The lamentation by Peter Minos viz: (quote) “with so many parties and leaders, many of my KL friends are saying that the Dayak are asking for trouble and heading for self-destruction” is a display of archaic mentality, one trying to portray nothing more and nothing less he is supporting UMNO.
To “his UMNO mates were of the opinion that the Dayaks would bemoan and complain about everything” Peter Minos and those thinking like him should better realize it that indeed the Dayaks are complaining, and rightly so.
Yes, complain we must. Given the fact that Malaysia, after almost 50 years of formation, has not brought about better changes to the people of Sarawak, and let alone to the Dayaks, there is nothing wrong in complaining and bemoaning.
The people want the promises of Malaysia which, for the majority of them, are yet unrealized, unfullfilled.
The rights under article 153, benefits to the bumiputras, which term should include Dayaks, in term of ranking appointments in civil service, GLCs, and other Government Agencies, Army and Police, in foreign service, and contracts, licences, quotas, timber concession, land, scholarships, and many more have not been accorded us. In the civil service, army and police the Dayaks are mostly of junior rank.
Peter Minos asking of the Dayak community to emulate the Melanau that “had fully utilized political unity” and “making a success in their social and economic development” is very pathetic while unrealistic.
The reality in its proper prospective is the fact that the State of Sarawak has been led, after Kalong Ningkan was toppled and after a short stint of Tawi Sli, by two (2) successive Chief Ministers, Tun Rahman Yakub followed by Pehin Sri Taib, for the better part of almost five (5) decades since Independence.
Both are Melanau although they would probably prefer to be called “Malay”. From these facts the Melanau Community can be better appreciated in term of “their social and economic development”. The all-powerful office of the Chief Minister has been seeing to it how Sarawak is developed over the years.
The fact that (or if) Dayaks are in so many political parties is not necessary a bad thing. In fact Pehin Sri Taib referring to Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) he said “the more the merrier”.
And when he was asked if he considered it an act of betrayal for Larry Sng, who is special advisor (Youth Matters) to lead an opposition party, he replied that was not the case because the country practiced democracy and “everyone has the right to form a party”.
And when “Barisan Club” was formed by the defected former members of SPDP, Pehin Sri Taib was reported to have said that “they are still supporting Barisan by being in Barisan Club” and “that is what matters”.
So who is Peter Minos who all the years has expressed full complete loyal support to Pehin Sri Taib as Chief Minister of Sarawak to question the “Group of 5” that started the Barisan Club.
Peter Minos’s call for the Dayak community to be under one party and under one leader is ‘utopian’. It cannot be achieved. Rather more political parties will see Dayaks becoming their members will be on the card, moving forward. Nothing is wrong in that.
Like Pehin Sri Taib was reported to have said in referring to SWP that “the people will make their choice”. And one thing is true the Dayaks will keep on asking for more. Sarawak has contributed a lot to the Federal Revenue.
Example: our oil and gas and our tax revenue. And returned each year to us is very small amount. And all of that goes to SCORE and to the other of Chief Minister’s pet projects. And despite Dayaks are well represented in Barisan, the larger of the community is not served well. Our NCR lands remain untitled, unsurveyed, and unalienated, and otherwise state land.
When these lands are resumed by State Government “for public purposes” the compensated values are very small compared to that of a mixed zone land in a same locality which normally could fetch very high and current market prices. Their participation in land development schemes through SALCRA and Pelita has brought very marginal returns.
Otherwise in truth our community has been fending for themselves. Maybe as apparent in the state of things, due to the blind loyal support given to Barisan Nasional all these years what the Dayaks get are no more than in the form of minor rural projects, which mostly would come during the period preceding election times only.
Another thing is also true: that is despite the diversity of parties and the Dayaks are found in almost all of them, the Dayaks are still united. In particular in their quest for better representation in government, better share of the bite of the economic cake, and for the right to be heard of their quests as such.
Like they did not weep when Peter Minos was defeated when he tried to bring PBB to Bau and was defeated by Patau Rubis of SNAP in 1983 general election, the Dayak community including those in Bau and Lundu will survive the coming GE13.
STAR will offer itself likewise other parties and including maybe a member of the “Gang of 5”, and or maybe DAP and PKR as well. Rest assured, like Pehin Sri Taib has said it “the people will make their choice”.
And Peter Minos is better advised to not to be in haste to praise everything of “UMNO”. And certainly it is not for him to call upon the Dayaks to support or emulate of those Malays in Malaya that support UMNO. This time is not opportune. UMNO has nothing to offer to the Dayaks because in Sarawak the Chief Minister is from PBB. And UMNO will not contest in Sarawak as well.
Patrick Anek Uren