Tuesday, January 25, 2011

No fruit but got flag

A 'politicised' durian tree seen along the Pan-Borneo Highway after Betong.
The yearly presence of seasonal fruits has been missed by a large portion of the general public in Sarawak this year. The wait which started end of November continued to January and there no appreciable signs yet of any rambutans or durians in Sarawak towns. Many seasoned planters have attributed this sad phenomena to the adverse weather or climatic changes ( viz prolonged monsoon rains, global warming) and the destruction of more tropical rain forests throughout Sarawak. The lack of forest wild fruits have forced squirrels and other wildlife to scavenge durian or oil palm trees for ripe as well as unripe fruits to sustain themselves.
On this trip back Kuching, I noticed one longhouse and one durian tree displaying the opposition party flags way ahead of the ruling party. This is a sure sign that the opposition party is serious about Sarawak's coming general elections which technically should be held before July this year.

One recurring and distressing issue among the rural populace is the loss of their customary lands and 'temuda' lands ( viz state lands purportedly under illegal occupation according to Sarawak land code) due to alienation by the government of the day to big plantation companies and private individuals. The total land acreage alienated so far is in the tune of a million acres. This vast land bank dedicated to monoculture of oil palm cultivation have consequently displaced thousands of native rural families and their traditional means of livelihood. It is expected that the existing ruling party will lose some constituencies due to this hot issue. There are many court cases still pending in courts taken up against the government by the locals on unfair acquisition practices with a few winning their cases. The land issue is a ticking bomb and the opposition parties are there to exploit it.

However, Looking at the durian tree it appears that the opposition party is one head above, psychologically speaking, of the ruling party.

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