Adenan Satem rocks in London, making every effort to bring order out of disorder


HAVING made every effort to put his house in order with illegal logging anticipated to be better controlled through the passing of the Forest Bills 2015 in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN), Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem set out on a journey to Lun-Dun. The Borneo Post OnLine reports:

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Lun-Dun – I like how the foochows say London. I understand many other Chinese dialects also pronounce London as Lun-Dun though the tone may vary.

The High Commission of Malaysia in London had – on behalf of the Chief Minister – extended an invitation to various NGOs for a briefing session – with the stated purpose to provide the participants with an understanding of what Sarawak has to offer in terms of environmental management and preservation, besides exchanging ideas and exploring potentials for collaboration between the NGOs and Sarawak.

For many years, Sarawak has been the target of international environmentalists regarding  forest management and conservation. The state has all this while avoided a confrontation with these green activists even amidst demonstrations on international front and through the local communities.

Would not an invitation for “exchanging ideas and exploring potentials for collaboration” sound too good to be true?

Many NGOs must have been caught off-guard that right in London, on their very own soil, Adenan had said – in the presence of the Bruno Manser Fund chief, and our most vociferous critic, Sarawak Report founder Clare Rewcastle Brown along with other conservationists and corruption watchdog of our forest reforms – that “the state would rather work with you than against you and hope the NGOs will take the same attitude that they would rather work with us than against us.”

No, the Chief Minister did not bow too low. On the contrary, he spoke with authority.

“If your agenda is truly conservation and sustainable management of our forests, if that indeed is your agenda, we are prepared to work with you. If your agenda is something else, I am sorry I can’t work with you in good faith.

“If that is, indeed, your agenda you are welcome to work with us and we are happy to do so. You are not the only experts in this field – there are some other experts among you also.”

He also told Rewcastle Brown he has two ears and one month and would, thus, “listen more than speak.”

On her persistent as to whether he would listen to her RFS, Adenan said: “We have our own radio to give our facts. You can do the worst you can find – up to you. But we don’t. People know. That some of your basic facts are wrong and mere assumptions.”

And to put an end to the exchange with Rewcastle Brown, the Chief Mnister said in his usual no-nonsense way: “I don’t want to enter into an argument on this matter. We can argue until all the cows come home and not come to any conclusion.

To borrow a quote from the Queen of crime fiction, the late Phyllis Dorothy James (PD James): “I love the idea of bringing order out of disorder, which is what the mystery is about. I like the way in which it affirms the sanity of human life and exorcises irrational guilts.”

When James died last November, I bought a few of her old books with the help of a dear friend who is a regular customer of Amazon-com, and revisited them over the past few months.

Reading James’ fiction now is very different from doing so when I was much younger.

Back then, the fascination was probably the meticulous construction of the plots with all sorts of good twists and turns. And, of course, the characters were an attraction.

James’ Metropolitan cop, Adam Dalgliesh, is the most intelligent police officers in fiction I have ever read.

Dalgliesh is sensitive, intelligent, awe-inspiring and is even a published poet. I did wonder what sort of woman would be good enough for him. But there is no romance. My biggest pleasure of re-reading those favourite mysteries is their power to transport me into a world of people, places and objects.

A Certain Justice was set in the London Inns of Court. James also used her knowledge of the Anglican Church in her setting of Death in Holy Orders.

But more to it, as a mature reader now, I see Dalgliesh as a realistic cop, dedicated and skillful, not just a policeman, but a complex and sensitive human being.

In James’ own words: “It seems to me, that the more we live in a society in which we feel our problems – be they international problems of war and peace, racial problems, problems of drugs, problems of violence – to be literally beyond our ability to solve, the more reassuring it is to read a popular form of fiction which itself has a problem at the heart of it. One which the reader knows will be solved by the end of the book.”

But most of all, you realise that any of the events in James’ books could have happened in real life.

James agreed, in an interview, she had said what her stories were about was not murder but the restoration of order.

James was not only a writer living in her own world, she kept in touch with the criminal classes by sitting as a magistrate in London and active in politics.

In a speech attacking the “cult of political correctness,”she said: “If, in speaking to minorities, we have to weigh every word in advance in case we, inadvertently, give offence, how can we be at ease with each other, celebrate our common humanity, our shared anxieties and aspirations.”

By the same token, it could be said that in an effort to restore order vis-a-vis forest and conservation policies in the state as well as world views of our forest management, Adenan is like a hero who appears on the international front of Lun-dun to begin his works of overhauling the mess to proper order.

So, I say, Adenan rocks – he is making every effort to bring order out of disorder – both in our DUN and Lun-dun.

In passing, here you are, for all mothers, and fathers too, a Happy Parents’ Day.

Love, always love. Perhaps that’s what we’re all looking for. And if we don’t get it early enough we panic in case we never shall. A Certain Justice, PD James.

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