Monday, December 22, 2008

Sarawak: The Next Beach Head

Sarawak started the tsunami wave in 2006 by electing 8 opposition state assemblymen and women, a vast increase from the original 1 sole representative. By 2010/2011, Malaysia will once again focus its attention on Sarawak as it'll once again hold its state elections. DAP will certainly put its best foot forward to carry on the wave of change by winning more seats than the 6 we currently have.

DAP Sarawak is also actively setting up branches with higher bumiputera membership, in part to extend our reach into the rural areas of Sarawak. The following is a recent blog post by our DAP Sarawak state chairman and state assemblyman for Bukit Assek, Sdr Wong Ho Leng on its efforts.

In November 2008, DAP approved the formation of two (2) predominantly Iban branches at Sibu Jaya and Sungai Merah, both in Sibu (Another predominantly Iban branch approved was Bintangor Scheme B).

This morning, members from these 2 branches gathered at the Sibu DAP office to hold their first Annual General Meeting (AGM) and elect the first office bearers.

The small DAP premises was filled to the full by these members. Every chair was occupied. Some members even had to stand throughout the meeting.

More branches will be formed in rural areas in the next few months. The formation of these branches will bear testimony that we are not content to work in the Chinese areas alone and shout for the rural constituencies from outside. We are determined to go rural, and to see improvement in the lives of all races, in particular, the economically besieged and poor Dayaks. These rural areas should have DAP Iban leaders serve them. They should go for change.

Several Iban leaders spoke at the meeting before the election of office bearers. They had one common theme in their speeches – the BN Government has neglected them despite promising the skies. They felt that their leaders have always resorted to threats and intimidation, dissuading them to join Opposition parties. They urged their members not to fear, because their community leaders are paid by the BN to speak for the BN Government. Often, their plights have not been relayed to the Government. Their voices were not heard. Needless to day, their speech were laced with the desire to see change.

Several SUPP and Dayak leaders used to tell me that the political sky-change in Sarawak will take place if the Ibans wake from their bondage to their leaders. These people are poor, and that is an asset to the BN. They hold them by the thread of poverty. They would promise them the sky but will not deliver.

I can see the desire to see change in the mindset of the Ibans. It looks like the end of BN Government in Sarawak is at hand.

In my speech, I said that the Ibans comprise 30% of the population in Sarawak. Though the biggest race, they are the poorest in Sarawak. They face problems not only in their land but also with earning a living in Sarawak. Many of the Iban youths have to leave Sarawak to work in the factories in Johore, Selangor and Penang. It is said that there are 40,000 Ibans working in Johore alone. They are also employed in the factories in Singapore.

Why can't they seek employment in the state of their birth? Why have they to look for greener pastures outside Sarawak?

I said from the bottom of my heart that the Ibans are poor because the BN Government has not looked after them well. With so many years in the Dewan Undangan Negeri, I know that their elected wakil rakyat are happy with the BN Government. As a result not much has changed in the lives and welfare of the Iban communities.

I said that during my time in the Dewan Undangan Negeri, I have not heard the Iban elected wakil rakyat of the BN fighting earnestly for the community, especially in solving the problems concerning the NCR land.

Over the years, we see NCR land taken from the Ibans. Yet, despite their so called involvement in the New Concept of NCR Development, many Ibans have complained that they have not been given their just rewards and dividends.

The Ibans should help themselves by booting out the BN Government in the next state election.


Anonymous said...

YB Tony Pua wrote a post mentioning about Sarawak two Decembers ago ;)

I did some research and read that the initial Alliance govt. in Sarawak was headed by an Iban, Datuk Stephen Kalong Ningkan, the leader of SNAP. Even at that time, there were conflicts among Sarawak political parties on the one hand and between Sarawak politicians / parties with the Alliance govt. on the other over Land Bills etc.

Anonymous said...

why not sabah? I am waiitng le!


Wishing you and your families a very happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

I am looking forward to a challenging but exciting 2009, when I will be encouraging us all to do whatever we can to support each other, in all that we do across the World. In this regard, I would welcome your individual thoughts early in the New Year, on how we can best support each other moving forward and what changes you would like to see, in order to facilitate that improvement.

Warmest regards and a big thank you to everyone for your efforts in 2008.

Anonymous said...

Can sarawak ask for independence? with UMNO's invisible hand re-populating sarawak and sabah with Malays, what future does the real natives have?

It would be best if a certain party willing to stand up and fight for the real natives rights for independence, furthermore, why should these natives study BM when it is not their mother tongue, worst, if they fail the Malay Language, they can't secure a government job in their own ancestor's land. Plus, why should they follow everything muslim? just because the east malaysian said so? and monies collected from the state are used to build mosque not not other religious buildings?

I know this may sound seditious, but I believe before sabah and sarawak joined Malaya, they have the rights to ask for independence, please, do something, we need a leader to lead sarawak before it is too late.

DAP, PKR, please think of the real natives, they need a voice. A real Iban, Dayak, Kadahzan CM... even CM must be muslim/malay... what kind of joke is this? If DAP believes in fighting for the natives, the only solution is none other than independence... period. do the right thing!

Anonymous said...

tony, with the ever decreasing population of non-muslim, what choice do the real natives has? Time is not on their side, help them, the only solution is indepdence... its hard, they need a hindraf movement and the help of UN.. they have their rights... before it is too late...

Anonymous said...

YB Tony Pua,
" I strongly believe that it is time for me to repay the kindness ..."
I will do the same ....hopefully more and more new generations will come out and come back to do the same..fighting for A Just and A New Hope for Malaysia Dream..!

" Merry Christmas " to you & family... and your guardian angel. You are amazing & a great man..YB!

Khun Pana aka johanssm said...

Best for Sabah and Sarawak to be merdeka/ independence . The longer they stay on with peninsula the more the real Sabahans and Sarawakians suffers. Even if PR eventually is the federal gov. of Malaysia, we will have a tough time just undoing damages.
It is really sad to see bn looting the rich resources from them . Just take a look at their neighboring Brunei. It is the same feeling that we get when we look at Singapore. Even the Thais are getting better in most aspects than us.We can only advice them,it is up to them to decide what they really wants.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and family. Continue your good work to fight for peace and justice in this troubled nation.

We are proud of you!

ChengHo said...

We want the new generation of DAP leader with AAB departure in march 2009 Karpal ,Kit Siang ,etc have to make a move for the new face.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tony, no posts since the Dec 22...too busy?

Anonymous said...

YB, please let the " Robberaya Utara-Selatan " online for public knowledge ...when ready...!

We are really proud of you......!
May God blesses you and family..!