Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Are Dayaks Squatters in Sarawak Politics?

Dayaks are the people by their culture, very kind and loving people, who lived simple life and were not demanding for luxury and good life, but, they valued peace and serenity. Known for their bravery during headhunting days, they were also good followers and were people who always wanted to avoid trouble with other races. It was their kindness, simple life style and their non demanding style that made the dayaks today lost the place where they should be today! We could see this started from the glorious days of Tun Jugah.

Let me help recall what I read of events leading to our independence. The Sarawak Alliance Government who were made up of multiracial Sarawakians at that time had favoured Tun Jugah as the Governor, but the Government of the people from the land of the Malays, that is the Malayan Government, insisted that since Ningkan, who was the Chief Minster, was an Iban, the Governor should be Malay. Why Malayan Government interfered with our Sarawak affairs? It was not yet independence then, but, only days away and Malaysia was not formed yet, but, Malaya had already exerted their influence in Sarawak politics.

There was a deadlock in the negotiations. Tun Jugah, the Iban Paramount Chief, being too kind and who also didn’t want trouble with Malaya, gave way and later generously asked that his name not to be considered as the Governor of Sarawak. Tun Hj. Openg was then sworn in as the Governor.

Had Tun Jugah became the Governor, things could have been different today. With the Paramount Chief neutralized of his influence, the next step was then to neutralize the influence of Ningkan. Ningkan was also an equally influential dayak leader, but, elements within and outside SNAP later on led the party to split into PBDS, PRS, SPDP.

The shield has broken! Tawi Sli who took over from Ningkan had short life in office and could not find a successor.

Now, the Dayaks are split and many became “squatters” in other BN parties. (Sorry for my langugage, which I meant no offence, please). There is now, no more a truly dayak party and Jabu, Masing and Mawan, just had to listen to Taib now. They are good followers of Taib and BN, so also their followers. The disintegration of dayak political power saw the rise of Tun Rahman – Taib power in Sarawak politics! Uncle and nephew who said “quarreled” had “patched-up” in a recent dinner in a leading hotel in the city. Was there a “quarrel” and if so, what had they quarreled for and why should they? After all, blood is thicker than water!

After the split, Leo Moggie and Daniel Tajem had tried to revive the dayak fortunes, but, their PBDS could not hold long.

Many young dayaks, being disillusioned with the what happened in the own land, had to leave and migrated to other places like Johor Baharu and other malay states in West Malaysia.

Without a truly dayak party, where the dayaks have to go now? The only way for young dayaks who wants to try their luck in politics and who want to fight the cause of their community, is to park themselves in any of the BN parties or to join the Opposition PKR or DAP. Only thing would be sure, DAP will definitely want to see a dayak to be the Chief Minister and if any dayak leader who joins the party, I am sure he would fully have my backing.

1 comment:


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