Saturday, September 19, 2015

Now, Sarawak Dayaks want to organise their own rally

Now, Sarawak Dayaks want to organise their own rally

KUCHING: The Umno Malays’ calls of “hidup Melayu” during their “red shirts” rally on Wednesday have spurred Sarawak Dayaks to organise their rally to protest against the land-grabbing, the state government’s refusal to recognise their “pemakai menua” (territorial domain) and “pulau galau” (forest reserve) as native customary right (NCR) land, as well as against the construction of mega dams.
The Dayaks were encouraged by the “success” of the “red shirt” rally which had not only been sanctioned by the Umno leadership and the police, but was also attended by Umno leaders, members and members of Malay NGOs.
The rally had been held in response to the Bersih 4.0 recently, which called for Prime Minister Najib Razak to step down, for a fair and clean election, good governance and religious freedom, and called on the Malays to “protect” Malay rights and honour.
When a question was posed on Facebook whether the Dayaks should organise their own rally to emulate Umno’s rally, the responses and reactions from individuals and Dayak NGOs were surprisingly overwhelming.
However, not of all them agreed to use the “red shirts”.
One FB user, Abel R Bana wanted the rally to use “black shirts” to signify that the Dayaks are in a period of mourning and their anger and remorse for allowing themselves to be bullied, marginalised and to be taken for granted.
Another FB user Ben Diomedes Ak Ujai agreed that the shirts should be black which is a sign of mourning for the “death” of their NCR land.
Several users commented that the shirts should be green to signify the greenness of the “pemakai menua” and “pulau galau”, which have been supporting the needs and the livelihood of the Dayaks.
There were others who wanted the rally participants to dress in their traditional costumes.
Encouraged by the positive comments on the idea of organising a protest, Peter John Jaban, the organiser of “Sarawak4Sarawakians” rally on July 22, said that he would like to organise the rally.
“I will call a meeting soon to discuss the possibility of having the rally and will contact Dayak NGOs to help me organise it.
“I hope it will be the biggest ever rally to be organised by the Dayaks, in order to show our displeasure at the state government’s refusal to recognise our pulau galau and pemakai menua,” he said in an interview.
The rally, he said, should be held before the state election.
He hoped that all Dayaks who want to protect their NCR land, be they members of the four component parties of the State BN or members of the opposition, to take part in the rally to express Dayak solidarity.
“We must show the state government that we are united in protecting our NCR land, which is the most valuable asset of the Dayaks,” said Peter.
Commenting on the same issue, the chairman of Gerakan Anak Sarawak (Gasak) Abun Sui Anyit agreed with the proposal made by state Land Development Minister James Masing that the Majlis Adat Istiadat (MAI) should be given the sole authority on the issue of “pemakai menua” and “pulau galau”.
“The proposal is a good thing, but the best is still the amendment to the Sarawak Land Code (Cap 81). It will even be a plus if the State Constitution is amended in order to safeguard our Adat (custom) on pemakai menua and pulau galau,” said Abun, who is a lawyer specialising in NCR land cases.
He said that to strengthen MAI per se would not guarantee the safeguard of the Dayak Adat on pemakai menua and pulau galau, because MAI might be abused by those in power, either by the current BN government or future non-BN government.
“The safest way is still the amendments to the Land Code to include pemakai menua and pulau galau as NCR interpretation.
“Also if MAI is put under certain department or ministry it will still be subject to the ‘head’ or minister, or even the chief minister of the government of the day.
“Therefore, if the current government is concerned about the natives’ rights over pulau galau and pemakai menua, this is the best time for them to show it,” he said.

Yes, the RIGHTS of the indigenous people of Sarawak and Sabah has been stepped on for too long by the Federal govt and their cronies, so NOW is the TIME for the the East Malaysians to conduct RALLIES like the Red Shirts and DEMAND respect for their religion, race, and rights - NCR lands to be respected, etc......

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