MALAYSIA MINUS PENANG SABAH AND SARAWAK
PENANG SET TO BREAK AWAY ?
When Anwar in a light hearted moment sought assurance from Lim Kit Siang and his son Guan Eng that Penang would not seek to go it alone like Singapore did in 1965, both father and son turned sheet white according to an observer at that meeting of Pakatan heads in 2011.
It only then occurred to some, like the Pakatan supremo Anwar, outside the very close knit nucleus of policy makers within the DAP that, secession as policy and a political objective is a real threat to behold with the DAP.
Penang, in the agenda of at least one prominent constituent component of Pakatan, will follow Sabah and Sarawak and break away from the federation if the Barisan Nasional loses the general election along with all three of these states.
One of the members of the inner working group of the Pakatan, an Indian Malaysian who agreed to speak to us on condition of anonymity said, that at that point of the DAP Lim’s reaction (described above) to that question by Anwar, Anwar realized what was really at stake.
It was not an objective this particular Pakatan insider nor many of Pakatan’s supporters and members were aware they working to achieve. To him, Kit Siang and Guan Eng had either been caught out by surprise with that statement by Anwar or in the alternative Anwar Ibrahim operates in the dark in the mistaken belief that the other constituent members of Pakatan are honest and open with him.
SIDE LINING THE INDIANS -A CRITICAL FIRST STEP
When Indians began to be dispensed with from the more important roles within the DAP and other opposition groups like the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), it became clear to some within the Pakatan that the agenda of the Pakatan was no longer about Anwar’s political ambitions or PKR’s objectives. Anwar it appears had long been marginalized and had become the token Malay of the mainly Chinese led opposition.
“We would be given wrong dates, times and places for important meetings so that we would show up late, not show up at all or show up at the wrong place” the member is quoted as saying. “our matters and issues that affected our sectors of the community (the Indians) previously placed on the agenda at these meetings would then take on a back seat or not be tabled at meetings at all because we were ‘late’ for the meeting or ‘failed’ to show up on time. It was always about “the more important things long term”.
Another former Pakatan supporter, a Malay, who was and to some extent remains close to Anwar complained that the political agenda and policy initiatives were always and continues to be moulded into what the DAP and PKR’s Chinese constituents would demand.
The Chinese he said “are a big source of Anwar’s funding”. “Anwar’s daughter Nurul has a mind and an agenda of her own which is not inconsistent with that of her fathers and mothers”.
CHINESE CAPITAL OUTFLOWS AND OTHER CONTINGENCIES
In October of 2011 a delegation of 12 Pakatan members comprising 9 DAP members of a working committee was sent to Sabah and to Sarawak to test the support of local Chinese merchants to the idea of separation from mainland Malaysia. To their surprise they discovered that the majority of the Chinese in Sabah and Sarawak already had contingency plans in place for life under an independent alternative government and independent states in Sabah and Sarawak. Many await the return of the what they once termed the ‘Hakka republic’ (Sarawak).
Evidence of fraternal support from Filipino and Indonesian Chinese networks it appears is overwhelmingly tilted towards the idea of two separate independent states annexed from the central government in KL.
Although official records do show an outflow of capital from the two states to Singapore, Chinese merchants in expectation of an uprising or political instability have been using well tested alternative banking networks to facilitate the outflow of capital from the two states in readiness for a quick exit if required.
According to a US state department official monitoring political activity in the region, it is not uncommon for the Chinese communities in the region to use Singapore’s vast and very private banking networks to facilitate the clandestine outflow of capital from these regions,especially at times of political uncertainty and social unrest. It is a lesson most Chinese have learned and a practice that has intensified and is influenced by attacks on Chinese in Indonesia after the fall of Suharto who they once funded and backed.
When asked to elaborate on the Anwar remark which embarrassed the Kit Siang father and son team, the source said he realized then that the rumours that Penang may actually go its own way if Sabah and Sarawak were to secede from the Federation were real. He went on further to say that none of the other members who he spoke to about the issue privately were in any way surprised whilst those closer to Anwar and the DAP did not want the subject raised.