Dayak DAP State Assemblymen will demand a full explanation by Sarawak Barisan National Government the reasons for 53 years of development backwardness and failures in Sarawak and to give a final warning that DAP Sarawak State Government will take over in 2021 unless there is meaningful remedy of these basic failures.
This will undoubtedly be the main thrust of the agenda of Dayak DAP State Assemblymen elected on Saturday on May 7 when they take their place in the Sarawak State Assembly.
I have visited more than a dozen Dayak constituencies in the past two weeks – including Mulu, Marudi, Tasik Biru, Mambong, Bukit Semuja, Kedup, Simanggang, Krian, Pakan, Bukit Goram, Katibas and Ngemah, and will visit Samalaju, Kemena and Murum.
I find the tour of the Dayak constituencies most enriching and eye-opening experience, learning not only about Dayak hospitality, the rich cultures and even the long history of the Dayaks – over a hundred years of the Kelabit high-achievers in Bario and the some two centuries of the Bidayuh in Bau surroundings – but I am also shocked by the backwardness of many Dayak communities, especially in terms of basic infrastructures and basic human needs which are not being met.
I was in Kapit and Song the last 24 hours and it is most shocking that although the multibillion-ringgit Bakun Dam is in the Kapit Division, the majority of the long-houses in the three districts in the area – Song, Kapit and Pelagus – do not enjoy electricity let alone piped water.
A DAP Sarawak State Government will ensure that the longhouses in the Kapit Division of Song, Kapit and Pelagus districts will enjoy electricity in view of the vicinity of the multibillion ringgit Bakun Dam project. Why can’t the Barisan Nasional government do the same thing?
In every general election, the voters in Kapit and Song will be promised the “mythical” road to connect the two towns, as well as the road to connect Song to Kanowit, but such a road to connect Kapit to Song, and Song to Kanowit, remained “myths” after 53 years of Malaysia – with the promise to build them recycled over and over again as a vote-getter whenever general elections come around.
Dayak DAP Sarawak State Assemblymen will not allow such developmental neglect in Sarawak to continue without constant challenges, reminders and even warnings. In fact, I have no doubt that they will make this subject one of their top priorities if they are elected to the Sarawak State Assembly on Saturday.
I would expect the Dayak DAP Sarawak State Assemblymen to give the Sarawak Barisan Nasional the final warning that unless the Sarawak Barisan Nasional State Government reforms itself, changes its total mindset to put the interests of the ordinary Sarawakians above all other agendas, and seriously embark on a programme to make up for the five to six decades of developmental neglect of the ordinary Sarawakians, DAP Sarawak will campaign in the next Sarawak State General Election in 2021 for a change of government.
The battle cry in the 2021 Sarawak state general election will be the promise that a new Sarawak State Government involving the DAP and other like-minded Sarawakians will be to do better in 20 years in terms of development and upliftment of the poor and needy in Sarawak than the failures of the Sarawak Barisan Nasional government in 60 years – as the Sarawak Barisan Nasional would be in power in Sarawak for six decades by the time of the next Sarawak state general election.
However, for the DAP to be able to campaign in the next Sarawak state general election in 2021 for a change of government and the end of Barisan Nasional rule in Sarawak – as has happened in Penang and Selangor – DAP must achieve our two objectives in the May 7 polls.
This is to defend the 12 DAP seats in Kuching, Sibu, Sarikei, Bintangor, Bintulu and Miri won five years ago and to make a historic breakthrough by winning several Dayak-majority seats, like Ngemah (N. 49) where our candidate Richard Lias, the Secretary-General of Dayak National Congress, is contesting as a DAP candidate.
(Speech at the DAP Sarawak general election ceramah at Rh Merikan in Ngemah state assembly constituency on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at 2 pm)