DAP’s ‘Dayak Brain Trust’ gets support

By Joseph Tawie
June 14, 2011
Free Malaysia Today

Sarawak DAP chief Wong Ho Leng believes it is time Dayak themselves ‘take the lead to shape their political future’.

KUCHING: The Sarawak Dayak community has thrown its support behind Lim Kit Siang’s proposal to form a “Dayak Brain Trust”.

Lim, who is DAP adviser and Ipoh Timur MP, had suggested the formation of the “Dayak Brain Trust” (DBT) during a workshop with party assemblyman in Sibu on Saturday.

The Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia), a very influential Iban organisation that has members throughout the state, has described the move as a “good idea”.

Sadia president Sidi Munan, when contacted by FMT, said the DBT could also act as a resource centre.

“It’s a good idea. It could even act as a think-tank for the party which wishes to learn more about Dayaks’ cultural, social, economic and political needs.

“At least there is an organisation which makes an attempt to learn more about Dayaks’ problems and needs and is willing to help the community.

“There is nothing wrong in supporting such an idea,” Munan said.

According to Lim, the DBT would act as an advisory body and will recruit 10 Dayak professionals to advise them on serving the rural community.

Said Lim: “We are already sourcing for the 10 outstanding personalities to set up the Dayak Brain Trust.

“They would be professionals to advise the opposition including giving their views on ways to lead the folk towards economic, social, cultural and political awakening.

“Thus far we have approached a lawyer, a doctor, a businessman and those from specialised fields.

“These Dayak professionals were receptive and welcomed the idea.”

Dayak future

Expressing hope that the DBT would be formed within a month, Lim said he would let Sarawak DAP to work on the idea.

The idea came about during a dinner discussion last Friday as the DAP prepares itself to penetrate into the Sarawak heartland in the coming general election.

State DAP chairman Wong Ho Leng On said the 10 Dayak professionals identified from the DBT were non-DAP members who would provide independent views from their community.

“The people themselves must take the lead to shape their political future, and in many aspects, the needs of the Dayaks have been sidelined,” he said.

Wong said although the body would comprise members from the Dayak community, the Malay and Melanau communities would not be neglected.

Citing the recent April 16 polls, he said that people in Sabah and Sarawak were no longer Barisan Nasional’s (BN) fixed deposit as the Dayak support for the opposition had increased significantly since the 2010 Sibu by-election.

According to Wong, the support for the opposition from the Dayak community had increased from 22% to 32% in the last election.

Since its “big” victories in the election, DAP, which won 12 seats out of 15 it contested, has encouraging support from the Dayak voters.

Three or four of the seats it won were due to the strong support given by the Dayaks, and in some areas, it had received the support of more than 30% of the Dayaks.

  1. #1 by Winston on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - 4:57 pm

    Good idea!
    Should scare the shit right out of BN!

  2. #2 by dagen on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - 9:02 am

    Yes. Do whatever is necessary to make the dayaks understand the real situation so that they could vote wisely in GE13.

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