KAPIT, May 8: The phrase ‘Anang takut berubah’, which translates as ‘do not be afraid of change’, has been constantly on the lips of Paren Nyawi, Democratic Action Party (DAP) candidate for Kapit parliament constituency throughout his campaign.
The 37-year old accountant, is travelling the length and breadth of the Iban-majority Kapit to meet with as many as possible of its 30,658 registered voters, most of whom reside in the constituency’s 450 traditional longhouses.
As he moves from one longhouse to another, with his team of about 10 people and two engine powered longboats over the weekend, they received warm welcomes from the longhouse folks.
He is trying to win the hearts of as many voters as possible, by covering as many longhouses in Song, in the last few days of his campaign before May 9, when Malaysians will vote for the 14th General Election.
In each longhouse, he constantly reminds voters, the majority of whom are old folks, not to be afraid of change and to embrace it as a part of the next step for the future generation.
“Anang takut berubah. Voting for the opposition is not wrong as the opposition can also raise issues in Parliament for the good of the people.
“Politics is people because the power to choose a ‘wakil rakyat’ is in your hands. You decide who you want to raise your issues to the attention of the federal government, so you should not be afraid or fear about choosing whom you want,” he told the voters in Nanga Bangkit, Song recently.
Paren also asked voters in the longhouses to think hard and remember Barisan Nasional’s (BN) promises to provide basic infrastructure.
“Every election, BN promises this and that. Until today, so many longhouse folks in this constituency are still without road access, electricity and telecommunication.
“If I win, and if Pakatan Harapan (PH) takes over the federal government, we promise to throw away the GST. This is the thing that has been haunting our lives the past two years, causing the rakyat to suffer from high cost of living. I will also raise the Native Customary Rights (NCR) land issues,” he said.
He also lamented about longhouse folks receiving RM50 each to vote and he asked if it is worth it.
“The RM50 you receive, you divide over a five-year term, is it worth it? Is it worth walking on dirt roads, travelling by boat, taking an hour to go to the bazaar to stock up your pantry; is it worth it?
“We usually say each parliamentarian or state assemblyman gets a lot of funding but why are they not bringing development to this area? Where has the money gone? Think about it. Are these representatives putting the monies into their own pocket or into the pocket of their cronies?’” he asked.
Paren said he feels that the people are looking for a change but they also fear that if they vote for opposition, they will be left out of government projects.
Armed with DAP and Pakatan Harapan’s promise of development, he assured the voters that he spoke to, that Kapit will not be left out.
He added that come every election, voters were promised with roads linking Kapit to other towns for years and years.
“Apart from its lush forests and the marine riches from the Rajang River, Kapit has little to offer to those seeking to improve their life. The lack of development in Kapit has made the sleepy hollow town one of the most rural constituencies in resource-rich Sarawak,” Paren said. — DayakDaily