DAP and Dayak Think Tank

By: Dr. John Brian Anthony
16 June 2011 | Dayakbaru.com

The idea of Dayak Think Tank is not new but the “will and positive” action by DAP to want to make it happen is new. No Dayak Based party in BN would want to form a Dayak Think Tank for fear of because accused of a narrow agenda for Dayak, basically they do not want be branded as Dayak Racialist party. Other then that, the BN component Dayak based parties shouted on top of their voice that they are championing Dayak interest. But the evidence of their effort to cahmpion Dayak interest is not there.

A Dayak Think Tank is therefor very important. Tan Sri William Mawan talked about such initiative in private. But without the proper ground work and finance and leadership effort how will that happen. it is left at empty talk and nothing more. Educated and society active Dayak took their journey to promote change. without proper platform they adopted PKR and hopefully they choose DAP too in time to come.

Did PRS and SPDP and PBB make any move to form a Dayak think Tank. NO! Why? The Dayak leaders think that they already know all the Dayak problems. the current BN Dayak leaders also see Dayak Think Tank members as a threat to their position. It might also be that they do not want a Think Tank because the Think Tank will produce recommendation that they are not able to propose or implement to the big brother UMNO from Malaya.

Evidence of BN non performance:

1. Dayak Business Development allocation is NEVER provided for. This fun d is targeting small Dayak business and grow them. It also target to encourage Dayak to actively participate into business. No Dayak based party in BN ever talk about such an initiative.

2. Dayak Education Fund was discussed at length. Former PBDS even collected money for the purpose of setting up a Dayak Education Fund. But the initiative never work and the fund never sustain itself. Dayak are the only people in Sarawak without an Education Foundation to call its own. The Dayak component parties of BN never push for this idea and leave everything to Sarawak Foundation to help the Dayak student “IF” there are any left to be given to Dayak.The Sarawak Foundation record is NEVER shared with the public but from public knowledge not many Dayak benefited from the Foundation.

3. The advancement and enhancement of dayak ADAT

This matter is left to the Chief minister’s Office and the Dayak Adat Department to look after. There are three courts that is recognized by the Federal Constitution and one of them is the Native Court. Where is this Native court building and organization now? It has not shown any progress and develop into a more comprehensive structure and more serious application. There is no evidence that any of the BN Dayak based is component party is pursuing this important aspect of Dayak rights.

4. Eradication of Poverty among Dayak.

BN introduce e-kasih, a pathetic approach toward giving the Dayak needy fishes. even then, the Minister Fatimah noted that a large amount has not been given out. In my interaction with the longhouses I found many that deserve the e-kasih assistance but was not given. it is either the YB elected for the area did not do a good job or the government servant responsible for its implementation is slower then snail in implementing the program. Did any Dayak leaders from BN Dayak based component party monitor and follow up Governmen t program to eradicate poverty. If YES what is the report like.

The Government did not give the Dayak the fishing rod for them to fish.Where is the land title? Where is the small holding? Where is the financial assistance? Where is the technical and technological assistance? Where is the supply chain support assistance for oil palm and rubber planting. The Dayak are left on their own.

Instead what the Government did was to implement BIG land development scheme in their effort to claim that they have done something to help the Dayak improve their income. How can you claim success when the structure of rural economics is not being provided by the government. Most rural areas do not have basic road and very poor health facilities. Yet the Government continue to harp on SCORE to help. In what way will SCORE help – providing jobs to build dams? After that, where will the job come from when there is no investment in the infra-structure of the Dayak areas.

Evidence of lack of jobs and opportunities among Dayak as a result of BN failure

Why do you think that close to 100,000 able bodied Dayak move to Malaya to find job? The answer is simple. the Sarawak Government fail to provide productive job from them. In fact, the Sarawak asked the Dayak to compete with foreign labor for job in the oil palm JV plantation in order to earn RM$ 12.00 per day.

The Sarawak government has destroyed the forest and pollute the rivers and even limit the Dayak from farming by giving away the NCR land to their cronies for plantation. Being poor is never nice. How do you send your children to school? How do you feed your parents and family? How do you move forward when the facilities and resources has been rob from the rakyat by the government.


The Dayak Think Tank can propose a framework for change that DAP can adopt. The Dayak agenda can be included so that it will fit into the element of setting up political base, identifying resources that can be develop to deliver the agenda, creating environment to allow Dayak buy-in of DAP political philosophy, creating process for Dayak engagement during election and long term civil society engagement to push for Dayak agenda within the DAP political struggle context and even put forward proposal for what is it for the Dayak that the DAP will agree in principle should the Dayak swing their support from BN to DAP?

In the journey of the Dayak struggle to “BERUBAH” we expect prudent and careful thinking. We need to put the community wisdom forward to ensure our survival. BN provide us with the false promise of development for Dayak but instead create Dayak elite that has very little positive impact on Dayak development and progress.

Change WE Must and Aram Berubah.

  1. #1 by monsterball on Thursday, 16 June 2011 - 7:23 pm

    Tell all these to Najib who claim to be the People’s PM.
    From day one appointed by his party to be PM….he only know how to behave like a King and Dayaks must be classified as the untouchable low class Malaysians….and why not….
    His own race are forced to learn slowly…take life easy and don’t worry….be happy.
    I noticed few Dayaks working in shopping complexes in K.L. are real intelligent and hard working honest Malaysians.
    Nice to note someone care seriously how to bring Dayaks up for better life and future…..and you can be sure….it is not one from BN at all.

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