The real issues at stake in Sarawak


A blog reader has mentioned the following in the comments section, which I thought was worth highlighting. When you consider the immense resources that Sarawak and Sabah have at their disposal, you have to wonder why their poverty rates are higher than the other states with around the same household income:

The core issue in Sarawak is governance and distribution within Sarawak. Don’t fall for the federal-state ploy, although there are of course serious issues there.

This can be seen, e.g., when one compares the average household income in Sarawak with that in other states. Below are the numbers for 2004 as published in the 9th Malaysia Plan, and sorted by average household income from highest to lowest:

Income / Poverty rate
Selangor 5,175 / 1.0
WP KL 5,011 / 1.5
Penang 3,531 / 0.3
Johor 3,076 / 2.0
N9 2,886 / 1.4
Melaka 2,792 / 1.8
Sarawak 2,725 / 7.5
Sabah 2,487 / 23.0
Pahang 2,410 / 4.0
Perak 2,207 / 4.9
Kedah 2,126 / 7.0
Perlis 2,046 / 6.3
T’ganu 1,984 / 15.4
Kelantan 1,829 / 10.6

As can be seen, Sarawak has the 6th highest average household income in the country, just slightly below Melaka. Yet, while Melaka had a poverty rate of 1.8%, Sarawak had 7.5%. Or, look at Sabah and Pahang: not much difference in average household income, but worlds apart in poverty rates. Both Sabah and Sarawak have a much more unequal distribution of income than the country as a whole.

Blog reader major hopes that things will change in Sarawak:

During my five years tour of duty in Sarawak, I clocked more then 80,000km travel by road. I used to change eight tyres a year for my 4×4 (all terrain (A/T)). I flew almost every week using all type of MAS aircraft and helicopters reaching all small and big airports. I explored almost every small and big town. I cruised along almost all the small and big, short and long rivers. I used almost all ferry services in crossing the rivers.

I visited many longhouses and met thousands of Dayaks and other natives. I listened to and understood their sorrow and happiness. I joined all their functions and ate all their food and tasted all their drinks. Although I am a Muslim from the peninsula, I love Sarawak people for their honesty, kindness, courage and bravery and for all their sweat and blood to protect our motherland.

I pledge that all Malaysians should give all their attention to Sarawak and Sabah peoples (and give them) all their dues. The development, the basic needs and the future for all my Apai, Indai, brothers and sisters who are desperately in need especially in the rural areas.

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Cecilia Gibson

Well… what can I say… went back to our village in Bakun and the road was a disgrace and the logging lorries were overloaded and think they were driving on a F1 track!! Where all this $$ gone? Something got to be done.


Sabahans… pls… it’s time for you guys to wake up too… look at the stats…TAIB MAHMUD + MUSA AMAN = THE… GREEDY…


They have been milked since the formation of Malaysia and if they don’t wake up now…. How could one man brings so much so sorrow to so many ?

Wake up !!!
Wake up !!!
Wake up !!!


MACC, please come to sarawak and see for yourself how all these superrich live here.For MACC to be credible they must catch all these big fish.These rampant corrupted are treating sarawak as their playground.
Since MACC ave been established,there is not a single arrest in sarawak.Are they scare to come here!


The richest states often attract alot of thieves and robbers likewise a sweet cake attract alot of flies.Here sarawak there are alot mineral and other resources.First on the list to steal in those days are timber,then oil and gas. Look at Bintulu LNG.They have been shipping gas to Japan for ages and till now we never see any benefit from this sales. After robbing timber,oil and gas,they are now stealing our land,fish and electricity.For the electricity,12 dams are to be built and with our small population one wonder why we need so many dams.They are conspiring with outsiders to built… Read more »


what macc investigate? dont play play with him!
He controls the mps who hold the balance of power between BN and PKR.
Respect and kow-tow to him who hold the balance by our Feds.leaders.
Malaysia boleh, all things can…can be MB as long as he wants…unless he runs out of breath?


what macc investigate? dont play play with him!
He controls the mps who hold the balance of power between BN and PKR.
Respect and kow-tow to him who hold the balance by our Feds.leaders.
Malaysia boleh, all things can…can be MB as long as he wants…unless he runs out of breath?…


goverment servents have worked and serve in sarawak long enough to retire in govt. service but the CM IS THE SAME.

IF THE MACC doesn’t want to take action then how to force the donkey to dring water. let life takes it natural cause and finally all will perish in the hands of the corrupt, having said that theeir siblings wil suffer, after all life is a straight line but these morons just can’t visualise their future cos their mind is blocked by their immense wealth. corrupted money comes and goes and this money don’t have berkat (luck)


There are tons of cases for MACC to work with in Sarawak.

Are their bosses still busy with the “remeh temeh” ones in Perak?

Where is GERAK? They should have gone to Sarawak and Sabah by now and stay there for 5-10 years in order to bring out the TRUTH.


It seems that the old producing states are the poorest in term of income. So the big question is “Where did the money go?”. It’s frightening to think what is going to happen when these states run out of oil? And yet looking at the financial status of their CMs in states like Sabah and Sarawak, one would think that the people must be living the standard of the Swiss.


See West Malaysians leaders and rulers are all the time expounding ” ketuanan melayu” and remind that Malaysia was once Tanah Persekutuan Melayu. Just look at the Orang Asli


MACC should be investigating all the recent Al Jazeera interview.

Instead of doing this, they are more interested in Khalid’s mere lembu issue.

How is the rakyat going to have confidence in the who system again?