Dayak leaders in BN political mercenaries’

Dayaks in Sarawak have only themselves to blame for the pathetic situation they are in, claims former SNAP president Edwin Dundang.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Out-going Sarawak National Party (SNAP) president Edwin Dundang has accused Dayak leaders in the Barisan Nasional of being “political mercenaries” who are only interested in playing the politics of divide and rule.

In a hard-hitting presidential address at SNAP’s triennial general assembly yesterday, Dundang claimed the Dayaks are now meek, weak, and marginalised.

“They were once proud and strong people. They are now the poorest people in Malaysia and have the highest dropout rate in the schools.

“What has happened to our resources and who have them now?” he asked.

He said also Dayaks should blame themselves for their current state.

“Who has presided in this period of our collective weakening? Who has presumed to lead our community, to represent us, and then see that we have become a marginalised people?

“Who are the willing participants, the co-conspirators of this policy of divide and rule?

“It was the Dayaks themselves,” he said, adding that the Dayaks must change.

Dundang said the community must stop allowing themselves from being used by various political forces.

“We (Dayaks) must change and stop being political mercenaries, serving the politics of divide and rule…

“Our Dayak leaders in BN should stop acting like ‘gurkha soldiers’ protecting ‘sultans’ who divide and rule the Dayaks,” he added.

Immoral policymakers

Dundang said it was “immoral” to continue supporting the “so-called development policies” and indirectly urged Dayak policymakers to reconsider their support for such policies.

He said when Sarawak gained its independence, it was assumed that the state had a lot of resources.

“Our place was rich because we have lots of timber, oil and gas deposits, space and land.

“But today, 49 years after our independence, the economic landscape is almost unrecognisable. What was once plentiful is simply no more.

“Our beloved state of Sarawak has now become as one of the four bottom poorest states in 1Malaysia.

“It is useless and immoral to support so-called development polices, just because you feel that as a member of the so-called ruling group you consider that it is your obligation to support any policy.

“Those who are members of the ruling party must not support immoral or bad laws, for your support can make your own people poor,” he said.

Citing local land policies, he said it would be a “serious understatement” to say say Sarawak land laws were controversial.

“One does not have to look far for compelling cases. Consider the land policies, for instance.

“There are literally hundreds of cases before the court as the people challenged certain executive actions that have taken away lands and properties from them.