Native Politics of Sarawak

talking about the next political tsunami

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sebangan Natives Fight For their Rights

Its violation time again.  This time as reported:

1) 3,305 ha of forests from Sungai Sebangan and Sungai Sebuyau land belonging to the Ibans as part of their customary adat land tenure were said to be taken away from them.

2) The said land was allocated to Quarry Concrete Holding for timber extraction by the highest authority in Sarawak.

3)  As protest against such disrespecful violation of their customary land rights , more than 200 Ibans and their chiefs staged a peaceful demonstration in front of Sebuyau District Office.

4) The Ibans will file their claim with affidavits during their next meeting with the Land and Survey Department in Kota Samarahan on 14th July.

Monday, June 28, 2010

10th Sarawak State Elections - a difference

Taib's " Politics of Development " to go out of the window !

The last general election was held on May 20, 2006.  In the coming State Elections slated to be held before July 2010, the ruling coalition mix of parties comprising of PBB, SUPP, SPDP and PRS will try their best to cling to power.
What is the difference this time around?
The big difference come the 10th Sarawak State Elections is that the incumbent will be faced with a more solidified alternative front parties which included the better performing ones from Semenanjung or Peninsular Malaysia with proven record in governing four states with their alternative ideology.  On top of DAP, PKR and PAS the Sarawak state opposition party called SNAP will also join the alternative front.
So there you are. The main advocates of democracy and justice will once again have the opportunity to win over the hearts and minds of local voting Sarawakians to their varied manifestos and agendas.
However, this time the "political mood" of Sarawak is different than four years ago.  Today the rakyat or the peoples of Sarawak feel that Taib has overstayed his period of chief ministership and has been likened to the iron-fisted Lee Kuan Yew.  There has been a growing agitation in the last few years from peoples of the streets, kampungs , longhouses and especially the nomadic huts of the Penans to push for his removal from
Sarawak's politics.
The anguish arose from Taib's " Politics of Development" which only saw the rich become richer and the poor more poor in Sarawak.  Most who benefited from Taib's politics are his cronies, family members, and individuals who are politically- linked to him.  The people now want to change all this.  This is the difference the rakyat will make in the coming 10th State  General Elections.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Marginalised Dayaks

                                                                                           The  BN Dayak leaders will not talk about it for fear their brethrens upstage a political protest of  unfair treatment by the ruling Dayak leaders in the BN.  Rural and marginalised Ibans would be instigated to fight for change in the government of the day.    But today a columnist says in no uncertain terms :  " Today, the Dayak people have benefited the least from the opening of educational opportunities for Sarawakian children.  The development of a balanced and prosperous Dayak middle class is still a communal dream, as the Dayak people sit at the bottom of the social ladder in terms of economic development.  It is a sad commentary on our poltical health that the Dayaks are the most marginalised community in our multiracial society" - Sim Kwang Yang.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kapit Ibans Fight Back Your Rights

I fully sympathise with the plight of the rural impoverished Ibans in Kapit as seen in the picture above. These Ibans live without any roads, piped water, electricity and not to mention telephones. This picture was reported just yesterday in a local daily.
Kapit is the second last town to see along the mighty Rejang River, the longest river in Sarawak.  The last town in the rapids congested river nearing its source is Belaga.
Kapit was once under the jurisdictive control of Sibu which considered it as a remote outpost for undeserving civil servants. To be sent to Kapit meant to be frozen in the civil service. Sibu has its own divisional status now and so is Kapit.  Yet despite its divisional status, there are no roads linking Kapit to its center ( Sibu) before and today.Strange but true.  Kapit is therefore a no man's territory where the Ibans continue to live in remote jungles and rivers in hardship and abject poverty. When they live near towns there are squatters.
The main dilemma of the Ibans in Kapit is that they are being marginalised from 'the politics of development'. The politics of development merely concentrated on the coastal belt of Mukah to Bintulu.  Kapit is sharing the border with Indonesia hundreds of miles from the coast.  Here the Ibans will remain poor farmers, hunters and fishermen because their traditional lands or customary rights lands are snatched by the government of the day to be given to big plantation companies for reforestation and oil palm cultivation.
The natives of Kapit must rise to gross government deprivation, oppression and outright robbery of their rights. Thus in the next State General Elections slated before July 2011, the Ibans must voice their anger, frustration and deprivation by electing a new breed of politicians who fight for change.

This message is brought to you- the Ibans of Kapit and other native groups in order that you rise and fight for your traditional rights and retain your dignity as equal citizens in Sarawak.
Vote for Pakatan Rakyat in the coming Sarawak State General Elections, please.

Agi Idup, Agi Ngelaban.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sarawak's Poor Ibans in Dilemma

Wong Ho Leng, the Sarawak State Assembly representative for Bukit Assek near Sibu have voiced the plight and dilemma of the Ibans in Sarawak during the DUN sitting on Thursday, 20the May.

The dilemma faced by the Ibans here is that they have to compete with foreign workers ( principally the Indonesians) for RM 12 a day working in oil palm plantations.  According to Wong a wage of RM 12 offered by the companies ( majority are Peninsular based) cannot make the Ibans meet their daily living expenses.  This has made the Ibans under the present Sarawak State Barisan Nasional Governmnet become the poorest of all the native groups in Malaysia.

Furthermore according to him their native customary lands have been taken away from them and thus they cannot even self-employ themselves on their own traditional or customary rights lands.

The Ibans must take heed of what Wong said.  The next State General Election is the best way to vote out the present government so that the Ibans future will be different and better addressed.  Currently the land issues in Sarawak is a very hot issue because the Sarawak government moves to give away traditional lands of the Ibans and other natives to big plantation companies under the excuse that they have no titles are unstoppable by law.   Historically these lands were delivered from generations to generations without any titles. 

It is speculated that the coming General Elections in Sarawak slated before July 2011 will be a showdown of the natives peoples fight against marginalisation, deprivation and ouright robbery of their lands by the Sarawak State government.  The Ibans and other native groups of Sarawak ( Orang Ulu, Kedayan, Melanau, Malay, Bidayuhs etc) will now have a platform to fight in the form of an alternative front composing of DAP, PAS and PKR.  If the recent Sibu Parliamentary By-Elections is to go by, the chances of a political tsunami is there provided the alternative opposition front brings their act together.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bidayuh's want Chairmanship of Padawan or else?....

The natives of state constituencies of OPAR, BENGOH and SERIAN have said what need to be said.  Appoint the Chairman of Padawan Municipal Council a Bidayuh figure or else we'll not support Taib and his cronies in the next Sarawak State general election.  The next Sarawak State General Election will be held sometime before July 2011.

SUPP's attempt to place a Chinese to fill the seat after the incumbent Tan Joo Phooi was appointed Asst. Minister in the Chief Minister's Office was seen as disrespectful and arrogant by the Bidayuh who formed the majority voters in the three state seats of Opar, Bengoh and Serian.
The SUPP leadership has postponed this decision to calm down the anger of the Bidayuh.

And while in procrastination, they failed to regain their stronghold in Sibu Parliamentary by-election (P.212) and instead gave away the Parliamentary seat  to DAP. In Sibu,  the natives were the kingmaker because the Chinese were divided, even though they are in the minority. 

 A little of logic would safely conclude that in the three state seats( Opar, Bengoh and Serian)  in Kuching and Samarahan Division where they form the majority, their demand is no less important to SUPP now.
It would be a total disaster if SUPP were to go ahead with its decision to plant another Chinese to the Padawan Chairmanship post. If that happens, the natives will harden their resolve to teach George Chan and SUPP another lesson not well-learnt :- vote against the State BN in the next general election.

It is not only the voices of the Chinese in Sibu that need to be heard.  The natives also have their voices that should be heard by the Chinese leadership in SUPP.

Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban!