Sunday, October 11, 2009

Should Dayaks Continue to Support BN through SUPP?

When the Sarawak United Peoples’ party (SUPP) was registered on 12 June, 1959 many dayaks joined the Party. It was a good multi-racial Party set up with the aim of protecting all races in Sarawak. Prominent dayaks joined the Party at that time included Jonathan Bangau ak Renang who was also the Party’s first Branch Chairman in Sibu who together with Francis Umpi ak Rantai were founding members and Vice Chairmen of the Party. Others who were in the Party included Barbara Bey, Charles Linang and Tamewang Tinggung Wan. As early as in October 1962, SUPP lost one of its most prominent dayak leaders, Jonathan Bangau ak Renang who left the Party due to political differences with Chinese leaders in the Party. In October, 1965 Charles Linang, the Treasurer of the Party also left the Party. According to Charles Linang, he had to leave as the Party had been neglecting the Iban Community (see Vanguard 26 October, 1965). The more recent one was the resignation of Hollis Tini, from Sri Aman, who was a member of the State Cabinet.

Some months ago after the 2008 General Election, a dayak YB who was returned to his seat a number of times was said planning to leave the Party and to join the Opposition, after he was not made a Federal Cabinet Minister. He was said to hold talks in Singapore with an Opposition leader about the matter, but, was later persuaded not to go ahead with his plan.

A senior bidayuh Dewan Undangan Negeri member in SUPP was also not happy with the Party as he should be made at least an Assistant Minister to replace one of the two assistant ministers’ posts slotted by BN in the state Cabinet.
Until today no dayaks through SUPP have been appointed full minister post in the state Cabinet and this speaks volume of the inability of SUPP in protecting dayak interests.

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