Getting to know YB Mussem


A day after nomination, I had the best opportunity to talk to Malcolm. He was in Kuching and he invited me for breakfast – bak kut teh somewhere at Fortune Land, then pick up his potrait photo from Jackie Studio, especially for, then luncheer (you know lah, lunch with the beer) at one restaurant somewhere at the Kuching ‘twin’ tower.

UK: So, bro, how does it feel to be a candidate?

MML: A little nervous la, bro. Its an election. But I am ready to serve the people. I will serve those who voted for me as well as those who go against me. Nadai beciping nya bader.

UK: Amat, nya brader.. After all, they are all the voters of Batang Ai. Ok, bro. What is the first thing that you will do, if lah, enti mih, you win the by-election.

MML: I think Batang Ai needs one or more Pusat Khidmat Masyarakat.

UK: Betul, nya buss. Iban areas (not only Batang Ai) need a lot of this centres. Not only centres, but centres manned by capable people. These people need to know how to use the typewriter (in case PC broke down), government-styled letter writing (need to use the correct terms and protocol), knows how to use email, surf the Internet, use digital camera and video cam, and most importantly taking notes. Ya.. ngerikut penusah, pengerami ke di bai rakyat. So, how many centres are you going to set up?

MML: At least four main areas need service centres. And, I agree with you. This centres must be manned by people who can use those tools and to send immediate updates and reports to me, so that I can attend to it immediately. Cheers bro, .. come come.. makai sayur tua. I have not be eating since nomination. (Phone beep.. and it continuously beeping. He did mentioned from who, but I was not paying attention.. heheheee.. tasty steamed fish infront of me).

UK: Don’t forget to invite me for the small opening ceremony of this centres, ahhh.

MML: Small matter nya, brader. I just hope you are free to come. James, you must understand this. Besides agreeing to be the candidate, and with my years of government administrative experience, I’m confident that I can bring positive changes to Batang Ai. It doesn’t matter which area, ka nya area Barisan or area bala opposition, I will service them all, enda milih bansa, rumah panjai tauka parti. Pemansang sigi patut di beri ngagai sida magang. They are my people.

UK: Ride on.. buss. Nya utai ke ka di dinga aku. And, if you have that in mind, I am sure, you are on your correct path to the new Dewan. Ni nemu, nuan will be the first ADUN to be sworn-in at the new Dewan.. stidi nya brader.. dewan baru, YB baru, and cara ngemansang ke rakyat ngena adat baru (change we must, but BN way lahh).

MML: Cheers, brader.. we need to rush to Batang Ai. The SUPP leaders are joining me for a campaign to the Chinese temple this evening.

UK: Cheers and thank you for the luncheer. Good luck in your campaign. Don’t forget the chocolate, you may need it for extra energy.

Ruai Panjai hits by flash flood

With the Batang Ai by-election campaign goes into top gear, villagers in Panjai Ruai, located about two kilometres from Lubok Antu are trapped in waist deep flash flood today

Torrential rain that has been pouring since last night, added by the romantically flowing Sebungku river made the only bridge connecting the village impassable.

The only way out or in, according to villagers is to wade through the water. The water level is simply too high even for heavy vehicle. is

The town that goes to 'sleep' at noon

By Nancy Nais
Source: Facebook

LUBOK Antu is a typical small town in rural Sarawak. Located on the banks of the Batang Ai river, it has only two rows of old wooden shops, a hotel, a market and a sports centre.

It comes under the Batang Ai state constituency. This seat and the Engkilili state constituency make up the Lubok Antu parliamentary seat.

The town, which is about 300km from Kuching, however, does not have a bank. The local folks pay their bills at the post office or go all the way to Sri Aman, about an hour-and-a-half drive away.

There are seven rural clinics and two health clinics within the Lubok Antu district which covers 1,341 sq km.

The district has a population of 22,234 with the majority being Ibans, who make up 95 per cent while the others are Chinese, Malays and Bidayuh.

There are 238 longhouses, a church, a Chinese temple and a mosque in the district.

The town generally comes alive in the morning when the market is in full swing and people come to buy all kinds of produce, especially the famous red tilapia fish found in the Batang Ai river.

By lunch time, the market is shut, and the traders return to their longhouses and there is hardly a soul to be seen.

Although Batang Ai has a hydro-electric dam that supplies electricity to Kuching and Sibu, many villages and longhouses that dot the area from the dam to the main bazaar of Lubok Antu have no electricity supply.

Thousands of residents still rely on diesel-powered generators, even as the power transmission lines from the dam, commissioned 25 years ago, run above their wooden dwellings.

Enormous oil palm estates mark the landscape, and yet the people are mostly poor, with an average income of RM650 per month per family.

The main economic activities are padi and oil palm cultivation, with no sign of the mega-industries that hydro-dams usually attract.

Over the past few days, Lubok Antu has been thrust into the spotlight, thanks to the Batang Ai by-election to be held on April 7.

As the only town in the constituency, it is now swarmed with folk from all over the state and more than 800 policemen.

Under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, several major projects are being implemented and completed in Sri Aman Division, including the Lubok Antu district.

Now Lubok Antu town has a sports complex and a proper bridge over the river.

Two ongoing projects, estimated to cost RM70 million, are the Lubok Antu district police headquarters and the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine checkpoint.

Work on the district police headquarters, costing about RM59 million, began last January and as at March 20, 72 per cent of the work has been completed.

With the new headquarters, Lubok Antu district police chief DSP George Merejok is hoping to get 22 more personnel. He said currently Lubok Antu had 62 policemen.

Meanwhile, the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine checkpoint, costing about RM11 million, will link Lubok Antu to Badau, on the West Kalimantan border.

It is expected to be ready in March next year.