Open Up,Masing Tells Ibans

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Article extracted from Borneo Posts on line

Ibans should not remain parochial but instead be more open.

Land Development Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing, who is also Baleh assemblyman, said they should open up so as not to put restrictions on themselves.

“The Iban mentality which only allows for a candidate from their respective constituency to contest restricts Iban human resource from being fully harnessed in politics.

“For example, only an Iban from Baleh is tolerated to stand as candidate for Baleh state constituency. This strong regionalistic feeling restricts good lban or Dayak leaders from contesting in other areas,” he pointed out.

He gave this advice when launching ‘Persatuan Warga Emas Kapit’ and ‘Leaders with the people’ programme organised by the Welfare Department that was held at Rumah Ngiang, Nanga Sepako, Sungai Majau, Baleh recently.

The two-day programme was to launch the association and encourage those above 55 years old to take up a healthy lifestyle.

“The Malays or Chinese voters don’t put such restriction on themselves. Thus, mobility in politics exists among them and their leaders are fully used. Any good leader from these groups can stand in any constituency and win.

For example, Lim Kit Siang, DAP member of Parliament, stood in Johor, away from his home area. He could also win,” he pointed out.

“Until the Dayaks reduce their strong regionalistic feelings, we as communities, will not be able to tap fully into our political human resources. The Dayaks in general, haven’t learnt to abide by leaders’ decision.

“The tendency to question and later go against their leaders’ decision, to prove their point, becomes a hindrance to Dayak political cohesiveness. The element of trust to those in authority is not there yet among the Dayaks,” he added.

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