Dr John Brian Anthony wrote a letter to Malaysiakini http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/85039 to inform us the reasons why ,”Dayaks may have to set up their own party?” I received a number of emails and calls from various dayak leaders specially in my article”milking the cow” when I included in the lists of eight reasons especially (no.2) why history will record SAPP’s daring act. In Dr John’s letter he has something similar that “they are more like political cowards with loyalty to their self-interests only”
Why has this suddenly happened in the political landscape of Sarawak? Could it be just the merged entity of SPDP-PRS? Obviously not but, Sarawak BN chairman and CM Taib Mahmud who spoke of the possibility of a merged PRS-SPDP entity one day “joining” Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), of which he is the president. A member of the component party said very bluntly,”What CM says you have to read in between the lines,meaning he is against a merged entity as he still wants to practise the divide and rule policy.”
A keen observer who send us a letter since Taib has expressed the wish for the two parties after their merger to join his party PBB, why not adopt a short-cut measure and invite the YBs and members of the two parties SPDP and PRS) join PBB straight away. Was Taib really serious? Or was he being influenced by other events such as the political tsunami after the March 2008 elections, the expansion of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to Sarawak or the promises made by PKR and DAP for a Dayak to be made the chief minister of Sarawak?
However, the past few days there has been calls by members of the BN coalition coming up to echo the CMs call for a merged entity amongst who were the father and son “team” of Donald and Snowdon Lawan. Donald a local entrepreneur and a former YB for Bukit Begunan he said it is high time for the Bumiputras to unite under one political party. Snowdon currently assemblymen for Balai Ringin meanwhile said that he shares his father’s view but he added that the whole idea is to remain relevant to represent the people. One might argue these are just their personal views in support of Taib while the other dayaks beg to differ.
It must be noted that both Presidents of PRS and SPDP are supportive of joining PBB one day but there are just a “hint of cold feet.” Besides that many Chinese and Indian politicians within the ranks of both parties are upset and unhappy with the statement of CM. Everyone knows that Multi-racialism is the way forward and that racial parties should be phased out which is in keeping with the trends in Malaysia like Parti Keadilan Rakyat.
These are some other interesting points put forward by Dr.John and they include
- Some promoters of the Malaysian Dayak Congress Party have joined PKR. This is due to necessity, not choice. ( MDC unable to be registered)
- The current Dayak-based party working within BN is filled with well-fed representatives with comfortable lives.( They rather keep quiet as being too vocal they might jeorpadise their positions.Rule of the thumb)
- The parties which claim to represent the Dayaks are too mindful of hurting the feelings of other races while other race-based parties champion their own race agenda (MCA and MIC)
- The preservation and development of the Dayak language and culture has to be prioritised
- Dayak participation in the civil service has to be increased and they should be able to occupy top positions. A Dayak should have equal chance of becoming chief minister ( When was the last Dayak CM..? )
Are this enough for a basis for a new party. PRS faction leaders came up with a new entity when they were engaged in infighting. The name,”GOLD- Gegasan Organisasi Landasan Dayak.” It has not seen the light of day just yet. “MDC-Malaysian Dayak Congress.” ROS has delayed its registration for various reasons. So what about Parti Bangsa Baru Sarawak(Baru) like UMNO (Baru).
There are calls by the dayak community for the government to look into the “real” plight of the people or the dayaks will pursue their own political party which is according to Dr. John a Dayak party that truly serves the Dayak community. All is not well on the ground and there are a lot of unhappiness amongst the dayak community. Will it happen………?