To-day, three reporters contacted me, two on the surprised terminations of Services of seven Community leaders in Bau District, Sarawak and and the other on STAR politics.
About a week ago I heard grumblings about the sacking of seven Community leaders at the village level because of alleged political involvement amongst other things. Eventually one of them came to seek my advice for possible remedies showing me the warnings from the District Officer asking him “to stop campaigning for the Opposition” during the last Parliamentary Election as well as the Letter to terminate his services as a Community Leader or locally known as “KETUA MASYARAKAT”. He is disappointed because of the manner of his sacking.
Traditionally Community Leaders are elected by the Community themselves on one door-one vote basis. Amongst the Dayaks, this practice has been observed since time immemorial. They elect a new Leader only after the old one dies. This is the practice held and cherished amongst the Bidayuh community. Only now, it appears that politics is being introduced to interfere with the old practice apparently “to divide to rule”.
The need for cohesiveness and unity in a village is obvious. Imagine what would have happened if the current practice in place in the sixties, when the Communists were operating in the jungle. How many Community leaders and/or villages would be burnt in retaliation by both sides? However it is the closeness and cohesiveness of almost all the villages led by the mostly illiterate,poor but gentleman Community Leaders which spared the villages from harm. Even the Communists recognized the dangers of enforcing their will on these gentlemen.
Now BN Sarawak wants to enforce their will to ensure that they will control the Dayaks politics through fear as well by controlling the election process and giving them Terms and Conditions which ensure the Government power to terminate their services without giving any reasons thereto in their Appointment Letter. With such control over the selection and termination of Services of these Community Leaders, they hope to achieve total political control over the Dayaks Community.
In fact, in Tasik Biru, the current modus Operandi for BN campaign is to give campaign money to the Village Committee for Development and Security, which becomes their Campaign Committee. The Community Leader is also tied down to this and apparently in the Last Parliamentary Election the District Officer, who is supposed to be neutral by virtue of his Appointment as the Returning Officer for the Election Commission, is directly involved in the election process as evidence of his “warning letters” and eventual “sacking” of the “gentleman” Community Leaders . Even though BN won, they are still not happy at the apparent Independence of the Community Leaders.
Hopefully for the sack of unity and security of the kampong now and in the future, the State Secretary can review the individual need of a few local politicians and their need to win without properly servicing their constituencies but want to divide and rule with an “IRON CLAW”.
The Chief Minister should ask them to work harder instead getting the Community Leaders do the work for them. Enslaving them, without helping them to serve the people better than my time in power, will diminish and tarnish the “gentleman” reputation, which may be needed later on.
For the sack of the people, State and Country, the Community Leaders should be left alone to do the demanding job of looking after their poor constituents- help them …. NOT SACK them.
We are still alive and well. We are still waiting for the voters to demand for a better future for all.
We will continue our struggle at our own time and pace while waiting for more and more voters who want a better deal than what is offered by BN to-day.
We want Sarawak to be in the present century in development and economic prosperity. Right now, we are not even at par what Canada was in the Sixties in terms of development in a lot of areas. How many medical students to-day can afford to drive a second hand VOLVO now using the savings of their Scholarship money alone? Bapa sponsored banyak! I did, because the room rental and the food then were so cheap that I can enough to allow me to buy my first car, a red Volvo, cash from two years’ saving of my scholarship money at the beginning of my third year there. Imagine a whole chicken at 50 cents Canadian or the equivalent of RM 1.50. I just buy the chicken head and neck to-day at RM 4.20 per kilo for my dogs.
Economically we cannot even match Canada in the Sixties- I can afford to eat Steak every other day then but not in Sarawak now. STAR dreams and hopes are, amongst many things, at least for our RM to be at par with the Singapore dollar. Canadians on Welfare can even afford color TVs in the early seventies, how many Malaysians to-day, especially the farmers and fishermen?
Yes there is a lot more we can achieve if we want to collectively will it and work hard for them. Meanwhile we shall wait until the majority can overcome “No money no talk” mentality. Look at Tiong of Bintulu, he alone controls 49 Members Of Parliament in Taiwan now, wonder whether he will do any horse trading there with PKR there? Until the power and strength of MONEY POLITICS subsides, we can wait as all of us will paying for the high costs of politics and politicians.
STAR is still “UNTUKMU”