Freedom is the gift of being able to choose the right way

Thursday 5 May, 2016

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On today’s show, we speak to a Pastor who sees a sudden rush of donations coming the way of the Christian Churches in Sarawak. As a pastor, he practices gratitude and humility. But as a pastor, he must seek to protect the weak and the innocent from exploitation and he must protect the church from being used as a tool for manipulation. To all candidates, he says, Christian and otherwise, we must vote in good faith not just for this election, not just for this generation but for those to come. The candidates must stand for the same.

Nick Kelesau Naan is making the long journey home to vote in Long Sait. He tells us how his community under Penghulu James Lalo Kesoh have demanded that Adenan declare a moratorium on logging and plantation activities in Ba Jawi. More than reasonable, he says, to save the last remaining slivers of forest from total annihilation, but the request is unlikely to have any impact in his view. From Peace Park to Moratorium, the calls from the Penan community have gone largely unanswered. Time to make a change, he says.

Snowdan Lawan is not a popular man in Balai Ringin, it seems. A recent ceramah in the area saw a quartet of constituents warning listeners that this poor little rich kid would never feel rich enough. The allegations of misappropriation of funds by the PRS pick were swirling again as were calls for change before the rest of the constituency found itself plundered. An easy target with so many existing allegations – why is he up for public approval again?

The list of candidates, sadly in some cases, is already laid out but how can we choose between them? Whether you vote strategically or from the heart, the decision is not an easy one in an election with so many options and so much infighting. Frankly, for many people, it barely seems worthwhile to vote at all. Dr Faisal of UNIMAS urges people to take advantage of the little bit of democracy available to them, no matter how flawed. We would miss it if it were taken away entirely. It is a great responsibility, he says, and we should scrutinize our candidates carefully on their vision and on their record before we make our choice. Apai May and Akik Kachong tell us that an electorate that insists on voting responsibly will one day get the responsible representatives and the responsible government they deserve. Nothing worthwhile comes easily but it never comes if we simply give up! The voting is messy this time round with a record number of candidates but anyone who thinks that they can’t make a difference or that the government don’t make a difference to them should think again. We are all individuals, but all part of a family, which is part of a community which is part of a state which is part of a country. And so it works the other way, with every government decision from the rate of tax to the number of roads trickling down to all of us. Use your voice!

Tune in for all this and more, plus our Borneo Bulletin.

Semoa kitai tau bejako!

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