KUCHING, Oct 19: State PKR argues that though the party originated from Peninsular Malaysia, its members in Sarawak have always fought for Sarawak’s rights, including native customary land (NCR) rights.
In a press statement yesterday, PKR youth deputy chief Simon Siah said the state PKR’s stand has never wavered.
“PBDSB (Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru) ought to be reminded that it is a current local-based party of BN (Barisan Nasional) Sarawak that has appealed against the decision in TR Sandah and TR Nyutan (NCR land cases), the latest judgments of which have effectively removed all the natives’ rights over NCR land altogether.”
“And each time the state BN leaders declare that they recognise NCR of the indigenous peoples of Sarawak, our (state PKR) Chief YB Baru Bian would challenge them to withdraw their appeals pending in Court.
“Sadly their lawyers have never done so, as proven in these two cases of TR Sandah and TR Nyutan, which resulted in putting the natives in the worst possible scenario with regard to their rights to their NCR land,” said Simon.
He said PKR has always been consistent with its stand, especially on the rights of Sarawakians.
“Our membership includes prominent activists and lawyers who have fought on a regular basis for Sarawakians’ rights especially on our native rights over land, religious freedom and oil justice in Sarawak.
”Our track record speaks for itself; the party may have started in West Malaysia, but the members in PKR Sarawak are truly Sarawakians and have always been at the forefront of Sarawakians’ struggles,” he said.
He was responding to PBDSB’s call to state PKR chief Baru Bian to leave the Peninsular Malaysia-based party and join a truly ‘local party’ such as PBDSB.
The party described itself as a local party that champions the rights of Sarawak and Dayak people and challenged Baru to join the party instead.
“It is not fair to say that PBDSB adopts UMNO’s brand of politics because it is well known to the Dayaks that PBDSB is always about Sarawak and Dayak alone.
“Nothing from the Malayan regime types of politics plays a role in the Dayak party of PBDSB,” said PBDSB in a statement on Wednesday.
Siah pointed out that the idea of a regional-based party may sound most romantic but the reality was that the party that has stripped away Sarawakians’ rights is a Sarawak-based party.
“PBDSB should really look in the mirror and start asking themselves what is it that they are fighting for.
“It seems that PBDSB remains a BN-friendly local-based party whose only wish is to maintain the current BN government for the next parliamentary election, and to continue with the current BN government of Sarawak which consists 100 per cent of local-based parties who have, over the years, taken away the rights of the natives over their NCR land and allowed the curbing of religious freedom in Sarawak.
“Rather than speaking only in rhetoric, PKR Sarawak has for many years fought tooth and nail in and out of court, as well as in the political arena, for the full recognition of Sarawakians’ rights be in on NCR land, religious freedom and rights over oil and revenue,” said Siah. — DayakDaily