KUCHING, Nov 20: Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) says that if Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing wanted to show his support for native customary rights (NCR), he should not have called on the Dayaks not to attend the Nov 13 NCR rally.
In a press statement today, PBDSB supreme council member Pok Ungkut said that Tiong’s recent statement advising the Dayak, especially those from his parliamentary constituency, not to attend the said rally had left a bad impression, which in turn had resulted in criticism from netizens.
Tiong later rebutted these criticisms by highlighting specific incidences where he had helped to resolve NCR issues involving his constituents. He said he had advised his Dayak constituents not to join in the rally because he and Kemena assemblyman Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom had resolved most of the NCR issues there and as such, the Dayaks should trust them to help them rather than joining the rally. Furthermore, Tiong felt that staging rallies will result in further complications and that the better way would be to work with the government to resolve NCR disputes.
While Pok acknowledged what Tiong has done to support his constituents in pursuing NCR, he added that the Bintulu MP should not just stop there.
“PBDSB can’t deny that on many occasions in the past, he (Tiong) has spoken up for the Dayaks on NCR land disputes as how he claimed. Many Dayaks in his constituency would also not deny such claims as well.
“It would be a nice gesture if one day, we could see Tiong attend a Dayak NCR case in court. If he takes the initiative to do so, he would be the first minister in history to attend an NCR hearing, as many Dayaks know that history has shown, never would a minister, what more to say the Dayak ministers, even possibly bother to attend any of the Dayak NCR court cases at all. If they were to do so, Malaysia would have four seasons of weather conditions instead of just one.”
Pok added Tiong who is also president of Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) should also pursue the issue of NCR to be resolved soonest possible since his party’s deputy president is also part of the NCR committee lead by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
Pok also took the Dayak ministers to task for their silence over NCR land issues.
“Seems like our Dayak ministers can learn a lot from Tiong, to show initiative for supporting the Dayak NCR agenda more vocally. He even dared to make a stand when someone criticised him for not supporting the Dayak NCR land issue. Our own Dayak ministers would not even bother about defending themselves when being criticised by indigenous netizens for not supporting NCR issues or for the SLC (Sarawak Land Code) to be amended, showing clearly to the indigenous communities where they really stand.”
Pok also chastised Muara Tuang assemblyman Datuk Idris Buang for urging people not to take to the streets to protest for their rights, saying Idris has lost his empathy as an indigenous person for Sarawakian Bumiputera as a whole.
“If a Chinese minister like Tiong, can understand the sentiments of the indigenous people in his Bintulu constituency, why can’t the rest of those indigenous or Bumiputera ministers do the same for all Sarawak native indigenous clans? Something to ponder about.” — DayakDaily