Friday, January 6

It’s time for a United Dayak Front

(Taken from Free Malaysia Today)

By Joseph Tawie
January 6, 2012

As Sabah's Jeffrey Kitingan seals his cross-border Borneo Agenda with the launch of the Sabah Chapter of Star, Senior Minister James Masing issues his own call in Kuching.

KUCHING: With the 13th general election looming somewhere in the near horizon, Sabah and Sarawak are turning into a cauldron of political activity.

Whichever direction the political wind blows in the peninsular, the kingmakers will be Sabah and Sarawak, although prevaling speculations are that Umno is banking more on Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s delivery of the clinching numbers that would seal its continued hold on Putrajaya.

Whilst today sees the launch of the Sabah chapter of the once dormant Sarawak Reform Party (STAR) and Jeffrey Kitingan taking his Borneo Agenda literally to the battle front, here in Sarawak Senior Minister James Masing is testing the waters with his own call for a United Dayak Front (UDF).

A United Dayak Front would be a merger of Masing’s Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) with Dayak-based Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) and Sarawak National Party (SNAP). Ironically both PRS and SPDP are off-shoots of SNAP.

SPDP was formed in 2002 and PRS in 2004.

SNAP in 1970s was one of the strongest parties in Malaysia with 18 state and nine parliamentary seats. The late James Wong who was SNAP deputy president was one time made the parliamentary leader of the opposition.

SNAP however went through a period of upheaval and has only just returned to the political scene with nothing but a pedigree to tout.

Risky call

But a United Dayak Front is a somewhat risky call for Masing, who is PRS president.

Because a united Dayak community will undermine Taib’s power in the state and his clout in Kuala Lumpur. There also exists a fear that an angry Taib can allegedly be ‘very vengeful’.

And there is also now new possibilities with the revelation that the Sarawak BN actually has a fifth ally – Barisan Nasional Party (BNP, registered in 1974 ).

But Masing, knowing the risks and odds, is undaunted and wants to move but ‘with care’.

Speaking to FMT recently he said: “I am very serious about forming a united Dayak front, but we have people who may feel uneasy of such a Dayak front. Why? I can’t understand it.

“So we must move with clear objectives and with care.”

Masing, who is also State Minister of Land Development, believes a united Dayak community will greatly benefit Barisan Nasional in the next parliamentary election; and of course his own political credentials vis-a-vis ties with Kuala Lumpur.

Of particular concern to him is the rural constituencies. In the April 16 state polls, there was a marked swing in voter support for the opposition in the urban fringes and in rural areas. Masing believes that only united Dayak groups can deliver for BN in these areas.

Development in stages

Currently, two of Sarawak BN allies – Sarawak United Peoples Party (SUPP) and SPDP – are in dire straits.

SUPP is under investigations by the Registrar of Societies (ROS) for alleged breaching of its rules and regulations during the party’s branch elections last month.

It is very likely the party will be deregistered.

The party has four Dayak assemblymen. They are Ranum Mina (Opar), Jerip Susil (Bengoh), Francis Harden (Simanggang), and Johnichal Rayong (Engkilili) and one MP in Richard Riot. Riot who is deputy foreign minister, is also MP for Serian.

Masing suggested that the merger could be done in stages.

“For a start, maybe the sacked SPDP vice-president Sylvester Entri, who state assemblyman for Marudi and the other four SPDP ‘outcasts’ could be part of the merger.

“Then later on we can include others, and the whole idea is to consolidate the Barisan Nasional especially in the rural areas in the coming election,” he said.

The four ‘outcasts’ are Peter Nansian, Tasik Biru Assemblyman, Tiki Lafe, MP for Mas Gading, Rosey Yunus, Bekenu assemblywoman and Paulus Gumbang, Batu Danau Assemblyman.

(It is understood they have been given show-cause letters and their fate with the party will be decided later this month)

Dayaks currently deprived

The idea of merger between PRS and SPDP was mooted in 2005 and had at that time the strong support of Taib but for some reason was opposed by certain non-Dayak members in the two parties. So the idea of a merger was put on hold.

But post 2008 general election and more so after the recent state polls, real or perceived threats from the peninsular have seen shifts in the local political front.

Taib, in his latest state Cabinet reshuffle, sidelined the Dayaks from outside his Pesaka Bumipiutera Bersatu party. Although he ‘promoted’ Masing and SPDP president William Mawan to Senior Ministers, he left them with little or no clout.

Meanwhile, a number of Dayak politicians and businessmen have expressed support for Masing’s proposed merger of Dayak political parties as this will further strengthen the voice of the Dayak community.

One ardent supporter of such a move is Joseph Allen, a former PRS supreme council member and a businessman in Sarikei.

“Look at PBB, it is a strong and united party. All the big projects and contracts go to them. That is the benefits they have for being united.

“And look at the Dayak community. We have been looked down. Our officers in the civil service are not given promotions; our businessmen are not given big contracts and government projects; our children are not given places in universities and given scholarships.

“Our native customary rights lands are taken away from us, and yet we cannot do anything. This is the price we pay for being disunited.

“Dayaks must support Masing in his efforts to unite us so that we cannot be bullied anymore, because when we are united, we will be strong and be respected by others,” Allen said.

United Dayak Front

According to him Dayaks were greatly respected during the time of Stephen Kalong Ningkan (Sarawak’s first Chief Minister from September 1963 to September 1966).

“Our soldiers shone during the confrontation and communist insurgency. Many received gallantry awards and medals. Today nobody recognises what you are doing,” he said.

Former Deputy Chief Minister and president of the defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) Daniel Tajem said that it is a good idea to unite all the Dayaks, but those who join it should not have any personal agenda.

“Personal agenda will destroy the whole thing as it happened to the deregistered PBDS and to Sarawak National Party,” he said.

Masing, he said, should initiate a meeting to discuss the United Dayak Front (UDF) and invite all Dayaks irrespective of their political leaning and affiliation including those from PBB to attend the meeting.

“After all he has the resources and government facilities. And let us see how many are going to attend the meeting,” Tajem said, pointing out that a special committee should be set up to study further the proposal.


Uma Bakak youth said...

James Masing talk of a United Dayak Front = MY FOOT.

His political track record speaks volume of itself.

He is a paid destroyer of dayak politics and future. Together with his cronnies they are now instant millionaire through the reward of timber concessions, land reward and various other (Taib) government contracts.

Masing should consolidate his UNITED DAYAK DESTROYER front to gain additional favours from his paymaster. Late, Jabu and his Dayak Destroyer team shall claim the betrayal trophy and prize money.

Banting said...

Indeed we would like to see a United Dayak Front to unite all the Dayaks in order to establish to realise a Dayak identity and if that is materialised whether it will be lasting?

Just remember that firstly we had SNAP, Sarawak first Dayask-based party, but in 1983 a large Dayak exodus from SNAP and formed PBDS and later followed by the formation of other new political parties namely SPDP and PRS. Even within these two new parties all things had not gone well. It was because of internal leadership tussle and unwilling to compromise.

To me, to form a United Dayak Front is just like building a castle in the air. Firstly, the "outsiders" are still around and they want to see of splitting the Dayaks. Secondly, unless the Dayaks leaders change their attitude - get rid of quarrelsome, self interest and being used as tools by a power crazy "outsider", no way Dayak can unite.

Just look at our Rumah Dayak at Satok. It has been 15 years and yet it is still not built - a good breeding ground for frogs and mosquitoes, indicating that Dayaks are not united. Have Jabu, Masing and Mawan done anything to help to build this Rumash Dayak?

DG said...

Masing has got to be kidding. He is singing an old song that was sung during PBDS days. Maybe those days, it was a hit and favourite but not anymore.
When BN Dayak leaders talk about unity they are actually saying that only by being together they will be strong and (the Dayak BN leaders themselves not the dayaks in general) will be treated equally (like their PBB counterpart) in terms getting of govt projects and contracts. They are more concern about their own self interests and “priok nasi”. Such are the kind of Dayak leaders we are now have and sadly, for the last 40+ years we have been very patient with them. No wonder the Dayaks are among the poorest communities and neglected in all aspects of life including education, employment, welfare, etc, because of the greedy and selfish Dayak BN leaders who have blatantly breached their oath of duty. If Idris Jala were to do a KPA/scorecard on them, I can bet most of them will get a flat "F"!
Masing has forgot that there are now many educated Dayaks including some PhD holders like him, and most of them are already disenchanted and angry with their leaders for non-performance betrayal to the Dayaks. Masing and the other BN Dayak leaders have better be forewarned for these new breed of Dayaks will show them their door and that if for certain.
BN’s corrupt cuture is not for Dayak. So stop it and leave us alone, Masing! Your UDF scheme is only to save your own skin. I can bet your “yang di-kasihi/ dear beloved” will give you his "blessings" to your UDF, but the next thing you know an "invisible hand" will break you guys up and you know whose hand is that, don't you? He too knows that you know, and he couldn't give you a damned for he hates Ming Court and knows how to handle Ming Court 2.0. Dayak leader, to the amusement of other communities, will fight tooth and nail among yourself. It is a simple plot. Forget your old song and follow in the footsteps of our legendary Rentap who dared to say "NO!" to Brookes. Fight for the Dayaks and NOT yourself and business gangs. It’s still too late. Better now than never. If you can do that, you may survive and the Dayaks’ destiny will change, but I don’t know if you would want to forsake your pot of gold and your medals

Anonymous said...

I suggest that you call it United Dayak Fools or United Dayak Frogs. Man like masing, will destroy the destroy party when it becomes a force to .. Pity

Anonymous said...

UDF, Masing should get Jabu's consent first before he propose anything. Why, I say so, because he will fail in the end.

Masing has shown his true colour with PBDS, proven to be unreliable and unaccountable in many cases. He is not fit to lead UDF since many dayaks and non-dayak
do not trust him for what he had done during the era of PBDS.
1) He played a very crucial part in splitting the dayak
2) His principle is self-interest above all
3) He is no different from Jabu/Mawan has no gut to speak for the Dayak.
4) He is one of the cronies link to land-grabing of NCR/NCL
5) His ideas of UDF is non other than 'Menangguk di air keruh' after the leadership crisis in SUPP and SPDP for personal gains.

Apai irau said...

Masing talking of Dayak Unity,yes,my middle finger for him.He was and is the Biggest Pretender in Dayak politics today.What has he done to the few good Dayak leaders in PBDS? He was a loyal spy for Taib in PBDS,and had the gut to kill PBDS on the instruction of PBB,otherwise his Parti Raban Sundal would not have born the very next day PBDS was de-registered.He has substantially contributed to the Dayak disunity agenda.And he still wants to talk about Dayak unity? This Tang Silly,Mr.Mee Presiden ,Senior Minister without allocation to his ministry (if we are observant enough)will say something pleasant about the Dayaks when election is near.Before the last state election he talked about the cause of logjam in batang rajang until he quareled(of course pretended)with Len Talif and even openly said that the common law supercedes our Sarawak Land Ordinance.Has he moved a motion in the Dewan to repeal the oppressive provisions of our land ordinance? No.He is talking cock.And now he is talking cock again about Dayak unity! Ok,lets see if this Tang Silly dare to invite Dayak leaders/Ybs in PBB to set up and become committee members of his UDF for the start,as proposed by DS Daniel Tajem,i bet his tail will go in-between his legs.......ooh yes,i m a great pretender....ooh Angie,don't you realize babe!!!.Shit

Anonymous said...

Masing and Mawan, both are sidelined in the Taib's Cabinet, and for reasons Taib knows best.Maybe both got "Tan Sri" from Agong without blessing from Taib. And for that reason Taib sees threat in them being too close to Najib which could undermine Taib's hold in Sarawak politics. Whatever maybe the reasons one thing is clear Masing in talking about UDF with a view to protect himself. He has lost faces because after the last State Election with PRS becoming No. 2 in term of number of seats won, he openly stated that he should be made a Deputy Chief Minister. When he is not promoted he is now looking for ways to secure a better tomorrow for himself. I don't trust this guy, moreover with his past record: he even fought tooth and nail against Tajem and the group using support of "others" to achieve his ends.Now he is reaping the what he sowed!.
Dayak unity is another matter, of course. It is not for Masing or Mawan to lead, no thank you.

Iban rumah panjai said...

And today in front page of the Borneo Post, Taib warned SPDP not to repeat mistake when the party lost Krian and Ba Kelalan constituencies in the 16 April state election.

Taib said, he would decide the candidate, meaning he will choose the candidate himself in future. If that is the case, does it mean Taib will not depend on the party`s recommendation on the list of candidates? Is that a type of "consensus" in BN?

Anonymous said...

PRS - Party Raban Sundal, Human being who are willing sell their souls.

Anonymous said...

why talk of UDF in otder to get Dayak Unity within Barisan Nasional? Is that a step backward? Or is BN as it is already has Dayak Unity within the coalition?

In any event we should be talking of broad struggle for unity of peoples of Sarawak to demand better rights from Malaysia as prmoised during its formation in 1963? To achieve this we must talk of malays, chinese and dayaks, and others. Only upon a broad platform we can achieve better things for the state and the people. Otherwise the proposal by Masing obviously is self-serving, and will not be supported by the other races,it would fail notwithstanding a Tan Sri Hames Masing is head of it. In fact all the more it does because of the very name of the proposer has been known that what his "struggle" represented so far?

Anonymous said...

As reported that Taib will pick a candidate for Mas Gading when the time comes, and also as reported that after Mawan during a dinner at Bau recently had declared that Pater Nansen, the incumbent state assemblyman for Tasik Biru state constituency could kiss "good-bye" to representing that constituency in future elections SPDP on 15/01/2012 terminated membership of Peter Nansen and three (3) others in the earlier declared Group of 5 which included Tiki, the incumbent for Mas Gading, SPDP/BN is seemed to be in a very confused state of affairs. Surely if Taib who is the State Chairman of BN and also the Chief Minister should decide to nominate Tiki for Parliament in the coming 13GE, by making his position clear in opposing Tiki's nomination now, Mawan and for that matter SPDP is putting himself in an ackward situation. Would Mawan then resign his cabinet post should that be the case. Or is he telling the voters in Mas Gading that as far as nominating a candidate in Mas Gading is concerned the buck stops at his feet? Mawan must come clean in this matter.

His attending the dinner at the invite of "Jagoi Bratak Association" held at Dewan Suarah Bau on the 14/01/2012 where and when the purported agreement of 1996 which is said to have paved the way for Peter Nansen to be candidate for Tasik Biru constituency was the order of discussion and given prominence in the deliberation has further added to the confusion in SPDP/BN. The said dinner was oranized by essentially a PBB local leader in none other than Dato Peter Minos. The latter is also the champion of the issue of "Jagoi vs Singai" as if the Dayaks are not very divided as is the case. To me, at least, this latest move is all the more new proofs that Mawan will not be able to prevent Taib from nominating Tiki as the candidate for Mas Gading in the coming GE13. So it is better for him to just not make too much statements which could only add to more confusion.

Anonymous said...

What Mr "Messing - Things - up" actually means is its time for him to be chief minister. He is challenging taib to pass him the baton before its too late. But Mr Thief Taib just said that he would be the one to pick BN candidates in the future. Yes he said in the FUTURE...well into the future even after he is six feet under. So good luck you mr messing. PBDS tried the UBF thing before and you messed it up.

Anonymous said...

Let Masing set up UDF to see his poltixal cloud in BN.Give him CHANCe

Apai irau said...

Yeah,by all mean,please do it now Masing,set up UDF NOW,and make sure that the DAYAK OR IBAN LEADERS IN PBB MUST BE INVITED FIRST AND SIT IN THE COMMITTEE.Make your committee members public.Surely you can do it.Definitely it's easier than doing your PHD thesis(based on Iban folklores written by the late Michael Buma and a few others).