Year in Review - 2018

There is no other word to describe the political mood or momentum in Sarawak at the end of 2017 & beginning of 2018 than the word ‘cold’. The people including voters did not seem to be excited at all about the looming 14th General Elections.  However this did not dampen our spirits as our mission was clear. An inaugural video production was already planned & underway for the purpose of getting the young to go out to vote. Many thanks to our donors and volunteer amateur actors, not forgetting the content writer and videomaker,  the “Tak Pangkah, Rugi Kau” short video clip was released just before Parliament was dissolved alongside with other wonderful GOTV videos by other CSOs all pushing to up the ante and get the young to exercise their rights to make a choice instead of opting out. If you remember, there was also a counter push by the #UndiRosak campaign.      Continue reading

Don't take electorate for fools!

Don't take the  electorate for fools! It is deeply disconcerting for us to see the unfolding events on the on-going exodus of UMNO assemblymen and parliamentarians from their party whom we had earlier thought that they will rise to be a formidable opposing force post GE14. After all one of the hallmark of a functioning and strong democracy is a strong opposition as a counterbalancing force and checks on power. Party- hopping not only subverts the will of the people who vote them in but it makes a mockery of the democratic process and indeed undermines trust of voters in the electoral system and party system. Such posturing of elected reps post formation of new government if for personal gain, self-interests and position must be strongly condemned. It also undermines the very essence of the political party system. It suggests that MPs who party hop have no interests or commitments to their party's ideological positions. Indeed, it suggests MPs are merely into politics for personal gain and not for public service. It also suggests that MPs are not interested in building up their own parties or advancing their party's ideological position within public discourse or to improve good governance in the country. We note that 41 countries including India, NZ and Singapore who require MPs to relinquish their seats if they wish to cross party. In Malaysia anti-party hopping laws have been held by the courts and are currently deemed unconstitutional. Hence there is a need for more debates and discussions on not just the morality of such party-hopping behavior and defections but also the need for electoral reform including imposing some form of rules or guidelines on political parties or parliamentarians themselves whilst not denying them the freedom to dissociate/associate.  This may include a law that allows the certain percentage of voters of a particular constituency to trigger or petition for a recall of their  MP to hold elected representatives to account to the people. This will be on the basis of stated serious  wrongdoing or misconduct and a by-election will be called and the people’s mandate sought. Lastly as a concerned citizens-action group working on voter empowerment, we call on Pakatan Harapan parties to be act responsibly so as not to trigger any instability in the political system including within its own coalition. It will take much more than just the PM in-waiting declaring that PKR will not accept such party hoppers.  Dated 14th Dec 2018 Issued by Rise of Sarawak Efforts ( ROSE) Media contact and spokesperson : Ann Teo 016-8604998

PRESS RELEASE Post GE14 Forums : "Malaysia Baru : Adakah Rakyat Bos?"

ROSE will be organizing a series of public talks and forum at the end of this month to be presented in roadshow-style at three (3) different locations namely Siburan, Petra Jaya and in Kuching city. The recently concluded General elections which resulted in a change of government for the first time in Malaysian history has been said to be a testament to people’s power in bringing this about despite obstacles thrown in their way like an unexplained mid-week voting day. Naturally the sentiments of the rakyat post 509 is high and there appears to be a greater interest and willingness by common folks, young and old to discuss the subject of politics and good governance. Of course the change of federal government and season of transition also evokes not just excitement and hope but anxieties as well.  For example, people were watching out anxiously for the full cabinet members to be revealed by the new PM, young people in general are keen to get themselves registered as voters and so forth. In order to tap into this heightened sense of awareness of people’s power, these talks ending with a finale forum will help members of interested public have a better understanding of what had transpired nationally including Sarawak during the GE14. Although the PH government secured majority seats in Parliament, the coalition did not win the  popular vote. It has also been reported that only 30% of the Malay- Muslim voting population supported PH compared with the 70% who did not. Other than voting trends and what impact these might have on the coming Sarawak State elections due in 2021, the second objective of ROSE is to explore how voters and citizens in general can engage and participate in the process of building a new Malaysia and to tap on to the wider democratic spaces that we now appear to have.    We have invited Associate Prof Dr Faisal S. Hazis  a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. He is also the Head of Centre for Asian Studies at the Institute. He will be speaking at EACH of the scheduled talks and finale forum. Dr Faisal specializes in electoral studies, democratization and rural informatics. He is also a prolific researcher and writer and some of his more recent work or research included strengthening and building the capacities of civil societies here in Sarawak. His more significant publications are: Patronage, Power and Prowess: Barisan Nasional’s Equilibrium Dominance in East Malaysia’ (2015), Malaysia in 2014: A Year of Political and Social Ferment’ (2015), ‘Politics and Local Government in Sarawak’ (2013) and ‘Domination and Contestation: Muslim Bumiputera Politics in Sarawak’ (2012). He is a life member of ALIRAN, a reform movement dedicated to justice, freedom and solidarity. Apart from that, Dr Faisal is also a committee member of Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (GERAK) and a life member of the Malaysian Social Science Association. Other than Dr Faisal, newly minted MPs for Puncak Borneo, YB Willie Monggin will join Dr Faisal for the talk in Siburan. On Sat evening (30th June) Dr Faisal and Puan Nurhanim Mokhsen, Sarawak PKR Women’s Chief who had contested in the Tupong seat during the last state elections shall be making their presentations. Another newly minted MP for Bandar Kuching Dr Kelvin Yii from the DAP and who is also the Publicity Chief for PH Youth Sarawak will be one of the panelists at the Forum on Sunday afternoon alongside Dr Faisal.  Last but not least, YB See Chee How, Sarawak PKR Vice-Chair and now a 2nd term ADUN will be amongst the panelists for the Forum. YB See is also a land rights lawyer and a lifelong supporter of indigenous communities and is a columnist for Borneo Post. Below are the details for each talk/forum. Bicara Pasca PRU14 (Siri 1) 29th June (friday night) Time:7pm-9.30 pm  Tamu Hall, Eastern Mall, Siburan Speakers: Dr Faisal and YB Willie Monggin Bicara Pasca PRU14 (Siri 2) 30th June (Sat night) Time: 7pm to 9.30 pm Function Room Samudera Inn, Jln Nanas, Kuching Dr Faisal and Puan Nurhanim Mokhsen   Forum Pasca PRU14 (Finale) Malaysia Baru; Adakah Rakyat Boss? 1st July 2021 (Sunday afternoon) Time: 2pm to 5.30 pm Pua Kumbu Function Room, Lot 10 Boutique Hotel, Jln Central, Kuching. Dr Faisal YB See Chee How YB Kelvin Yii         The Organizing Committee invites all members of the public to come and attend  any one OR all of the talks at the different locations. All 3 events will be conducted in BM and entry is FOC. If readers or members of the public have any inquiries they may email to [email protected] or contact Ann at 016-8604998 ROSE is an NGO that was inspired and established four 4 years ago after  GE13 and led by ordinary people. Our vision is to build a society that engages and participates in the  democratic process - which is needed for the progress of the nation. Our tagline is “If not now, when; if not you then who?”. **********End statement****************** Dated 21st June 2018 Media Contact person : Ann Teo 016-8604998

(SIARAN AKHBAR) Bicara Pasca PRU14 : "Malaysia Baru: Adakah Rakyat Boss?"

Bicara Pasa PRU14 : "Malaysia Baru: Adakah Rakyat Boss?" ROSE akan menganjurkan siri ceramah dan forum awam pada akhir bulan ini  di tiga (3) lokasi berbeza iaitu Siburan, Petra Jaya dan bandar Kuching. Pilihan raya umum baru-baru ini yang menyaksikan perubahan kerajaan untuk kali pertama dalam sejarah Malaysia dan telah dikatakan sebagai bukti kuasa rakyat dalam membawa hal ini walaupun ada halangan yang dilemparkan dalam perjalanan mereka seperti hari pengundian pertengahan minggu yang tidak dapat dijelaskan. Sememangnya sentimen rakyat pasca 509 adalah tinggi dan nampaknya minat dan kesanggupan  oleh orang biasa,  tua dan muda untuk membincangkan subjek politik dan tadbir urus yang baik. Sudah tentu perubahan dan musim peralihan perubahan kerajaan juga membangkitkan bukan sahaja harapan tetapi juga kegelishan. Sebagai contoh, mereka mengawasi dengan gelisah untuk ahli kabinet penuh yang akan didedahkan oleh PM baru, orang muda secara umum ingin mendapatkan diri mereka berdaftar sebagai pengundi. Untuk  kesedaran tentang kuasa rakyat, bicara dan  forum pasca PRU14 ini  akan membantu sesiapa yang berminat mempunyai pemahaman yang lebih baik mengenai apa yang telah berlaku di peringkat nasional termasuk Sarawak semasa PRU14. Walaupun kerajaan PH mendapat kerusi majoriti di Parlimen mereka tidak menang undi popular. Ia juga dilaporkan bahawa hanya 30%  pengundi Melayu-Islam menyokong PH berbanding dengan 70% yang tidak. Selain dari trend pengundian dan impak yang mungkin berlaku pada pilihan raya negeri Sarawak yang akan datang pada tahun 2021, tujuan kedua ROSE adalah untuk mencari  bagaimana pengundi dan rakyat secara amnya dapat terlibat dan mengambil bahagian dalam proses membina sebuah negara Malaysia yang baru dan meneroka ke ruang demokratik yang lebih luas yang sekarang kita nampak. Kami telah menjemput Prof Madya Dr Faisal S. Hazis seorang Felo Kanan di Institut Kajian Malaysia dan Antarabangsa (IKMAS), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Beliau juga adalah Ketua Pusat Pengajian Asia di Institut. Dia akan membentang di setiap bicara dan forum  yang dijadualkan. Dr Faisal mengkhususkan diri dalam kajian pemilihan, pendemokrasian dan informatik pedalaman. Beliau juga seorang penyelidik dan penulis yang prolifik dan beberapa karya atau penyelidikannya yang terkini termasuk memperkasakan  dan membina kapasiti masyarakat sivil di Sarawak. Diantara penerbitannya yang lebih penting ialah: Patronage, Power and Prowess: Barisan Nasional’s Equilibrium Dominance in East Malaysia’ (2015), Malaysia in 2014: A Year of Political and Social Ferment’ (2015), ‘Politics and Local Government in Sarawak’ (2013) and ‘Domination and Contestation: Muslim Bumiputera Politics in Sarawak’ (2012). Beliau adalah ahli kehidupan ALIRAN, gerakan reformasi yang didedikasikan untuk keadilan, kebebasan dan perpaduan. Selain itu, Dr Faisal juga merupakan ahli jawatankuasa Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (GERAK) dan ahli seumur hidup  Persatuan Sains Sosial Malaysia. Selain Dr Faisal, Ahli Parlimen yang baru dipilih  Puncak Borneo, YB Willie Monggin akan menyertai Dr Faisal menyampaikan perbentangan di Siburan. Pada petang Sabtu (30hb Jun) Dr Faisal dan Puan Nurhanim Mokhsen, Ketua Wanita PKR Sarawak yang bertanding di kerusi Tupong semasa pilihan raya negeri lepas akan membuat pembentangan mereka. Seorang lagi Ahli Parlimen baru untuk Bandar Kuching Dr Kelvin Yii dari DAP dan yang juga Ketua Publisiti untuk Pemuda PH Sarawak akan menyertai Faisal di Forum pada petang Ahad 1hb July. YB See Chee How, Naib Pengerusi PKR Sarawak dan  telah berkhidmat sebagai seorang ADUN kawasan Batu Lintang untuk penggal kedua, antara  ahli panel bagi Forum. YB See juga merupakan peguam hak tanah dan penyokong seumur hidup masyarakat orang asal  dan merupakan kolumnis bagi Borneo Post. Berikut adalah butiran untuk setiap perbincangan. Bicara Pasca PRU14 (Siri 1) 29th June (friday night) Time:7pm-9.30 pm  Tamu Hall, Eastern Mall, Siburan Speakers: Dr Faisal  YB Willie Monggin Bicara Pasca PRU14 (Siri 2) 30th June (Sat night) Time: 7pm to 9.30 pm Function Room Samudera Inn, Jln Nanas, Kuching Dr Faisal Puan Nurhanim Mokhsen   Forum Pasca PRU14 (Finale) “Malaysia Baru; Adakah Rakyat Boss?” 1st July 2021 (Sunday afternoon) Time: 2pm to 5.30 pm Pua Kumbu Room, Lot 10 Boutique Hotel, Jln Central, Kuching. Dr Faisal YB See Chee how YB Kelvin Yii       Jawatankuasa Penganjur menjemput semua orang awam untuk datang dan menghadiri satu daripada Bicara tersebut ATAU semua perbincangan di lokasi yang berlainan. Ketiga-tiga acara akan dijalankan dalam BM dan kemasukan  adalah percuma. Jika pembaca atau orang awam mempunyai sebarang pertanyaan, anda boleh e-mel [email protected] atau hubungi Ann di 016-8604998 ROSE adalah sebuah NGO yang diilhamkan dan ditubuhkan empat 4 tahun yang lalu selepas PRU13 dan diterajui oleh rakyat biasa.  Visi kami ialah membina sebuah masyarakat civil yang  mengambil bahagian dalam process democratik- yang diperlukan unuk kemajuan bangsa dan membina Negara. Tagline kami ialah dalam bahasa swak “ MUN BUKAN KITA SIAPA GIK? MUN BUKAN KINEK TOK BILA GIK?”    Kenyataan Rise of Sarawak Efforts Bertarikh 21 Jun 2018 Contact person: Ann Teo 016-8604998

ROSE condemns #UndiRabu for GE14

DESPITE THE ODDS, COME BACK TO VOTE. HISTORY IS LOOKING AT YOU! ROSE condemns the decision and announcement by SPR that Polling Day for GE14 would fall mid-week on a working day as it is effectively disenfranchising voters in particular those of Sabah and Sarawak. They have yet to give a cogent and credible reason for fixing the said date on a mid-week. Instead of encouraging voter turnout on this very important day, such a move flies in the face of what an election commission would be expected to uphold; access to the right to vote the government of the day. Many of whom either work in west malaysia and singapore or in the bigger cities in towns but whose polling stations is in the kampung. We therefore appeal to all employers in the private sector in particular those who have staff or workers who will need to 'balik kampung' in order to cast their vote to give them sufficient time off to go back to perform their civic duty as citizens in choosing the next or new government. We would also like to echo Bersih 2.0’s appeal to the Federal govt to declare Polling Day a public holiday and for state govt to declare the day before or the day after as a public holiday. However it is heartening to note from netizens and on social media that ordinary citizens or voters are taking matters into their own hands to overcome this challenge seemingly put in their way by the Election Commission and are starting to organise themselves to go back to vote. One of which is to carpool to balik kampung to vote. We believe we will see more creative and helpful ways in the coming days. We also like to say thank you to all the airline companies who has since before the announcements of dates, carried out their CSR to waive re-routing and re booking fees. ROSE hence urge those voters workingstudying outside of Sarawak to quickly book their air-tickets to come back home to vote. There are also initiatives started to give financial help to those coming back to sabah and sarawak to vote. In line with ROSE’s vision of encouraging citizens participation in elections and democracy, we will be conducting a POLLING AGENT/COUNTING AGENT(PACA) training and refresher this Sunday 15th April 2018 at 1.30 pm at Good News Fellowship Community Hall at Green Heights, Kuching. To register for the workshop pls email to [email protected] or sms to 016-8604998. Those who wish to serve as PACA and make a difference in the marginal seats in Sarawak, do attend this training. 11th April 2018End statementFor Media contact : Ann Teo 0168604998

PRESS RELEASE “Malaysians Face Rising Costs of Living, says economists”

“Malaysians Face Rising Costs of Living, says economists” Our recent public forum on the subject of ‘GST & PERIUK NASI KITAK’ ( GST & Your Rice Bowl) held in Kuching  received an encouraging response from the student community, members of the public and friends from NGO circles. About 80 persons turned up last Saturday night at a local hotel to listen to the two(2) invited panelists Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid and Encik Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajuddin who are both economists by training. The forum was organised by Rise of Sarawak Efforts (R.O.S.E) in partnership with another NGO known as Lawyer Kamek For Change and has the support of other local NGOs. It’s aim was to raise awareness on the subject of GST and rising costs of living and other issues affecting young people.        Continue reading

SIARAN AKHBAR :'"Kos Hidup Rakyat Malaysia Meningkat, kata Pakar Ekonomi"

"Kos Hidup Rakyat Malaysia Meningkat, kata pakar ekonomi" Forum rakyat  baru-baru ini mengenai  subjek 'GST & PERIUK NASI KITAK'  yang diadakan di Kuching mendapat sambutan yang menggalakkan daripada komuniti pelajar, ahli masyarakat dan rakan-rakan dari kalangan NGO. Kira-kira 80 orang hadir pada malam Sabtu lalu di sebuah hotel tempatan untuk mendengar dua (2) ahli panel yang dijemput, Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid dan Encik Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajuddin yang kedua-duanya pakar ekonomi. Forum ini dianjurkan oleh Rise of Sarawak Efforts (R.O.S.E) dengan kerjasama dikenali sebagai Lawyer Kamek For Change dan mempunyai sokongan NGO tempatan yang lain. Matlamatnya adalah untuk meningkatkan kesedaran mengenai subjek GST dan peningkatan kos sara hidup dan isu-isu lain yang memberi kesan kepada golongan muda. Continue reading

SIARAN AKHBAR FORUM "GST & Periuk Nasi Kitak" March 3, 2018

Forum Rakyat "GST & PERIUK NASI KITAK": Memahami apa yang kita diberitahui oleh pemimpin kita. Satu kaji selidik yang telah dijalankan baru-baru ini ke atas 4,468 responden mendapati bahawa kebanyakan rakyat (82%) percaya bahawa kenaikan kos sara hidup pada masa sekarang adalah disebabkan oleh pelaksanaan GST. Jika anda pernah cuba untuk membuat beberapa perbandingan antara apa yang biasanya dilaporkan tentang kondisi ekonomi Malaysia contohnya KDNK pada 5.9% pada Q4 2017 dan ramalan positif lain dengan apa yang dialami oleh anda sebagai rakyat biasa; terasa dengan kenaikan kos barangan dan perkhidmatan, pengangkutan dan perumahan, kami menjemput anda untuk hadir dalam forum akan datang. Forum ini dianjurkan oleh Rise of Sarawak Efforts (ROSE) akan diadakan pada Sabtu 3hb Mac 2018 pada 7.15 petang di Hotel Grand Continental, Jalan Ban Hock, Kuching. Forum ini akan dikendalikan dalam Bahasa Malaysia. Kami telah mengundang dua individu yang merupakan pakar ekonomi terkenal iaitu Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid dan Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajuddin sebagai panel forum tersebut. Dr Muhammed kini merupakan ketua penyelidik dasar sosio-ekonomi dan perunding di Kuala Lumpur serta telah menulis beberapa buah buku. Salah satu daripada tulisan beliau yang dikenali ialah “Antara Dua Darjat: Agihan Pendapatan di Malaysia” (English Version: The Color of Inequality; Ethnicity, Class Income and Wealth in Malaysia). Beliau digelar pakar ekonomi yang berjiwa rakyat. Dia juga terkenal dengan cara penyampaian dan berkomunikasi beliau dalam bahasa yang mudah difahami ketika menyatakan pandangan beliau sebagai seorang pakar. Beliau tidak asing dalam perbincangan awam dan forum malah pandangan beliau untuk pra-bajet 2018 pernah menjadi viral pada sekitar Oktober 2017. Saudara Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajuddin pula adalah seorang pakar ekonomi dan mempunyai pengalaman hampir 2 dekad dalam sektor kewangan, dasar-dasar awam, perancangan strategik dan pelaburan. Beliau juga pernah menjadi pegawai khas atau penasihat kepada Menteri Besar Selangor.  Sekarang ini beliau menjalankan perundingan dan kerja-kerja penyelidikan untuk pelbagai pelanggan dari institusi kewangan, agensi kerajaan, NGO dan pusat pemikir atau think-tanks. Continue reading

PRESS RELEASE GST & Periuk Nasi Kitak Forum March 3, 2018

A People’s Forum  “GST & PERIUK NASI KITAK” ; making sense of what our leaders tell us. A recent survey amongst some 4,468 respondents found that most people (82%)  believed that the increase in costs of living in recent times is due to the implementation of GST. Is this a fair assessment? And why ? If you have been trying to make some sense of what is usually reported about how well Malaysia’s economy is doing eg. GDP is at 5.9% at Q4 2017 and other positive forecast AND what many ordinary citizens are experiencing on the ground ; feeling the pinch of rising costs of goods and services, transport & housing , we invite you to participate in an upcoming public forum organized by Rise of Sarawak Efforts (R.O.S.E) to be held on the Sat 3rd March at 7.15 pm at Hotel Grand Continental , Jln Ban Hock, Kuching. The forum will be conducted using Bahasa Malaysia as language of communication. We have invited two very distinguished panelists and they are Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid and Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajuddin.   Continue reading

ROSE 2017 in Review

Friends and supporters, It seems like yesterday when we mobilized PACA volunteers for the Sarawak state elections in May 2016; unlike other parts of Malaysia elections happens in Sarawak every 2.5 years averagely and soon PRU14 will be upon us again. Looking at the electoral landscape it seems that our job is never done. We continue this journey towards an empowered citizenry and voters in the face of the challenges and odds against our country’s democracy not just on the level of free and fair elections but politics and governance in general. For Sarawakians a matter close to their hearts is state rights and autonomy. But what is more autonomy without more accountability? Would the common man and women begin to taste and see the greater autonomy that politicians in the state across both divides are championing for? The autonomy debate should not eclipse all other important national issues like rising costs of living, employment opportunities for graduates and the young and good governance amongst many others. More on this at the end of this review.   Continue reading