Wednesday, October 8, 2008

“Iban place trivial things above kids’ education” – James Masing

Should we allow the Dayaks to live in this condition with pigs still seen reared under their longhouses?

I am flattered by the words of Dr. James Masing to say that the dayaks should emulate the outstanding characteristics of the Chinese which gives priority to their children’s education. This was a fact that no one has disagreed because when Chinese came to this land, they also brought with them education from China. They came here in sampans, started what we called “Kongsi” which means, “company”, “community” or “society”. The Kongsi in Bau/Siniawan started by the Chinese hero, Liu Shang Ban, who attacked James Brooke in his Astana was a well known Kongsi to the people in Bau, Siniawan and Kuching.

When the Chinese came here, they met the dayaks and the local malays and do business with them and with their wealth they went back to China and helped their own people there. Some left behind and preferred to spend the rest of their lives here and they thrived economically by helping each other. Here, they started clan associations and societies to help each other. With their acquired wealth here, they brought more teachers from China to teach their children here and decided that Sarawak was their new homeland.

But, when the Chinese here became more phosphorous, they also did not forget the hospitality of the dayaks and the malays in allowing them to live and do business here. When SNAP was started, Chinese businessmen, to name a few, like the late Datuk Wee Hood Teck, Tan Sri Wee Boon Ping and Datuk James Wong poured money into the Party, but, the dayak and malay leaders could not themselves hold on to the Party, which led the Party been weakened over the years. Splinter groups within the Party led to the formation of PBDS, SPDP and PRS. It was a sad thing and I really hope some dayak and malay leaders would be able to revive the strength of the party to 1974 level at least.

Now there are some dayak leaders who became very wealthy by being in the government, but, after SDNU it took some intellectuals, who themselves were not wealthy and who themselves did not benefit much from the BN government to play a more proactive role in bring the dayaks to greater heights by setting the ball rolling by organizing another association for the dayaks, that, is the Dayak Graduates Association. Now we can see the Dayaks Chamber of Commerce and Industry and also the dayak music industry thriving with The Dayak Music Award (DAMA) 2008 in motion to help dayak come together.

On the other hand, Sarawak DAP also was aware of the needs to bring the dayaks to a better level economically and we had not failed to speak for the dayaks. When I spoke of the plights of the dayaks and told the Legislature that the dayaks in the rural area were still poor, YB Sylvester Entri, shot me down and wanted me to prove my statement. YB Sylvester Entri has to go back to longhouses and see for himself! Maybe he has forgotten his roots!

We know all these while that the dayaks had helped us much and many voted for the DAP. When YB Ting Tze Hui spoke of land problems faced by the dayaks, Dr. James Masing ticked her off by calling her act as “cultural arrogance”. Then how the dayaks are going to progress when we wanted to offer ideas and help we were shot down and now with Dr. James Masing issuing a statement, “to emulate the Chinese”? Is not Dr. James eating his own words? Some of us may not know the dayak culture well, but, it was our heart, our sincerity that counts. Dayaks leaders could know their culture well, but, how many are prepared to sincerely help their own dayaks people solve their problems?

When the dayaks are still very much behind with very little help from leaders who got rich, we do expect those who are rich and those in power to ignore them. DAP is not in power but has always willing to help. However, I regret that SUPP with so many “Lau Pan” also had failed to help the dayak much because BN is controlled by one man who said that “.. I am the government.”

Dayaks are rich in land – that is what Dr. James Masing said, but, they are not wealthy. If their lands are not surveyed and no titles are issued to their lands, the lands are still not theirs, because in law the land still belongs to the government and then how can Dr. James say that dayaks are wealthy in land? When the land has no title, the government can just alienate it to companies and cronies of BN leaders including YBs in the BN for plantations and reap huge profits out of it. The ignorant dayaks were still thinking that the land belong to them, but, their rights to the land is weak. Many dayaks had to fight it out in court, but, how to fight when these poor dayaks have no resources against the giants!

DAP has to help and I hope the dayaks will help the DAP to fight this common cause together. We cannot allow the dayaks to be poorer and be robbed of their land. This is because once they no more have land, the dayaks will have no choice but to fight for survival in the urban areas, in which, they will find difficulties to compete with the more sophisticated urban people. The place is already crowded and where will the dayaks go? Squat in government land? Once these poor dayaks could not compete, socials ills will then get the better of many good things. There may be more robberies and plunder and I guess the rich and the ministers’ houses will never be spared as we had already seen.


Therefore, to say that dayaks only care for trivial things are not true, because we could see the dayaks had all these while been fighting against the government to protect their lands and were not successful. How can the dayaks be able to send their children for further education where money is needed, if their most precious assests, land, be taken away and then Dr. James Masing has the cheek to say that dayaks only care for trivial matters?

6 comments:

DAP said...

Gosh...Mr.Voon, you are still tangle with this st.martin matter.

panda kungfu said...

DAP representatives,help them!

Anonymous said...

why nobody post in your blog YB. Is it because you wont ppublish their comments. If this happens why? Are you scared to publish their comments. Where is freedom of speech YB. Don't pratctise double or triple standard!

VOON LEE SHAN said...

The St. Martin issue in court is over. Aunty Millah was very happy and it was her dream to get the land back and it was her dream that justice should prevail when she is still alive. I helped her because I belived in my cause, and I know how painful she was in her struggle to take back the only property her late father had left for her.

Annoymous,
I regret you quick remark. My blog received very few comments from readers and I welcome comments, but, I need to edit the comments before I allow the same to be published so that articles should not run foul with the law. You may need to be told that seditious, defamatory and deragotory words or articles should not be published. Freedom of speech we may need, but, we should teach society to be polite and responsible in our words and in our deeds. We are human beings, but, as a politician, I am also a teacher and mentor for people in the society. I may not be a perfect teacher and mentor, but, I must maintain a certain standard in life, that is, to set a good example to others in words and in deed in public.

Yes, I do scold my children at home! That's where freedom of speech I had .... in a limited space but, I was quite difficult for anyone near me, be my wife, family or friends to hear me using vulgar or obscene words. I had kept this standard since my schooldays!

VOON LEE SHAN said...

The St. Martin issue in court is over. Aunty Millah was very happy and it was her dream to get the land back and it was her dream that justice should prevail when she is still alive. I helped her because I belived in my cause, and I know how painful she was in her struggle to take back the only property her late father had left for her.

Annoymous,
I regret you quick remark. My blog received very few comments from readers and I welcome comments, but, I need to edit the comments before I allow the same to be published so that articles should not run foul with the law. You may need to be told that seditious, defamatory, obscene, and deragotory words or articles should not be published. Freedom of speech we may need, but, we should teach society to be polite and responsible in our words and in our deeds. We are human beings, but, as a politician, I am also a teacher and mentor for people in the society. I may not be a perfect teacher and mentor, but, I must maintain a certain standard in life, that is, to set a good example to others in words and in deed in public.

Yes, I do scold my children at home! That's where freedom of speech I had .... in a limited space but, it was quite difficult for anyone near me, be my wife, family or friends to hear me using vulgar or obscene words. I had kept this standard since my schooldays!

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