Bidayuh upset over exclusion

By Jacob Achoi | The Borneo Post

MPs from community feel a Bidayuh should be in the cabinet

KUCHING: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has derailed the One Malaysia concept when he excluded the Bidayuh from his cabinet, a Bidayuh MP said yesterday.

Dr James Dawos Mamit, the Mambong MP and Sarawak’s environmental advisor, said while there was no doubt that the prerogative to appoint members of his cabinet is Najib’s, by not appointing one from among the three Bidayuh MPs the prime minister had made the One Malaysia concept look like just mere rhetoric.

“To me, he (Najib) has derailed the concept of promoting One Malaysia … to promote unity and the concept of all races working together,” he said when met at Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) headquarters where he attended the Pesta Birumuh appreciation dinner Sunday.

“Whether it (One Malaysia) is mere rhetoric or not, I don’t know, but it does look like it is now,” Dawos stressed, adding that a One Malaysia could not happen if some communities, even how minority, was not given the chance for equitable participation in the business of running the country at the highest level of government.

“I cannot say I’m happy because I did not get it (a federal cabinet post), but I am certainly disappointed that neither of the other two MPs got it. The Bidayuh have been sidelined,” he said, adding that he strongly felt there should be a Bidayuh representative in the cabinet.

That said, Dawos pointed out that he would not resign as MP merely because he was unhappy with the exclusion of the Bidayuh from the federal cabinet. Dawos said the Bidayuh had still a lot to catch up with and could not afford to distance itself from mainstream politics.

He said if he were to resign it would be to the detriment of the future of the community.

“Besides, to me BN is a good political platform and I will always support it and not resign. My political career started with BN and will end in BN,” he affirmed, adding that he would continue to fight from within BN for Bidayuh political struggle.

Dawos was commenting on calls made through SMS asking him and the other two Bidayuh MPs – Datuk Richard Riot Jaem (Serian) and Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe (Mas Gading) – to resign as a show of disapproval for the community’s exclusion from Najib’s cabinet.

Dawos said: “With the latest development (non-participation of Bidayuh in the federal cabinet), I am obliged to make a statement particularly because lately I have been receiving many SMSes calling for my resignation.”

He said most of the SMSes were from people in his constituency who felt that Najib had failed them and fallen on his promise to promote the One Malaysia concept.

Meanwhile, Dr Tiki, when contacted yesterday, confirmed receiving SMSes demanding that he resign as MP to reflect the Bidayuh’s dissatisfaction.

“The Bidayuh are feeling disbelief, frustration and hopelessness. That’s what they said in their SMSes to me,” Dr Tiki said.

“I’m on the ground to get feedback,” Dr Tiki said, but refused to elaborate.

Attempts to contact Riot for comments failed, but political observers feel that the sentiment is the same in the Serian constituency where the five-time MP holds sway. In fact, sources said Serian is a volatile area that only Riot – not BN, and certainly not SUPP, his party — has control over now.

“SUPP (Sarawak United People’s Party) is literally clinging to some straws in Serian, and it really does not help the party that its president (Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan), by his own admission, submitted six names, making it look like he was thinking that Najib would pick Riot’s name like the prime minister was playing a game of lucky draw,” an observer said.

  1. #1 by taiking on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 - 1:10 pm

    And me. Yes and me too. As Minister of Something. Never mind even if I end up without any portfolio. I just want to be minister. Asal minister apa apa pun tak jadi masalah. Itu aja yang saya minta. Not a lot to ask. Lagipun your cabinet of 68 is smaller than badawi’s cabinet of 67. Jadi boleh tambah lagi satu jadi 69. 69 still smaller than badawi’s 67 cabinet ministers. Boleh lah. Boleh? OK? How about I kasi you duit?

  2. #2 by taiking on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 - 1:12 pm

    Err maybe jangan sebut kasi duit. Call it commission. I bayar commission terus ke dalam your adviser’s company’s account, ok?

  3. #3 by OrangRojak on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 - 1:15 pm

    Upset, but not surprised surely? Wrong bank balance, wrong race, wrong religion. Welcome to 1Malaysia. They gave you beads, you gave them votes. Seemed fair at the time, didn’t it?

    My political career … will end in BN
    You’ve got that right. What are you waiting for?

  4. #4 by k1980 on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 - 1:33 pm

    An unflattering report on Malaysia’s “Man of Destiny”(title awarded by his wife)—

  5. #5 by k1980 on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 - 1:36 pm

    They gave you beads, you gave them votes? Worse, Charles Brooke gave the Brunei Sultan peanuts, and the Sultan gave the white rajah the whole of Sarawak!

  6. #6 by delCapo on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 - 1:53 pm

    How about STOP all these BS about “we must have 1 Bidhayu here, 2 Iban there, 3 Chinese in, 5 Indians up” ????

    This is BN’s politics. This is BN’s propoganda to divide the Rakyat… this is how they are still in power.

    Think BEYOND that.

    If one is capable… he/she must have an equal chance of leading… regardless of race/sex/where from etc…

    On national & international level…. we MUST start thinking Malaysian – One People, One Nation… Anak Bangsa Malaysia.

    It doesn’t mean we throw away our ethnic/religion/tradition/geographical backgrounds & heritage…. just that we need to stop using all that on the political & social level.

    United = People Power!!

    Anak Bangsa Malaysia

  7. #7 by k1980 on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 - 2:42 pm

    Hey Bidayuhs, it is better to vote Opposition and be labeled ungrateful, than to vote BN and then be passed over the ungrateful PM

  8. #8 by zak_hammaad on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 - 3:03 pm

    UMNO is mainly a Malay party looking after the interests of the Malays. MCA is mainly a Chinese party looking after the interests of the Chinese. MIC is mainly an Indian party looking after the interests of the Indians. There are a dozen coalition partners that make up the BN, so I don’t understand why some quarters are trying to sensationalise this issue!

    1Malaysia concept as far as I understand it, is simply promoting cross cultural and racial awareness and values to more fully integrate and incorporate a ‘national agenda’ for development and progress in terms of the economy and social stability first and foremost.

    As for the title of this thread, I believe it is misleading like most other content. SPDP president Datuk Seri William Mawan Ikom said that although there were fewer ministers from Sarawak compared with Sabah, it should not be a big obstacle as the Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties worked as a team to look after the welfare of all races in the country.

    “We (Sarawak) do have special leverage that we will not lose out,” he told reporters after receiving a call from the new office-bearers of the Sarawak Body Building Association (SBBA) at his office.

    Maybe Mr. Lim should broaden his reading horizon (and not just party political propaganda) before making sensational and mostly ignorant inferences, with all due respect.

  9. #9 by ekans on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 - 3:33 pm

    In the Parliament, UMNO’s BN depends mostly on Sabah & Sarawak MPs for its current simple majority needed to form a federal government.
    So, it is not difficult to understand why these Bidayuh MPs from UMNO’s BN are unhappy & disappointed.

  10. #10 by monsterball on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 - 3:37 pm

    1 Malaysia my foot!!
    If really sincere…28 ministers…4 from Sabah…4 from Sarawak..4 from MCA..2 from Gerakan.. I from MIC…the rest is UMNO.
    He dare not…because that will mean…no 2/3 control by UMNO in Parliament with in UMNO itself.
    People are no more fools….really quite sick of UMNO hyopcracies..on and on and on.

  11. #11 by frankyapp on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 - 4:18 pm

    Both Sabah and Sarawak have an estimated combined ethnic race of aleast 70 .The reality is,it’s impossible for every race to be represented in the federal cabinet.There are three groups in west malaysia,namely the malay,chinese and indian and the rest is classified as \others or lain2 \. Similarly in Sabah and Sarawak,all ethnic race should be known as Sabah bumiputera and Sarawak bumiputera or Pribumi of East Malaysia.Hence 5 main race groups in the country,The federal constitution should be amended to accompany these 5 main groups.Therefore in future as long as the federal cabinet consists of all these 5 main groups,no body should be skeptical about it and at the same time should not raise any question but will treat such representation as upright and fair. Unless this is agree upon and done,one malaysia will remain an impossible wild dream only.To facilitate this malaysian dream,Sabah and Sarawak native/ethnic group must decide the sooner the better whether they want to be classifed as Sabah bumiputera and Sarawak bumiputera or prebumi of East malaysia.On the contrary,East malaysians of ethnic race/group will always remain divided,unhappy and unrepresentated no matter BN or PR forms the federal cabinet/government.It’s a great pity,after almost half a century of interpendence through Malaysia,east malaysian particularly the natives still remain disunited,envy each other,remain as the poorest of the poor in the whole country.I think they should wake up immediately,regroup themselves,find common ground,make decisive decision and join the main stream of working and developing the country ,socially,enconomically,and politically.

  12. #12 by clteh on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 - 4:31 pm

    “UMNO is mainly a Malay party looking after the interests of the Malays. MCA is mainly a Chinese party looking after the interests of the Chinese. MIC is mainly an Indian party looking after the interests of the Indians. ” – zak_hammaad

    Is that a correct statement in fact, tho it may want to be seen as politically correct…?

  13. #13 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 - 6:46 pm

    The Bidayuh have to blame themselves for voting BN.

  14. #14 by ringthetill on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 - 7:34 pm

    Isn’t this another example of the divisive nature of Malaysian politics? It is not only enough to have parlimentary representation for the RACE but now everyone wants representation in the Cabinet (Closet) too.
    We don’t want another 50 years of downhill before we even turn around the decline of this beloved country do we?
    Alas! The world is very much larger, get out of the ‘tempurung’ mentality!

  15. #15 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 - 8:05 pm

    I like how Najib reacted to Samy Vellu’s and MIC’s threat: “Its my Cabinet and its my prerogative”, he declared. Yes, Samy, if you don’t like it you can pyss off.

    Najib paid a “surprise” visit to a Sikh Gurdwara yesterday for Vasakhi celebrations. You should see how he “bodek” the community for its contributions to the nation but still, no Sikh Minister or representative. He can flip-flop chapatis and play masak-masak with the ladies but at the end of the day, the Sikhs still cannot say and use “Allah” in their prayers. And “Allah” is also part of Iban prayers according to Leo Moggie.

    After two weeks, everything is still very murky and directionless. The natives everywhere, even in Terengganu, are restless.

  16. #16 by katdog on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 - 9:47 pm

    Why do all these people keep demanding that their communities be ‘represented’ by only people of the same ethnicity as them?

    Haven’t we already learned from the example of UMNO? A Malay robber will rob from Malays just as much as from people of other ethnicities. Just because you are the same skin color does not mean that these robbers will afford you more consideration.

    Similarly, it does not mean that people of different skin color will necessarily afford you less consideration.

    At the end of the day, it should be who is most qualified for the job that should get the posts. Not what color your skin is.

  17. #17 by sotong on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 - 10:03 pm

    There is nothing wrong with the ordinary people of all races.

    It is the decades of bad leadership and gross mismanagement destroying our country……when things are not right, those in position of trust, power and influence will start doing silly things.

  18. #18 by cemerlang on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 - 10:10 pm

    How many races and sub races are there in Malaysia ? Muslims are divided into Malays, Melanaus, Javaneses, Bugis and a host of others. Chineses are divided into Teochew, Hokkien, Foochow, Shanghainese and a host of others. Indians are divided into Tamils, Malayalam, Gujeratis and a host of others. Orang Aslis are also divided into so many different groups. Then the ethnic group of Sabah whose name I do not even know. Orang Ulu in Sarawak is divided into so many groups as well. Bidayuh is one of the Dayak groups. Therefore people would not consider if he comes from the sea or the land as long as he carries the name of Dayak. Imagine if the leader is to choose one from each race and sub race. There will not be enough positions to cater to all the races. If you want to have a Bidayuh, then you have to minus one Iban. If not, that Iban has to serve the Bidayuhs as well. Some of the comments here are not fair to Sarawak. You should read her history. Don’t be jealous of Sabah. She has UMNO which Sarawak does not have. She even have a mini Putrajaya. It is not surprising that Sabah will have a lot. Adding to this is God’s given natural beauty. Tourists know more about Sabah than Malaysians themselves. Many Malaysians have not visited East Malaysia. They still conjure up an image of the stone age. If Malaysians are to know Malaysia, after visiting all the other 12 states, they should decide to see Sabah and Sarawak for themselves. There should be more exchange programmes. There are many direct flights or even transit flights to East Malaysia. If East Malaysians can go to West Malaysia in one piece, how come West Malaysian cannot come to East Malaysia also in one piece ? All the fearful ancient stories belong to history.

  19. #19 by ReformMalaysia on Thursday, 16 April 2009 - 1:07 am

    The slot(Assistant minister) for Bidayuh -has to make way for Sulaiman Abdul Taib – the chief minister’s son.

  20. #20 by pulau_sibu on Thursday, 16 April 2009 - 4:58 am

    Except us who are from Sarawak, I am sure most Malaysians do not know about Bidayuh. We don’t need people from all races to be ministers. The bottom line should be let the best persons do the jobs, irrespective of their races and origins. If this politics based on races continue, we need subdivided Chinese ministers into Cantonese, Teochew, Hokkian Foochow, etc. It will become a joke.

  21. #21 by boh-liao on Thursday, 16 April 2009 - 12:48 pm

    Why is the Bidayuh community upset?
    Because despite the 1Malaysia slogan, the Bidayuh community is certain that the BN government under Umno will NOT look after the interest of Bidayuhs.

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