Monday, August 18

Are Dayaks ready for a change of government?

Abdul Taib Mahmud has been at the helm of the State Government since 26 March 1981 till this day, a record of more than 26 years unsurpassed by any record in any State in Malaysia. Sooner or later he will have to go. Either on his own wish or fate will intervene.

Now, the question I will like to pose is: are we Dayaks really ready for the post Taib era?

And this is the same question my friend Dr Dusit Jaul, INTAN Sarawak Senior Programme Coordinator asked me during one of our morning coffee.

Obviously we are not ready. We have been talking too much; we have been “belaya, belaya, baka mayau enggau chit” as a line of Rozalina’s song goes (bickering like a cat and mouse). We are not prepared to take over.

In a similar situation in the colonial days, we were caught with our pants down when Sarawak was suddenly thrust into independence in 1963, resulting in Dayaks playing in an uneven playing field, and worst of all, we could not agree with ourselves to come up with a united front. Our enemies took advantage of our disunity and pitted Dayaks against Dayaks. Eventually the Dayaks lost their grip on their political power and have not recovered until today.

“I am worried we Dayaks are not ready to take over after Taib has gone,” said Dr Dusit and added: “The Dayaks must do something now, if we want to play a leading role in Sarawak’s politics especially in view of the political tsunami that has wiped five States in West Malaysia.”

He suggested that a few Dayak intellectuals sit down together and discussed our strategies, our plan or even our vision for the Dayak community. In other words, this group would form the community’s “think tank”.

Currently, our Dayak-based parties, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) are talking about merger between the two parties. The aim is good as it (merger) is trying to unite the Dayaks into a formidable force and to ensure the Dayaks play a major role in the next government after Taib. But for now, they are talking hollow only as certain leaders and members of both parties do not want non-Dayaks to play a major role in the new set-up.

Some Dayak leaders, said a friend of mine from Sarikei, should learn from the tragedies that befell Sarawak National Party (SNAP) and Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS), both Dayak-based parties due to the major roles played by non-Dayak members. While SNAP has been waiting for the Sword of Damocles to come down, PBDS has been guillotined and buried. PRS has been suffering from the same anomaly, while SPDP has only a peripheral voice. As for Pesaka, it means what the word means “property” of PBB.

“We must learn from the politics of free lunch,” my friend stressed, adding that there was no such thing as “free lunch.” Like Dr Dusit, he wants the Dayaks to find a way to unite the Dayaks including forming a new political party and joining Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in a group to be led by a prominent Dayak leader, some one in the personality of Datuk Sri Daniel Tajem.

In fact, the proponents of Malaysian Dayak Congress (MDC) have been thinking along this line after the demise of PBDS. But State leaders like Taib Mahumud, Alfred Jabu, William Mawan and Dr James Masing are deadly against its registration as they know that MDC once registered is going to unite Dayaks who ultimately will play a major role in Sarawak’s politics in the 21st century.

Indeed it is dreadful to think of the future after Taib, if we are not ready to play a major role given the political situation the Dayaks are in now. For now, the Dayaks are not only watching as development progress and economic opportunities are by-passing them, but they also are losing their rights including their Native Customary Rights (NCR) land and even their longhouses are being destroyed to open the way oil palm plantations. Who are to be blamed?


Anonymous said...

Ask the Dayak. Ask Masing and Mawan. Ask Jabu and Manyin. As them.

And then ask Tajem. Ask Patau.

Then blame Moggie. Blame ourselves, the Dayaks. Dont blame Taib. He is playing a good political game. We lose. The Dayak lose. that game..

Sean E said...

UMNO has been using the divide and rules game very effectively. Look at BN, the rest of the parties are just juniors compare to UMNO.

As long as human existed, greed on the part of the leaders has caused disunity amongst the people. Taib and whoever came after him will continue to play the divide and rule and money game.

Dr Dusit said...

Manah amat short article nuan menyadi, post it to as many like-minded Dayak as possible.

Our number one priority right now is to put our house in order. The question is who to play the leading role?

In this, we no more can depend on the old generation Dayak "leaders"-Taib era Dayak "leaders".

These self-proclaimed Dayak "leaders" have ample opportunity to prove their worth to the Dayak, and you/we can see for yourself/ourselves what have been done for the Dayak communities at large.

I always beleive in the ABC of leadership; i.e leaders must have the Ability to lead, must be Brave and at the same time,Competent.

Now, which of our current Dayak 'leaders" fit in into this leadership qualities, not to mention leadership qualities of the 21st century...?

Something to think about!

MartinDinil said...

Why not gulingkan kepala ia ka ngemelik ke bala kitai and pak angguk nya sekali..Then ask yourself..Ko aku auk, kati ko orang bukai.?.So, tis is bebanan berat harus dipikul for us ke madah YES..


Before anything else, get rid of all these useless so-called Dayak leaders such as Alfred Jabu, William Mawan and Dr James Masing as they are have been identified as the main biggest stumbling block to Dayak unity. Get rid of them fast and it must be done now. We have many Dayaks intellectuals and intelligentsia who are willing to lead the community post Taib era or even now. But first and foremost, get rid of those scumbags - stumbling block.


Since I also agree to this view:
“Can the people of Sarawak expect 600% growth in its economy or 600% improvement on its basic infra-structure by 2020 - roads, water, electricity, health, family income, etc? It might be easier to criticize but it much easier to know that building the 12 dams is not going to be of benefit to the people in Sarawak. All the reasons and purposes stated by the government for the dam construction is not in sync with the need of Sarawak. We should not focus on the needs of others after all charity starts at home.”
I say that you are not against the government and who is government if there’s no citizens? Where’s the justice and improvement when there’s no critique? You are our retain RENTAP!
If I am Taib Mahmud, I will certainly against your idea that I may claim to be blamed the bloggers because you are continue exploding the truth. I say you know the truth because it’s you community whose affected by the dams before us and thus you CAN says you are knowing the truth. As not only against the Bengoh Dam but we against the most politicians YB,s in Sarawak because they really know their bad purpose to the aborigines but just denied it to have the benefit. As aborigines I also agreed and proud to your idea because your sacrifice to say and asking:
“Do we really need all these dams? While the environmentalists are worried about the effects on our ecological systems and the damage to the rarest specimens of flora and fauna, the Natives are worried about losing their livelihood, cultural heritage and their NCR land – farming land, their gardens (pepper and rubber tress) ‘temuda’, ‘tembawai’, ‘pemakai menua’ and ‘pendam’.”
BUILD TO BE DAMMED! Better donate the money to charity!!

Stanley said...

The dayaks from the interior never seems to be interested in politics.That is why so many windows of opportunities have pass.I bet dayakism is still a long way.No one is as brave as Leo Moggie who is the only dayak that dare to take on Taib.I think there wouldn't be any in the near future.I personally salute Leo.Till today no dayak dare to acknowledge Leo's contributions to the dayak communiy.It's a shame!Person like Celestine Ujang and Alfred Jabu are never considered to be a dayak.They have infact forsaken the dayak community at large.Have you ever seen Jabu been photograph with some well known dayaks leaders,never.Its a pity that dayaks never voice out this shame.Why,is it that they don't dare to say anything that will offend him? Bullshit!If you dare then you can one of us,if not you are one of them.

chapchai said...

The Dayak intelligentsia (and there is no shortage) should hold a seminar to discuss this and follow it up with actions. The time of musing and drifting is over.

Anonymous said...

Manah enti kitai ka ngeridi ke diri empu.

Senentang leadership and who to lead nyak, enti kitai maca bup Nelson Mandela's Road to Freedom, siti character ti patut dikembuan tuai tang pedih ka dikembuan iya nyak: Put the people interests first at all costs, even it means personal interests. ANC is successful because of this policy.

Who can lead in this manner?