Monday, August 22, 2011

Sarawak Dayaks bracing for Change

After the Sarawak State Elections where the opposition parties had, especially DAP made inroads into Sarawak's urban constituencies, things have quietened down. BN is still the overall "ruler" and Sarawakians, whether they like it or not, have to live with the old bearded Chief Minister popularly known as "white hair" or "pek mo" in Chinese. He's still the powerful figure around the state, a person respected by many and also hated by a few. I neither like nor hate the man. Corruption aside, he's just another man who knows how to play politics, doing what many would do if they are given the very same opportunity. He's able to stay in power principally due to the support from the Dayaks.

The State may soon see a new party emerging, talks are that a group of disgruntled SUPP leaders may be behind the formation of this supposedly "pro" BN group. It's a Chinese group with a sprinkle of Dayak leaders supporting the idea, the Dayaks sadly are divided and their interest in politics have thrown them in everyone's court.Their 2 leaders who were honoured recently with "Tan Sris" remain the "Mambo Jambos" of Dayak politics in Sarawak. They are "caged" birds of the Taib establishment.

Other Dayak leaders love to be bystanders, although some intellectuals would howl aimlessly at the system but not actively participating in the political arena. A few have of late emerged and aligning themselves with Pakatan Rakyat. It is interesting to watch their movements, gauge their thoughts in the next few months before the next GE. Like rabbits, some are already coming out of their hideouts, eager to make known their intentions for equality.

The new breed of Dayak leaders have a long journey ahead. For now, it is how they can convince the rural folks in the rural areas that matters most. It is the poor rural folks who need to be inspired with "change". And deprived of the mainstream media, these rural Dayaks are easily waylaid by sweet promises, a tactic that has been applied by BN and was effective. BN has taken them for granted all these years. Will they now brace for change?

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