Hornbill Unleashed

July 14, 2017

Masing: Poor Dayaks don’t have chance to go bankrupt

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

james-masing-dayak-1The Dayaks, the largest native group in Sarawak, have been discriminated for so long that they don’t even have the economic standing to go bankrupt, says Dayak leader James Masing.

In an exclusive interview with FMT, the outspoken president of Sarawak’s largest Dayak-based party, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), said some quarters who feared losing their power had denied the Dayaks the opportunities to become financially independent.

“To put it mildly, because there is an element of discrimination against us, against allowing us the opportunities (to be independent), the Dayak community doesn’t even have the chance to go bankrupt.

“They own few businesses, and few business opportunities have been given to them.

“That is why poverty has become our main problem,” he said.

According to the 2014 Household Income Survey, 9.1% of households in urban Sarawak earn RM1,999 or less.

But the survey also stated that in the rural parts of Sarawak, 33.1% of households earn RM1,999 or less, placing Sarawak’s average household income as the second lowest after Kelantan (39%).

This situation has occurred despite the state being one of the richest in terms of revenue and natural resources.

Masing, who is also Sarawak’s deputy chief minister, said if this problem was not rectified, the Dayaks would “succumb to money politics” practised by those who put money into their pockets.

Asked how he and others with similar concerns planned to solve this problem, Masing said: “Education.”

“We must improve our academic standing. Once we’ve done that, you can give us a few ringgit, but we have hundreds of ringgit in our pocket.

“So I’ll take your RM50, but I don’t need it. We can then say, ‘I never asked you to give (the money), so don’t tell me to support you’.”

And education for the Dayaks can only improve if the state’s schools, especially in the rural areas, are equipped with teaching staff who understand the different communities in Sarawak, he said.

Hence, the state’s objections to the federal government’s plan to send teachers from the peninsula to the rural areas.

“That’s why we said we want 90% of our teachers to be from Sarawak. We don’t want people from Semenanjung (peninsula) to teach here because they don’t understand us.

“And quality education comes from understanding. You can’t have quality without understanding the community that you are teaching.

“But I must say that in some areas, there are a lot of Semenanjung teachers who are very good and they don’t want to go back (to West Malaysia), so let them be.”

The late Sarawak chief minister Adenan Satem in 2015 announced a 90:10 ratio, which aimed to have locals make up 90% of the state’s teachers by 2018.

In October last year, the state’s Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Minister Fatimah Abdullah revealed that the locals at present comprised 88.7% of the teachers in Sarawak.

Source : FMT Online by Nawar Firdaws




  1. And which Dayak leaders allowed the exploitation and descriminations to take place unchallenged? Aren’t they the BN Dayak leaders of the past and present?
    We are losing our lands through the courts and our Bn Dayak leaders aren’t speaking out loud and clear challenging this injustice.
    Now whose at fault…

    Comment by Brian — July 14, 2017 @ 2:28 PM | Reply

  2. Well said YB !! Discrimination !! But look here , which Party is running the whole show for the past years ?

    Comment by Sii Pai Gong — July 14, 2017 @ 9:34 AM | Reply

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