DAP Dayak Consultative Council (DCC) formed
by Dr. John Brian Anthony
On his visit on 11th of June to Sarawak, DAP Adviser Saudara Lim Kit Siang proposed the formation of a Dayak Brain Trust (DBT) which was discussed in this blog earlier.
LKS vision for DBT is for it “to advise DAP Sarawak and DAP Malaysia on a strategy to end Dayak marginalization and spur a Dayak awakening as a integral part of a Malaysian renaissance”.
DAP has also stated that it is interested to go into some Dayak areas in Sarawak and are looking for Dayak who has interest in joining DAP. In this respect, DAP is interested to get the support from Dayak and also their services.
Formation of Dayak Consultative Council
After some serious work and preparation the name “Dayak Brain Trust” has now being changed to “Dayak Consultative Council” (DCC) to capture the essence of the role and spirit of the new organization.
The formation of the Dayak Consultative Council was officially announced by Sarawak DAP Chairman YB Richard Wong Ho Leng on the 18th of July at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall at a “Dayak Reawakening” forum attended by all the 12 DAP YB members from Sarawak and Dayak working in the Klang valley. There are some NGOs present with interest to see solution and progress for Sarawak.
In the launching of the Dayak Consultative Council YB Richrad Wong Ho Leng announced that Dr. John Brian Anthony has been appointed to lead the DCC. The other member appointed to DCC is Duwen Babat. The DCC is expected to have a 10 member council. The rest of the council members will be announced indue course.
The road towards the formation of this Dayak Consultative Council was not easy with the following objection from some Dayak.
Some of the objection
Some Dayak felt that the socio-economics gap between Dayak and Chinese is not conducive to their working together. Many Dayak expressed bad past experience of working and collaborating with Chinese. Most commonly cited example is SUPP sidelining of Dayak and riding on Dayak vote and with very little “what is it in me” given to Dayak.
Some fear that the Dayak would get to be more disunited or divided and therefor diluted in their political effectiveness.
Another common objection to DCC formation is that the Dayak do not want DAP to be the “trustee” for the Dayak people. The Dayak wanted to keep their future in the hand of the Dayak themselves. Dayak prefer to run and manage their issues themselves.
Nevertheless there are many who supported the idea of getting Dayak to be involved in DAP effort for a Dayak Reawakening. It is therefor up to Dayak to take their opportunity and work hard to make sure that they get what they want in politics or in other fields.
There are strong reason for Dayak now to consider joining DAP seriously.
Some of the reasons
DAP is a national party and is an important partner within Pakatan Rakyat. For Sarawak, DAP is a stronger party as a platform for Dayak to get into national level politics. Dayak issues can be brought up into Parliament as DAP has two MPs. In the State DUN, the 12 DAP YBs is a bigger force to fight for Dayak issues.
DAP has acknowledged that many of their DUN seats were won with Dayak support. Meradong and Kidurong are DAP seats with large Dayak voters with Kidurong having 51% Dayak voters. It is therefor natural for DAP to reciprocate the Dayak support in their services and support for the community.
DAP is a multi-racial party and the Chinese centric DAP is incidental as DAP is mostly contesting in urban seats. Thus by actively canvassing for Dayak support and support is perfectly in line with its multi-racial nature.
Personally I have many more reasons on why Dayak is strongly encourage to join DAP as a platform for Dayak interest. The general view is that religion would not be in the way of a Dayak -Chinese relationship. Actually in Sarawak is is complimenting each other. I have always held the view that Chinese education is more suitable to Dayak to improve themselves in the cognitive function and personal discipline as demanded and taught under Chinese school syllabus.
What I like most about DAP is the party is action oriented.
Not all things are rosy. I must admit to have some concerns over certain issues.
The issues that can bring failure to Dayak Consultative Council
The DCC must never be “manipulated” by DAP to further split the Dayak. Information collected and suggested by DCC must be carefully studied and understood by DAP. Output from such studies should be incorprated into DAP policy documents and statement of key DAP leaders.
The DCC must be given sufficient independence to carry out it works for it to operate with integrity on behalf of Dayak interest. No undue influence is encourage and politics of patronage can only bring negative working environment for DCC. By the same token DCC members should not make use of DCC as a platform to launch their political ambition. Let DCC be a complimentary and in synergy with the overall DAP political strategy and struggle.
Finally it is important that DAP do not allow disillusion over the progress made by DCC but instead attempt to work together to find solution to the many problems face by Dayak that would become part of renaissance within DAP.
The Dayak Reawakening would be aided by the Dayak consultative council. I would want DayakBaru to study this matter carefully and make suggestion to ensure its success.
It would also be appropriate for me to state that through doing this work I would also be able to contribute towards strengthening Pakatan Rakyat effort to win Putra Jaya. I cannot be sitting in two boats and thus I am resigning from PKR and with the best of intention to join DAP as soon as possible.
The journey of change we must require great personal commitment and sacrifice. Today I am taking this step to make the change that I felt is important and urgent. So let us join together in our fight for a stronger Dayak politically.
Change WE Must.