Tuesday, June 17

Is PKR the answer to Dayak unity?

FOLLOWING the good performances by parties, which espouse multi-racialism at the March 2008 elections, many hold the views that racially based parties like UMNO, MIC and MCA are no longer relevant in today’s politics. Thus, focus has been centred on Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

When the defacto leader of PKR, Anwar Ibrahim visited Sarawak a couple of months back, many so-called Dayak leaders jumped into the PKR bandwagon honestly believed that multi-racialism “is good for the Dayaks”. Even those closely associated with the formation of Malaysian Dayak Congress (MDC) have given up the idea of pursuing the registration of the congress.

“MDC is a communal party. It is not good for the Dayaks. PKR will look into the interests of the Dayaks,” they said and added: “Dayak problems will be treated as National problems.”

But is multi-racialism good for the Dayaks? Or for that matter is PKR the answer to Dayak unity and woes?

Recently the author of The Broken Shield was with Datuk Sri Daniel Tajem and two MDC leaders trying to find out the opinions of Dayak leaders in Sibu, Bintulu and Miri regarding their stand on application to join PKR. What we found out was that there are two schools of thought.

First, there are those who are too eager to join PKR because they believe that they would automatically be made leaders of their respective areas and their responsibility was to recruit as many Dayaks as possible. And as leaders they believe they will be given the first choice to be selected as candidates.

Second, there are Dayak leaders who are cautious before committing themselves into joining PKR. Because if they are too eager how would Anwar Ibrahim look at them or Dayaks as a whole? Further more, if anything goes wrong, it will not be an easy thing to make amends. For the Chinese in PKR, they have DAP to fall back to and the Malays, they have PAS. But what about Dayaks?

As Tajem told them, he neither encouraged them nor stopped them from joining PKR. But what he wanted them to know was that after in politics for nearly 40 years, he had fallen into sweet promises of politicians, many of them were his close friends. He felt cheated and worst of all being betrayed. There were therefore lot of disappointments, frustrations and unhappiness.

Anwar Ibrahim may be a good person. But what about other leaders especially those who come after him? Little doubt PKR is a multi-racial party, but are the Malays readily conceding their rights such as the sovereignty and supremacy of the Malays in order to give equal rights to the Dayaks? Are they prepared to give up their “ketuanan Melayu”? As long as this is the Malay attitude, there is always the master/slave syndrome; and as such how can we be equal to them in terms of opportunities?

Two things we must make it very clear to the Dayaks. One is joining PKR as an individual, and the other is joining the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) or People’s Alliance through a political party.

Joining PKR on an individual basis has more disadvantages than advantages. You are merely adding to their number, playing peripheral role with Dayak unity being further undermined and Dayak political power severely weakened. Whereas joining Pakatan Rakyat is like becoming a member of Barisan Nasional. Indeed PR is an alternative to BN. In our opinion, it is necessary that we pursue with the registration of Malaysian Dayak Congress or through the existing parties like SNAP. Not only MDC or SNAP will be able to present a formidable force of unity in the People’s Alliance, but the chance of a Dayak becoming the Chief Minister of Sarawak is there.


MD said...

Dayaks and in general Sarawakian deserve equal treatment. Why ? Sarawak help to form Malaysia as one of the component beside Sabah.

By rights, there should be only three component of Malaysia being Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak.

No, Sabah and Sarawak is one of the states of Malaysia instead of being treated as a partner component. I blame it on past politicians and leaders for loosening the partnership privileges of Sabah and Sarawak.

Malaysia Digest

Anonymous said...

does malaya care about sarawak? no

will they care? no

can we believe malaya party? no

mdc or better dayaks congress (snap if become dayaks party instead of multiracial) should be our platform