Dayak’s misery: Snap asks Pak Lah to intervene
Sarawak National Party (Snap) has
made a strong plea to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to intervene and
help the Dayaks,
The government should intervene in the same manner as it had all these years for the betterment and upliftment of the Malays and non-Malays economically, its president Edwin Dundang said in a statement.
“It is only through the government's planned intervention that we believe the big economic disparity could be corrected and that inequalities and political and economic injustices and unfairness could be removed for the sake of real national unity,” he added.
Dundang was commenting on Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud's recent statement regarding a group of Dayak politicians and businessmen who he accused of deliberately trying to paint a gloomy outlook among the Dayak community despite all that the government had done for them.
Taib had said he had helped many Dayaks through forestry and oil palm plantation business ventures.
“Who these Dayaks are we need not question or go into details. But what the Dayaks, including Snap, want to question is this: Why, despite all the many forest concessions and after a period of 24 years of Barisan Nasional in power in
What is the real situation?
“What has actually gone wrong with the so-called timber concessions given to the Dayaks? Don't tell us that these timber concessions have not been worked out and the trees are still standing”.
Dundang said the party appreciated that the Taib administration had given timber concessions and other business ventures to the Dayaks.
“But what in reality is the situation? Whether you agree or disagree, the giving of these timber concession is only nominal which explains why there is hardly any economic impact on Dayak equity shareholding at all.”
The Snap chief claimed that on the contrary during the last 24 years that Taib had held the reign as chief minister, there was nothing that the Dayaks could be proud of.
Instead, according to him, the Dayaks felt nothing but “envious, frustrated, victimised and marginalised” and that was why they had come out to ask for more - “bigger forest concessions, infrastructure projects, contracts, etc”.
“Is it wrong and offensive for the Dayaks to ask for more and what is due to them under the Malaysian Constitution?”
Referring to the commitment to treat the Dayaks equally as other non-Muslim Malay groups in the country, Dundang said that the Dayaks are also bumiputeras and asked why the community was lagging so far behind the other bumiputera groups in
Referring to recent moves to bring the economic plight and desire of the Dayaks for a more active role in national economic development to the attention of the Federal Government, Dundang said only with the prime minister's intervention could there be hope of getting more Dayaks out of the rut.
He said Snap was unhappy with the manner in which the Taib had responded to 'Dayak’s misery and failures.'
“As our chief minister, we never expected him to be defensive but to be sympathetic and concerned.
“After what the Dayaks had gone through during the last 24 years that Taib was chief minister, who in his or her right mind will not feel pessimistic? Do we need another 24 years of the State BN’s rule before the Dayaks can consider themselves equal with other races?”
Snap was once