“For the past 45 years the Dayaks have suffered injustices, have been marginalized and have been sidelined in education, scholarships, business opportunities and our NCR lands have been taken and given to big companies,” Datuk Sri Daniel Tajem (pic above) said.
Tajem, who was former Deputy Chief Minister and president of the defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) was opening a one-day Dayak symposium at a leading hotel in Sibu.
Some 200 professionals and members of the Dayak organisations coming from through the State attended the symposium.
“The only remedy or option open to us is to change the State government,” he said and added that failing to do so would further disenfranchise and disempower the Dayaks.
Tajem said that the State government had introduced a bill to change “Sea Dayak” to “Iban”, the “Land Dayak” to “Bidayuh” and “Murut” to “Lun Bawang”.
The governor has not signed the bill into law, but once it becomes law it means that “Iban”, “Bidayuh” and “Lun Bawang” are no longer natives and will not enjoy the rights and privileges as embodied under Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.
“Even forming a party of our own as provided for under Article 10 (1) (c) we are not only not allowed to form one, we are being accused of likely to cause a threat to national security, public order, peace and harmony.
“During insurgency, we are made heroes and during peace time, we are considered as a threat to national security. Can you believe that?” he said.
Tajem also touched on the amendments to Section 5 (a) (2) of the Land code that have eroded our rights over land.
Earlier the chairman of the Dayak symposium, Augustine Liom said that the ultimate aim of the symposium would endeavour to expose and deliberate on the many sins of the Barisan Nasional Government that have caused miseries, grievances and frustrations to the Dayak communities, be they Bidayuh, Iban or Orang Ulu. – The Broken Shield