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By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Sept 26: Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) is exploring the possibility of working with Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) in Dayak majority areas for the coming Sarawak state election.
PBK president Voon Lee Shan said cooperation between PBK and PBDSB is possible because PBK identifies with the Dayak-based party which is advocating for native rights, especially land rights.
“To them (the Dayak community), land is their mother and they are the children of the land. Land gives them honey, fruits and a lot of things in their life. They can’t be detached from their land.
“We see this problem but PH (Pakatan Harapan) and GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) — both federal and state — could not solve this problem for the benefit of the natives. There is a vacuum.
“So PBK will spearhead this challenge to protect the Dayaks’ interests in the coming election.
“It is for this reason that we will have a discussion on how to work together in Dayak areas to win this election,” said Voon in a press conference at his office here today.
He said PBK and PBDSB will work together to fight the three political giants in Sarawak, namely GPS, PH and Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB).
Voon said despite GPS’s attempt to amend the Sarawak Land Code, the land of the Dayak community is still not protected because when the case reached the Federal Court, it would be decided by federal judges who have no understanding of Dayak land customs.
He opined there could only be a holistic revamp of the Sarawak Land Code if Sarawak is independent.
“There is no point for the State government to amend the law but at the end of the day, it is the court that decides and if we were to stay in Malaysia, the decision will be made by the Federal Court.
“So when the matter reaches the Federal Court, the Federal Court judges who mostly are from Malaya may not understand the cultural and spiritual significance of Dayak land.”
Voon, who is a former Batu Lintang assemblyman, said the Sarawak government is also facing pressure as there are many companies from Peninsular Malaysia that have invested in Sarawak.
“We foresee this problem. So whatever amendment of the Land Code by the Sarawak government will not be effective because at the end of the day, it is the Malayan people sitting at the court there (who) decide,” claimed Voon.
He thus called on the Dayak community to support PBK which will be working together with PBDSB to fight for Dayak interests.
PBDSB information chief William Mangor was also present at the press conference. — DayakDaily