he can learn from The Tusun Tunggu, a book containing all the customs, traditions, taboos, fines, etc.).
Indeed, they are the law unto themselves. Indeed, BN undoubtedly has their you-know-what firmly grasped, to be squeezed or fondled at will. Shameless of course, as a leader, but that is how it is. This is the scenario NOW as documented by Joe Tawie in “The Broken Shield Volume Two – The Dayak Dilemma” :
“In this 2006 election, the BN devised an entirely different campaign strategy, which caught the Opposition with their pants down. Previously the money was passed directly to the voters on the eve of polling. This time the distribution was done through their Tuai Rumah.
“Three days before polling all the headmen were summoned for a meeting, where they were coached to say something to their own people. And on their return to their respective longhouses, they were given some money that was to be shared with the voters of their own longhouses. In addition to this, there were also minor rural development projects that were promised to be implemented.
“The Tuai Rumah then called for a meeting of the longhouse folks and ordered them to vote for the Barisan Nasional candidates. Anyone who failed to follow his order or directive would not be given any share of the bounties or any project that the government had promised them. And he was also likely to be expelled from the longhouse.
“The Tuai Rumah must ensure that his followers must vote for the BN candidate, otherwise the BN candidate would report him to the District Officer, the Resident or the State Secretary. As Tuai Rumah is like a civil servant, action including the termination of his Tuai Rumahship could be taken against him. He might lose his monthly allowance of RM450 per month. And the promised minor rural development projects might be withdrawn.
“In Datuk Daniel Tajem’s constituency of Bukit Begunan, he was defeated by a man, Mong Dagang, whom he had picked to replace him in the 1996 state election. Tajem practically lost in all the longhouses in the five polling districts. Before the money came, many longhouse chiefs and their followers had pledged their support to him, who had represented them in six previous elections. After the distribution of money and the threats issued, everything changed; longhouse headmen, their followers and even Tajem’s own relatives voted against him. And a similar tale of vote buying had also been reported in other Dayak constituencies.”
Undoubtedly, money is power and the government has effectively used it as a "weapon" to intimidate the longhouse chiefs and their followers. And what makes it more frightening to the voters is the vote counting is done immediately after polling ends, revealing whether the voters from the longhouses voted for BN candidate or not.
Unless this system of counting is changed and the vote buying is curbed and the Tuai Rumah system is abolished, future elections will continue to be unfair to the Opposition candidates.
But the worst effect is that the system will create a government full of corrupted and dishonest elected representatives as well as inculcating into the people or voters a culture of corruption and a dishonest syndrome where money determines the election.
A desperate BN has requested the presence of snake-oil (aka MONEY) and its chief peddler is in town to dispense in full view of an impotent and subservient Election Commission.
This Pakatan must confront head-on and as the countdown to 16 April has begun every effort and every minute must be dedicated to cause an about-turn in the rural heartland.
READ MORE ABOUT TUAI RUMAH AT THE BROKEN SHIELD.