Mayashanti5282046’s Blog

自我不在,書寫的都是他者及其他

Sarawak Democracy Roadshow

Posted by mayashanti5282046 于 五月 13, 2010

by Kenyalang Power Initiatives

Sarawak and Sabah are widely acknowledged as the `king makers’ for Malaysians’ democractic future now that the 2 coalitions of parties are deadlocked in West Malaysia. With Sarawak state elections expected to fall by the end of this year (deadline is June 2011) there is a need to make preparation to ensure the elections will be more free and fair than before, especially to enfranchise more than half the rural populations who have not registered as voters for one reason or another.

Program: We have been organising monthly trips, typically lasting 1 week, to Sarawak to engage in voters registration, Voters education and election observation training in rural Sarawak for half a year now. Some findings from the Road Shows so far are: in rural Sarawak bad transports, young people working outstations, high illiteracy, lack of personal documentations(Mykad, Birth Certs), lack of voters education have combined to rob the citizens here of their voting right. So the Road Show’s mission is to make West Malaysians participants understand these realities and to enable them to contribute meaningfully towards the solutions to the predicament of these disenfranchised Sarawakians! Only when they are empowered to vote in the coming elections that they can help to democratise Sarawak as well as the entire country-for the benefits of all!

So the Road Show combine travel opportunities into the `Pandora’ of Borneo with contributing your generosity towards something really meaningful and liberating for Malaysian democracy! If you like traveling and democracy -this trip is the best combination for you!

Targets: We hope to send 5 teams per month to Sarawak from Mar 2010, each consisting of 3 West Malaysians and 1 Sarawakian, who double as a guide/organiser/translator. 4 of them in a team are given the task to register about 100 new voters a day-thus 500 voters/week( 1st and last days of trip are for traveling). Thus the 5 teams can register 2500 new voters/month. In 10 months they can do 25 000, a lot more than the combined small 14 000 majority votes won in the 17 most marginal seats in the last Sarawak State Elections in 2006! So the registrations of new voters can make an impact on the coming state elections! Of the 17 most marginal seats 11 were won by BN while 5 by Opposition/Independent.

Itinerary: We will be going to the 17 most marginal seats in Sarawak* from the 3rd Sunday of each month to the following Saturday(so 7 days in all). A rough schedule (subject to change if the team members are agreeable) for the trips are as follow:
*see appendix for a listing of them

Mar Road Show: Mar 20th(Sat) -26th(Friday) -the dates are adjusted for this month
Destinations :
1.Sg Asap, Belaga + Long Miri, Baram.
2.Engkilili, Lubok Antu
3.Ngemah, Kanowit
4.Repok, Sarikei
5.Marudi, Baram

April Road Show: Apr 18th(Sunday)-24th(Saturday)
Destinations:
1. Baram
2. Kukit Begunan, Sri Aman
3. Lawas, Ba’ Kelalan
4. Batang Ai, Lubok Antu
5. Pujut, Miri

May Road Show May 16th(Sunday)-22nd(Saturday)
Destinations:
1. Saribas, Betong
2. Limbang
3. Sadong Jaya, Batang Sadong
4. Beting Maro, Batang Lupar;
5. Kemena, Bintulu

By May we would have covered all marginal seats in the interior-we will revisit them if we have not finished registering the number of voters targeted. So the road shows after this will go back to previous marginal constituencies-but to different regions/long houses. Noting that it takes 3-6 months for registering a new voters we may not have much time to register new voters for the coming state elections if it falls in this year! We will publicise and monitor the number of new voters registered at each level to enable assessment of our progress.

Costs: the Road Show participations are self-funded. The costs to prepare-estimated to be around Rm600.00-800.00, are:

1. Air tickets: earlier booking can save significantly; need to identify destinations from organizer early; refer to web site for latest info. Estimate: 2-way tickets –Rm200(for early booking)- Rm500.00.
2. Internal travel: involve car (need to rent), boats, taxis to and from airport, and buses; If participants get rides from locals contribution towards fuel is appreciated; Estimate: RM200.00-Rm300.00. Some areas eg Baram, may cost more.
3. Accommodation and food –only for towns-Rm20.00 –Rm30.00 for guest house accommodation; accommodation and food in long houses are free(but some contribution to host is appreciated especially if stay extends over 1 day);
4. Payment to guide: RM50.00/day/team-to be shared among team members;
5. Bring some extras for incidentals-there is no banks in most long house areas;

Payment method:
1.We don’t collect any payments from you-you pay as you travel;
2. For those who are very interested to go but may he handicapped by financial issues you can apply to us to look for sponsors to your trip;

Different conditions in Sarawak’s interior to take note:

1.No mobile network or internet outside most town areas;

2.no 24 hour electricity supply in most areas; bring torch;

3.no piped water-rain water collection is normally used(so no hot water bath);

4.no shops in most long houses/rural areas; bring spare batterries for electricals;bring personal needs.

5.no banks outside big town areas; bad roads outside town areas.

Despite the lack of modern comforts Sarawak has a lot to offer from its interior to make up for all that you may miss! You get to see the different species of flora and fauna, experience different cultures and many surprises! Bring your cameras, but more importantly, keep your eyes, ears and heart open! It is a tour with a difference-and the many challenges are worth it!

If you want to go-what to do

1. Contact the organisers-see contact list below;

2. Decide your trip-see timetable above; After confirming this with organiser then you can book your tickets together with your team mates; Some adjustments may be possible;

3. Go to briefing before and after the trip-both in KL; presentation of experiences/photos/videos will be organised too;

4. On-line updating of each trip; you can choose to follow the updates before and after your own trip through our mail list and web site; You are welcome to contribute/blog/comment on the trips as it happens;

5. Do familiarise yourself with Sarawak with some recommended readings from us;

Contacts:

1. Song Lin 017-2793811

2. Lee 016-3902708

3. Chou 019-2672046

4. Tian Choy 016-2530424

That’s all for this time. Hope to hear from anyone who are interested in this Democracy Tour!

Ong BK

Coordinator

Sarawak Road Shows

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