The Chief Minister of Sarawak, Adenan Satem: Issues, problems and elections

A year has passed since Adenan Satem took the Chief Minister seat of Sarawak, and as a Sarawakian, I am impressed with what he has said and done in the past one year.

Indeed, Adenan Satem is a growing figure in the Malaysian political scene and he has, as far as I know, gained a lot of praise and following for his actions over the past year since he took over as the Chief Minister of Sarawak.

Calls that Adenan become the next Prime Minister of Malaysia are there, but that is a distant dream which it will never come true because of obvious reasons which include the fact that Adenan is the number one fan of keeping UMNO out of Sarawak, hence his inability to join UMNO and run for the number one post in the country. It is also an open secret that Adenan is not in the best of health, although I think many wished he was.

In the recent Chinese New Year Open House organized by SUPP, Adenan was bold in his words, and our Malaysian premier, Najib Razak was there to listen about how Adenan expects the Federal Government to do more. I for once found Adenan’s speech not only daring, but equally correct, as you can see in the video below.

You see, with Malaysia having plenty of problems in terms of politics lately, Adenan is a breath of fresh air for us apolitical citizens, and he has, in his own way captured the imaginations of many.

Many, including myself, were skeptical over what he could do after Pehin Sri Taib stepped down, but after a year, it’s quite obvious that the question should not be if he can, but rather “why wasn’t he our CM earlier?”

His actions, his statements, and his speeches are not only like a blow of fresh air to Sarawakians, but also to the Malaysians minorities which over the past few years have had their rights dwindle with no one doing much but talk about helping. Adenan has showed us that there is still hope that someone really cares about the minorities in Malaysia, and it is not just by word of mouth, but through his actions.

In the past year alone, Adenan has ruled Sarawak like no other Chief Ministers or Menteri Besars in Malaysia, emphasizing that he governs the land called Sarawak, and that Sarawak is not like Malaya, or even Sabah.  In Sarawak Adenan says, freedom of religion, including the use of the word ‘Allah’ is guaranteed.  He continues to say that the Chinese are Sarawakians, and he has embraced the opposition parties by saying that ‘they are our people, and we should listen to them’.   Such move has never been heard of before in this era in Malaysia.

In fact, while Malaya is still busy trying to determine if Anwar is really guilty, the people of Sarawak, led by Adenan Satem, is busy calling for more jobs for local Sarawakians, addressing education issues in the Sarawak, while at the same time thinking of ways to curb illegal logging, which to me are things that matter more than Anwar.

As a blogger, and the president of one of the largest blogging/social media communities in Sarawak (or Malaysia), Adenan’s views on social media would always interest me.

Pehin Sri Taib Mahmud when he was Chief Minister, not only didn’t want to regulate the internet and social media, but also didn’t bother to join the social media bandwagon. The result was disastrous for him because his popularity among social media users went down as there was a lot of news and rumours about him on social media. Equally aplenty were fake accounts impersonating the current governor of Sarawak.

Now, Adenan in an interview which you can see below, said that he shares the same views on regulating social media. Nonetheless, he is picking pace in Facebook after his official Facebook account was opened just a couple of weeks ago.

Thanks to social media, Adenan now has over 30,000 fans on his facebook page which was opened in October 2014, and with constant updates, I can only see it growing. In fact, every photo of Adenan this year seems to gain a very healthy dose of shares and comments from the common people, ensuring he continues to gain support.

I just have to also point out that most of the comments as you see below, are not from those with agenda, as they come from ordinary Sarawakians whom might have never shook Adenan’s hand before. This is very contradicting if compared to other politicians which have a good share of negative remarks under each and every statement or photo they have.

Adenan is gaining a lot of publicity online.
Adenan is gaining a lot of publicity online.

Now, I know that it is not probably Adenan himself updating his Facebook page, but the fact he is on Facebook is a good start.

Some may say that he is soldering the anti-Malaya sentiment with his stances, esspecially since he constantly reminds Malaysians especially other leaders about the Malaysian agreement.

The truth is he is merely fighting for the rights of Sarawakians which seem to have dwindled for the past 50 years or so after the agreed to form Malaysia.  Perhaps if you didn’t understand history that well, you’d say Sarawak should be treated as other states in Malaya, but if you are well versed, you’d understand that Adenan is doing the right thing by ensuring Sarawak gets a fair share of the huge ‘Malaysian pie’.

On top of that, with Malaya having so many racial and radical issues, it would be best to ensure such things do not spill over to the shores of Sarawak so that Sarawak would remain a place for every religion or race.

Nonetheless, the negative influences of Malaya can already be detected in Sarawak nowadays, and while it would be hard to stop it, at least Adenan is making a start.

But of course, one year is much too short to decide if everything is going to be ‘okay’ especially with the Sarawak elections just around the bend. While Adenan may have said the right things, and done more than anyone expected in for his first one year, his full elected term would determine if he is true to his word.

Until he has won his personal mandate from the rakyat, every move, every word and every action Adenan takes now is indeed a step towards winning the hearts of voters ahead of the coming election.

But irregardless of that, he has so far been impressive, and if he continues with his momentum, I am very sure that he will remain CM for at least the next five years because there is really no reason not to vote for him.

Have an opinion on ‘the man’? Why not leave a comment?

p/s: the article perhaps sounds very biased towards Adenan, and sounds like a cyber-trooper kind of article, but there’s really nothing negative one can say for someone doing so much good for Sarawakians as for now. Never have I had such this amount of respect and pride for a politician before.

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