11 April 2011
KUCHING: Penang chief Minister Lim Guan Eng called on the state government to stop then exploitation and oppression of the Dayak community.
“For too long they have been taken advantage of by a government that has robbed them of their rights and left them with nothing.
“The exploitation and oppression of the Dayak community must end,” he said in a statement before returning to Penang.
Lim who is also DAP Secretary General has been in the State to help campaign for the Pakatan Rakyat candidates.
“Now, with polling day for the Sarawak Election being less than a week away, it is opportune for the Dayak community to rise up to challenge the corrupt Barisan Nasional government.
“The state of Sarawak belongs to the people of Sarawak and Pakatan Rakyat vows to return the riches of the land to the people.
“We will provide an annual RM1 billion allocation to establish the Dayak Endowment Fund, in order to provide much-needed infrastructure and basic amenities like roads, water and electricity to the Dayak and other communities.
“They must enjoy direct access wherever they may be in Sarawak so that they can have a higher quality of life and bring them back to the economic mainstream.
“It is ridiculous that roads leading to the interior such as from Kuching to Sri Aman or Sibu to Bintangor and Sarikei are so badly built. When we travel by car, we feel we are travelling by sampan on a river with all the swaying back and forth and swinging from left to right throughout our journey.
“In this modern day and age it is totally unacceptable that there is no electricity and yet the Federal or state government can give computers as an empty show and pretence that they care,” he said.
Lim said: “This Dayak Endowment Fund is on top of the RM1 billion Poverty Eradication Fund aimed at eradicating hardcore poverty in the state.
“The Dayaks are other native groups, who make up the largest percentage of the population of Sarawak, are unfortunately also among the poorest,” he said, pointing out that Sarawak is a rich state, if not the richest in Malaysia in terms of natural resources.
“Therefore, to fund the two programmes, Pakatan Rakyat will demand that Sarawak receives 20% oil royalty instead of the 5% it currently receives from the Federal Government.
“Even without the increase in royalties to 20%, the Sarawak state government can afford this RM1 billion annual allocation for the Dayak Endowment Fund by cutting down on corruption.
“The land of Sarawak belongs to the people of Sarawak, and therefore only ordinary Sarawakians should be allowed to acquire them.
“Currently, political and public positions are abused in order to gain valuable land across the state while ordinary Sarawakians find it difficult to obtain land.
“In a Pakatan Rakyat Government as practiced in Penang, anyone holding elected posts or appointed public posts such as local councillors will be barred from applying for land. This is to prevent abuse of power by those entrusted to protect the people’s rights. In other words, land will only be given to ordinary Sarawakians,” he said.
He said that Sarawak is a land that has everything, yet the vast majority of its people have nothing.
“Therefore, we call upon all Sarawakians, especially the Dayak community which has long been marginalised, to stand up and claim what is rightfully theirs.
“The plentiful resources of Sarawak must be returned to its rightful owners, the people of Sarawak,” he added.