No Mee Segera Recipe

The Secret Recipe

Enlargeable upon click: Workers waving from high rise construction in Lubok Antu - Maggie Mee? Surely not.

Life seems tough as an administrator when politics comes knocking into town. Suddenly everything gets politicised - even the simple Instant Noodles are not spared. When you shake hands with someone in the town now, they will think you are asking them to vote for someone. I informed them that I am not campaigning or anything. Their response would be "Anang irau tuan, kami ukai penyakal. Maioh projik pemansang udah diberi perintah" (Translated: Do not worry, we are not the opposition. We acknowledge the development given by the Government). Okay, I told myself, that's a good sign as we do not want people to percieve that the presence of government officers to be interpreted as vote fishing. Government service or activities do not stop just because a By Election is around the corner. If that happens, that'll be a great joke. People still need to get medical treatment, the poor needs assistance and so on. Even the kind efforts of giving fuel rebates to the outboard engine owners were not spared. Some of them will never know that we had started the groundwork to help the people since last year when oil prices skyrocketed. This undermines our ongoing efforts in implementing the projects which people will percieve as 'Instant Mees', thanks to the the unfair labeling by certain quarters who are paranoid of any 'government related activities' that spring up. My guess is that they must be from outside town. Activities, functions, or Pestas or Fiestas are often held here and I often report them in my blog. To them Lubok Antu seems to be a dead town or cowbow town. Not only that - after the election these people will be making their way out of town after the election is over. I can say some of the faces I met - be it from any parties involved have never come to this part of our world. My hope is that during their next few weeks here, they will not raise some unecessary storm which can harm relationships amongst the simple minded longhouse folks. The fallouts (pecah rumah) between friends, relatives and families living in or within the vicinity of the longhouses will be felt by us when the outsiders leave. Harsh words let loose during the campaign period are uneccessary please.

Click for larger view of SALCRA and the junction to Lubok Antu - development creeping at the entrance to Lubok Antu

Either way when the cannons are let loose during the campaign period my hope is the other party do not see the government functions there as being politically motivated or create animousity with the government officers. Whoever wins in this Batang Ai election, they will still have to work with the local government agencies when the needs of the people require addressing and I believe the agencies or officers won't shirk their duties. Say, if someone's longhouse is in the brink of collapse due to heavy rain or erosion we do not choose which flags are flying on the roof. But do not let us be your pawns - to be used strategically or to be killed off as sacrifice.

BN Recipe is the People's Choice

Anyway I noted that most of Lubok Antunians that I met at the Dewan Sukan Lubok Antu a few days including those in the Nanga Serubah Ili area were happy with the candidate. I went around to ask the people there randomly with Borneo Post's Mr. Churchill to gauge the people's mood. Its not exact science that i used when I sampled the people's thoughts but the general feeling I got from them was an all rounded support for BN.

Sampling the electorate's thought was easy as they were seated according the their longhouses and the Community leaders (Penghulus, Pemanchas) including Tuai Rumahs were all up front.

Face to face with Penghulu Batu and almost 30 or more Tuai Rumahs at Serubah Ili (lost count due to the langkau tasting and wine tasting event at the back of the house earlier). My random discussion with them also indicate majority were pro BN.

I would not say my sampling methods at the Dewan Sukan Lubok Antu and at TR Dimbab house were according to any acceptable scientific standard. The situation at the Dewan was to BN's advantage with the giving of rebates. This may have resulted in some wide variance in the survey - leaning towards BN. Even the longhouse I was at can be considered pro BN area. Incidently there were many ordinary folks who came from outside Tuai Rumah Dimbab longhouse to collect ther rebates - the response I got from them were again: Kami ngundi dacing tuan! (We support Barisan Nasional).

Right Recipe: Party, Candidate & People Support

So what did I deduce from my simple survey? I have to admit I was never good at mathematics and my social scientists statistics skills are not that stellar either. But when you have mixed with almost 10% of the two area's potential voters (almost all rebate recipients were registered voters in the constituency), 100% gave their positive nod for BN and also endorsing the candidate Mr. Malcolm Mussen ak Penghulu Lamoh. "Kati ko enda nyukong Mussen tuan, ukai ka ngambo ia kaban tang sigi anak kami menoa tu nya. Injineer ianya, nemu jako Spinish engau jako Jepun. Maioh udah tulong ia maia kereja enggau perintah." (To translate it: Why shouldn't we support Mussen? He is not only our relative but our son from this area. Furthermore he is qualified, an Engineer and can speak Spanish and Japanese. He has helped us a lot when he worked with the Government). I was amused that they knew the candidate more than me. When I went through his dossier I will have to admit he is highly qualified though I have yet to observe his oratory capability. Now I need to verify whether these figures reflect the overall sentiment as I believe being in a widely BN territory the Pro BN figures may reflect the wrong picture. Some people were telling me 50:50 since the candidate chosen by PKR was the ex YB Encik Jawah Gerang. Some estimated it at 60:40. But note this, I can only conclude that on 18th Mac 2009, BN was at the advantage.

Development Recipe: No Mee Segera Here

Having done that I will now go into my the "deny any Mee Segeras exist" mode - just to share with anyone who cares to know, that our efforts to develop Sri Aman Division have never waived even when the late YB Datuk Dublin Unting was critically ill. The Ninth Malaysia Plan has seen several major projects being implemented in Sri Aman Division. I cannot imagine one calling these Mee Segeras even if including the Minor Rural Projects. YB Snowdon Lawan recently announced the planned construction of the RM19 million Pantu bridge and the upcoming Rural Electrification Supply project which he also announced is set to benefit those in Lachau, Pantu and Sungai Tenggan area of his constituency - and there's no By-Election there. So we can't call these Mee Segera. So now I feel its appropriate to share the major projects coming up in Sri Aman Division (including Lubok Antu) so that someone won't suddenly cough up some cerita dongeng on how these transformed into Mi Segera next time. One evident project estimated at RM11 million is the Custom, Immigration and Quarantime (CIQ) checkpoint which will link Lubok Antu to Badau, Kalimantan Indonesia. This will jumpstart the town as a tourist attraction and unleash the potentials of the border towns. Expected to complete in February or March 2010 this will help to jumpstart the tourism industry in the area.

JKR's artist impression of the Lubok Antu CIQ

JKR's artist impression from another angle

Latest photo of ongoing Lubok Antu CIQ in march 2009. It is almost 10% under way with land clearing activities before the construction materials are brought to the project site (click for larger picture of activities at site)

Artist's impression of Engkilili Sub District Office by JKR

Completed soon (by June 2009) - the Engkilili Sub District Office being fitted with roofing

Lubok Antu District Office artise's impression

On the left above (click enlargeable thumbnail) is the Lubok Antu DIstrict Office under construction and is due for completion by July 2009

Apart from that, two new offices (costing almost RM2 million each) - the Lubok Antu District office and the Engkilili District Office are currently being built and will be completed by June 2009. This allows for better service delivery and ensure that the welfare of the people are well taken care off. So one cannot harp that the present District Offices in Lubok Antu and Engkilili are of colonial era and the people themselves can see these buidlings which are not far from the old office. Not mee segera item i think.

Artist's impression of Lingga Sub District Office

The almost complete Lingga Sub District Office - expected completion is in June 2009

Artist's impression of the the Batang Lupar Riverine Park Phase I

Artist's impression of the Tidal Bore Observation Tower - Station

The Tidal Bore Observation Tower - September 2009 one can enjoy the scenic view of Batang Lupar river and the occassional benak waves (Click for larger view)

Proposed site of the Batang Lupar Riverine and Tidal Bore Observation Tower set to transform Sri Aman town

Research & Development in Stumbin - Bijat area (Seeds Production and Processing Centre) will take off soon as Sarawak prepares to be the next Rice Bowl of Malaysia

Artist's impression of the Stumbin Seeds Production and Processing Station

Stumbin - Bijat area: Site clearing is ongoing (click for larger view)

Sri Aman New Township - drawing plans by the consultants

Work on the Sri Aman new Township is underway (click for larger view) and construction is phased with the Phase I to be completed in 48 months.

Minor Rural Projects - again I have to deduce that there is no Mee Segeras as claimed by certain quarters. The MRP projects list are always prepared a year ahead (submitted to the various District Office by the JKKK or Security and Development Committee of the village/longhouse, or list submitted by the YBs). From there onwards the District Office will prioritse the projects ensuring a fair distribution and the final list is sent to Kuala Lumpur for the consideration of the Federal Government (click above picture for some of the project detail views) and channeled through the State Development Office. The process is quite long winded that one can't consider this Mee Segera.

Recipe for Success

Mee Segeras in the making? I think not as there are a lot of already completed projects that I have not mentioned here. So one can beat one's chest and say "I WANT CHANGE". Ooppsss... Lubok Antu's landscape is different than it was say 45 years ago and is set to change with the upcoming infrastructures in place. What Change does one want? The kind of change that suits some outsiders' need to capture Sarawak to form a new Government or those to suit some disillussioned soul's interest? Or should it be one that is in tandem with the other developments built around a solid vision of our abled and tested leaders. By the looks of it, Sri Aman Division is set to thrive and transform at a pace which is to be set by the people of Lubok Antu and Sri Aman themselves. The completion of the infrastructure projects will opens up new opportunities and ensure that the objectives of transforming the Division holistically are met - with the right attitude and the right recipe. The next challenging stage is that the people here are ready to "manage success". Without the capacity and capability to cope manage success all would come to a standstill. The supporting opportunities that comes with success will not benefit the folks here if they are unable to capitalise on it. The people of Lubok Antu for example, will have to venture into new areas of entrepreneurship skills and identify the business niches that can succeed. Or else these opportunities would be taken up by outsiders who are more innovative and aggressive. With its 95% Iban population for example, it can certainly be a showcase of what the Iban community's capability. It is certainly a challenge for planner like us. The policy makers need to work in harmony with the administrators and the people. Even if there are Mee Segeras, it won't work as there is a need to coordinate the plans at all levels be it the Federal Government, State Government, or community leaders and those under their charge in kampungs and longhouses. Too much Mee Segeras will be too fattening and I believe the people will know if its Mee Segera or not. So don't waste our breath on the Mee Segeras issue as we have a lot of work ahead of us.


XARCH said…
Your English is very good. I see many bad English blogs in Malaysia. Keep up the great works.
Yo Bro.

This is frustrating. Even simple mee kolo pun maok ditengok sebagai pancing undi. I don't understand la our people. Sometimes people belanja people in good faith. Hmmm...manusia penuh dgn prasangka. But I am really happy that Lubok antu is developing.
Mizz Coki said…
Yah Klax.. but pity to us who were under KBSM and KBSR and BM was taught in BAKU. I'm one of the worst English bloggers online I admit it but I thank the Malaysian govt because my daughter now is taught in English eventhough it's for Science and Maths but her English is better than us when we were at her age.
Pn Hamidah said…
Judging by your detailed and well-written report here,I guess it wouldn’t be much of a problem for the BN to retain the seat here.The long-term development planned projects by the government has always given them the advantage and the constituents here are intelligent enough not to be swayed by any unwarranted campaign tactics by any parties to fish votes if it comes to that. It would be a great loss if a qualified potential candidate from the ruling party is denied the opportunity to serve and deliver what has long been well formulated for them. With that said,well we know who deserve to be the favourite and nothing portray mee segera in any infrastructural development plans coz it doesn’t work that way and the second stimulate package granted by the federal government is coincidentally timely too.Just my humble opinion. TQ.
Pn Hamidah said…
Correction..(typo)It should read 'Second Stimulus Package'(This is what happened when you typed late at night haha..)
Unknown said…
hahaha. sapa speech writer injau dik mond? yea admin staff baka kitak enda patut politicize pengawa seari kitak. Let the state BN answer to the critics themselves. Just do your work and serve the people.It would be out of your duty to campaign for a political party. But anyways, nuan have a right to your own piece of mind (or in this case, someone else's) haha. I just pray that your consience is clear when you say that you support a regime that outrightly undermine native rights and other basic human rights. Thousands of natives are being evicted from their land by the state right now. You are either too ignorant or too career-oriented because i know being a local grad and having no career prospect in the private sector, your current job is your best hope for a future. You would save yourself a lot of shame and sin by keeping your mouth shut and discharging your duties without getting involved in the on-going by-election. sekian.
Uchu Keling said…
Can we invite the opposition for future events?