Friday, March 20, 2009

The Battle for Batang Ai.

I am impressed with the credentials of the Barisan Nasional candidate, Malcolm Mussen, but, in politics academic degrees should not mean much to the voters. What is most important is that the politician who is put as a candidate must be acceptable to the people and that he himself also should be willing to work for the people with sincere heart and love for the people. There is no point that an academically qualified politician who after winning the election will then take advantage of his office to “rob” the people of their trust and wealth.

To the dayaks, I feel sorry for them and also feel sorry to my many dayak relatives and friends for keeping the Chief Minister and his cronies in power for too long. Without the dayak votes, the state Barisan Nasional could not stay in power and Pehin Sri Taib and his cronies will have to go, but, Chief Minister is smart. He has with him Tan Sri Jabu and James Masing to hold on with the dayak votes. In return, both Tan Sri Jabu and Jabu were also properly taken care of by the Chief Minister. Both are very rich people, at least if compared to the many dayaks in the longhouses.

The dayaks had been fooled by their own elected representatives for too long. While their elected representatives enjoy good life with many having vast agricultural plantation lands, most dayaks until today remain poor and survive on farming and fishing in the streams of their longhouses. Vast agricultural plantation lands alienated to these YBs, infact, were within or included the many disputed native customary rights land. This was just to get these YBs to keep quiet. These YBs were only busy when elections were near and most their tasks were just to distribute fertilizer subsides, some stones for their village roads and perhaps some petrol and generators for electricity.

The dayaks should not more in return for such small favours support their present leaders in the government.

Now, if Malcolm Mussen is elected how much can he do if Tan Sri Jabu himself could not do much for the dayaks? Tan Sri Jabu, an agriculturalist and being a Deputy Chief Minister could not make natives land agriculturally more productive for the dayaks, it is doubtful Malcolm Mussen can do better? So, Malcolm Mussen’s academic qualification and vast experience in agriculture would mean nothing to help the dayaks. The dayaks will just remain poor, not until the dayaks themselves wake up and change the government. Instead of getting subsides, the dayaks should be given capitals and interest-free loans from the government to kick-start their lives.

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