By Kuo Yong Kooi
Please hold next Blackout 505 rally in Sarawak
The world hydropower congress is to be held in Sarawak soon. Sarawak's dam projects will flood 2,300 square kilometres of rainforest and displace around 30,000 to 50,000 indigenous people from their native customary rights land.
The "aftershock" Blackout 505 rallies around the country have demonstrated to us that Malaysians have finally woken up to the realities of politics in our nation. I hope we too might wake up to another reality that has been around for a long time - the rampant destruction of our rainforest land that we have inherited.
Here is thinking outside the box: what about holding the next blackout rally at a major dam site? Or outside the venue of the global hydropower congress to be held in Sarawak soon?
"Cutting two carrots with one knife" or "killing two birds with one stone" or whatever the term used, we have tried highlighting the "not free and fair" GE13 to our friends on Facebook, jamming the White House website and attending rallies to attract global attention on the issue.
Unfortunately, we did not manage to make a dent on the 24-hour global news cycle. I think having the rally at the dam site will, because that is a key global environmental issue. The world has shown more interest in global issues such as the environment.
The environment also showcases Sarawak's Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud and Umno as the prime examples of acts of rampant corruption, cronyism and shows their utter disregard for the environment and the well-being of the native people.
By holding the rally in Sarawak, we will be showing solidarity with our indigenous people in their fight to defend their homes and livelihood. We might be able to win the hearts and minds of our fellow East Malaysians in the rural constituencies, which hold one of the keys to Putrajaya in any election.
The work of winning the hearts and minds of the rural East Malaysians has to be done sooner or later. Why wait until the next GE14, or another three years for the Sarawak state election?
By then, the mega dams of Sarawak would be fully operational. Then BN can just buy votes with a mere RM50 or RM100 because our indigenous friends, who had been displaced from their native customary land, will be desperate to survive.
We also need to explore the use of the global arena to prosecute Taib Mahmud for his "environmental crimes".
There has been some preliminary work done by the European Union and South Americans in jump-starting an "Environmental Crimes Tribunal". This is similar to the "War Crimes Tribunal", which has been functioning globally.
Malaysia does have the human resources now to get anything done. We have seen, over and over again, that there have been huge turnouts in the earlier rallies related to GE13.
The lifespan of our politicians ranges from five years to a few decades. The life cycle of the rainforest is a few million years. "Act locally, think globally". Can someone else think of some other catchy cry?