Dayak NGOs: It is politicians’ duty to educate voters, not intoxicate them with excessive food, drinks

Paul Raja (left) and Wellie Henry Majang.

KUCHING, Nov 15: It is every politicians’ duty to educate their voters so that they can elect capable and responsible leaders instead of intoxicating them with excessive food and drinks.

This was said by Dayak National Congress (DNC) president Paul Raja, and Dayak Think Tank Association Sarawak (DTTAS) founder and adviser Wellie Henry Majang in a joint press statement today.

In the statement, they mentioned that following nomination day on Nov 5, there have been incidents of people getting drunk and performing lurid actions in longhouses. There are also photos on social media of trucks and boats loaded with alcoholic beverages and food as “part and parcel of campaign strategies”.


“We do not deny that drinking is part and parcel of the Dayak community. But it is done during auspicious occasions. Intoxicating the rural voters during election is making a mockery of the (election) process and the native drinking culture.

“For the process to be meaningful, the voters must be sober and able to think rationally when deciding who they want to vote for. Many elected representatives are so elated that they win the election but at the expense of their voters,” they said.

The statement also said that when people vote under such influences, they are voting these leaders who practice such culture into power and elevate it into Parliament, which reflects how the country is being administered.

They also touched on the role community leaders play, lamenting when they (community leaders) approve of such practices by joining these politicians even though community leaders should be apolitical under Section 8 of the Community Chiefs and Headmen Ordinance, 2004.

“There must be an end to this (culture). If these politicians and political parties do not put a stop to this, then the voters must stop them by not voting for them anymore.” — DayakDaily