TUN Dr Mahathir Mohamad came to Kuching last week and delivered some strong criticisms against the Barisan Nasional government for the lack of development in rural Sarawak and the erosion of the state’s right at the federal level.
The Pakatan Harapan top boss was still sharp and did not mince his words during his talk in the state capital.
As Dr Mahathir was prime minister and Barisan chairman for 32 years, he should be in the best position to understand why there was and still is unbalanced development between urban and rural Sarawak.
Right after Dr Mahathir delivered his criticisms, Barisan leaders in Sarawak responded with their own barrage of criticisms.
These state Barisan leaders blamed him for failing to bring up Sarawak when he was the prime minister even though they failed to bring up the fact that there was an unfair distribution of wealth back then as well.
That is politics and the political blame game is set to worsen as the 14th general election approaches.
The 14th general election will coincide with the 11th parliamentary election in Sarawak.
Even within the state Barisan circles, the blame game is also surfacing among leaders of certain component and Barisan-friendly parties.
There is finger-pointing between Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) and United People’s Party (UPP) leaders as to who was to blame for the Barisan losing six Chinese seats during the last parliamentary elections.
Both parties are fighting for the right to contest the Chinese-majority seats in urban Sarawak.
SUPP is a Barisan component party while UPP is a breakaway party of SUPP that considers itself Barisan-friendly.
This political blame game is part of politics, where even within the same party, there will be backbiting and back-stabbing.
I remember during the last state elections, politicians within the Barisan-component Progressive Democratic Party traded accusations over who was to blame for the Barisan losing – yet again – in the Bakelalan state seat in northern Sarawak.
Barisan candidate Willie Liau from the Progressive Democratic Party lost to PKR candidate Baru Bian by 583 votes.
In the 2011 state polls, Liau also lost to Bian by 435 votes.
Senior Barisan leaders traded verbal exchanges over who was to blame for the loss.
The community in Bakelalan, made up mainly of the minority Lun Bawang natives, were not amused by this blame game.
A senior community leader from the Long Sukang village told The Star then that the blame game was an extension of the politicking that had been going on during the campaign period.
This community leader, who did not want to be named, said the root cause of the problem was the disunity among the Barisan components in Bakelalan.
The political blame game is a disease that can infect political parties from the outside and inside.
We will surely witness more of this disease soon as the general election temperature rises in the months ahead.