COMMENT | I have been informed that Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg was not too happy about my article, “Time to be a leader, Abang Jo”, published in Malaysiakini on May 27.
A BN state assemblyperson, who I consider a dear friend, contacted me to say that although he could agree with some of my views, he also felt that I was not being very respectful to the chief minister.
This was my response to him: “There is something which I must make very clear to you. I am not in the business of pleasing politicians, you my friend, and the chief minister included.
“When something is way wrong and out of hand, don’t be a coward. Speak up. The trouble with you, BN politicians and others too, is that all of you have personal interests to protect. There is nothing I want personally from you, the state BN or from Abang Jo. That is the difference between you and me.
“However, like many Sarawakians, I expect Abang Jo to be a leader and to stop being a follower. Most importantly, to stop taking instructions and carry out orders from the Astana.
“He is also my chief minister and I want him to succeed too for the sake of Sarawak and its people. So far, he has nothing tangible to show in his 16 months as chief minister, according to public feedback.
“Political leaders have to stop thinking that whenever people criticise them, it is always done with malice and contempt. They do not look at the sincerity and noble intention of the critiques. If Abang Jo falls into that category, then I’m sorry for him.
“Please go back and report to your boss what I’ve just said...