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.
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.
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.
The people of Sibu have made the correct choice. This is the first ripple of the political tsunami that is going to awash the shores of Sarawak prior to the next general election. The Ibans and other bumiputras including the Malays and Melanaus of Sibu too have helped a great deal in winning Sibu knowing that the Chinese were divided, it was the native groups that provide the tipping advantage to the Pakatan Rakyat candidate, Wong Ho Leng. The next time around in constituencies where the natives are the majority, the Chinese would have to do their part by giving their support to Pakatan Rakyat's bumiputra candidates. With this strategy more successive wins can be accomplished.
The DAP Sarawak would not have been able to win the seat alone, without the cooperation and sacrifice of the other political leaders from Semenanjung especially PKR and PAS who made themselves present during the campaign and created a good impression of a united opposition front.
The Sibu miracle shows that the Foochows have risen to the occassion and SUPP is losing relevancy.
What do the Ibans get from SCORE? The Foochows don't even follow Taib to develop Tanjung Manis. Why should they when they can have their own 'port', wharves and jetties just behind their own shphouses, office or factory. This is what one sees along the Sibu river.All the mega projects to build piled drains, piled roads for sinking Sibu are for the benefit of Sibu Foochows.
The Chinese are divided between DAP and SUPP candidates, therefore the Ibans being the majority of the natives groups in Sibu are the Kingmaker of Sibu. All the Ibans in Sibu can show their protest, anger and despair through this Sibu Parliamentary election. Remember, my Iban brothers, Taib does not give any title to your temuda lands which your great great granfathers have tilled and lived upon for generations before. Today your oil palm fruits are left to rot because Taib tells MPOB not to give licence to sell to farmers who plant oil palm on native lands without title. Taib and his cronies need to be told of their marginalisation of the Ibans in SCORE. How?
Vote for Pakatan Rakyat candidate for justice and change. It is time for the Ibans to determine change and not become victims of Taib's politics of development which benefit only his cronies' companies and big plantation companies from Semenanjung. Tomorrow remember to give your votes to Pakatan Rakyat i.e. DAP's Wong Ho Leng.
The Pakatan Rakyat has a "war" to fight in Sibu. The Malays and Melanaus, Ibans and other native groups and Chinese voters who have Pakayat Rakyat in their hearts need to rise up and protest for the bad deeds of current State BN leaders. The bad deeds are as follows:
1) Cronyism and nespotism as praticed by the PBB, SUPP,SPDP and PRS political elites are getting worse by the day. The main culprit is Taib, Jabu, James and George.
2) Not recognising and not giving titles to NCR and temuda lands of the people of Sibu.
3) Monopolising State land for their cronies to plant oil palm trees and at the same time "killing" the native oil palm smallholders and individual planters by directing the MPOB not to issue license to allow them to sell their oil palm fruits (FFB) to mills because the oil palm trees are planted on native lands without land title.
4) Lopsided development of Sibu, where rural towns, kampungs and long house villages around and within Sibu parliamentary constituency are marginalised and extremely lacking in basic favilities e.g. roads, water, electricity, schoos, telephone connections etc.
FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR CHILDREN WE, THE NATIVE PEOPLES OF SIBU, MUST RISE AND PROTEST BN SARAWAK BAD DEEDS BY VOTING PAKATAN RAKYAT CANDIDATE FOR SIBU.
YOUR SUPPORT IS CRITICAL IN WINNING THE " WAR" AGAINST BN IN SARAWAK.