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KUCHING, Nov 1: The period of two years before the 2021 state election (PRN2021) will be a golden opportunity for the rural Dayak community to demand development.
Political analyst Prof Dr James Chin said the rural Dayak community, which had been marginalised for over 50 years since the formation of Malaysia, can benefit from the big money pouring in for rural development as the state elections are looming.
“This is a golden opportunity for the rural Dayak population in Sarawak. They have been marginalised for the last 50 years so this is the first time since independence where both sides (Pakatan Harapan or PH, and Gabungan Parti Sarawak or GPS) are pouring big money in rural Dayak areas, and people keep forgetting about it.
“There has never been big money going to Dayak areas. This is a fact. So this would be the first time,” he told reporters after attending the first half of the International Conference on Sarawak and Asean here this morning.
Chin, who is also the University of Tasmania’s Asia Institute director, also pointed out that despite various narratives of Sarawak having no racial issues, there actually are racial elements politically.
He said since 1970, the proportion of Muslim majority seats have gone up dramatically while the Chinese and Dayak seats have been maintained.
He said every time the state constituency boundaries were redrawn every eight years, the number of Muslim majority seats have been increasing consistently.
“My point is they keep harping there’s no racial element in Sarawak… There is. What they meant when they say there’s no racial element is there’s no racial element when all of us can sit down together have coffee, talk etc. But at the political level there have always been racial elements.
“The Dayaks have been complaining for years. You look at the Jusa (Jawatan Utama Sektor Awam) civil service posts they keep publishing who gets what, there’s always been a racial element,” said Chin.
He advised politicians to be honest in reflecting the reality because if not, they may not get the desired result in the end.
“Sometimes when people talk they paint an overly beautiful picture when it’s not reflecting the reality. I think when you talk about this thing you have to be very clear, because if you paint the wrong picture you will get the wrong outcome,” opined Chin. — DayakDaily