SIBU: The Dayak Think Tank Association Sarawak (DTTAS) has urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to have special provisions for the Dayaks in Sarawak.
Its founder cum adviser, Wellie Henry Majang, and its financial adviser, Nelly Tawai in a joint statement on Today (Nov 28) said one of the basic issues in the Malaysia Agreement (MA63) is equality of development between Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah.
“It is well known that the federal government has allocated special funds for the Orang Asli, Indians and Chinese.
“However, for the Dayaks, the situation is very disappointing, our existence together in the formation of Malaysia seems to continue to be marginalised and there has never been any allocation funds distributed to the Dayaks in Sarawak.
“We have also never read about an allocation of special funds for the Kadazan-Dusun-Murut-Rungus people [KDMR] in Sabah. This means that there is an imbalance in terms of allocation distribution to the races in Malaysia,” they said.
They also noted that they cannot have a race that is lagging in terms of distribution of allocations, because the phrase ‘shared prosperity’ which is always mentioned, needs to be enjoyed by all Malaysians including the Orang Asal of Sabah and Sarawak.
“We believe that federal grants and allocations should be per the original promise of the MA63 when Malaysia was established and implemented more transparently.
“In line with the Federal Constitution which contains the terms of the Malaysia Agreement, the ‘Dayak’ race must be officially recognised and used in all official government forms replacing other terms or Bumiputra Sarawak,” they said.
DTTAS also noted that approximately two million people in Malaysia are from the Dayak Sarawak and KDMR tribes.
“However, the federal government has never allocated a special fund for the Dayaks and the Kadazan-Dusun-Murut-Rungus [KDMR] in Sabah in any federal government budget.
“Where is the mistake? Is it a mistake or we have overlooked it all this time. Or the provision for the Dayaks of Sarawak as long as, if any, was just never announced? Or, is the allocation for the Dayak people included in the allocation of the large Bumiputera group?
“To be sure, it would be better and more meaningful if a special allocation is created by the federal government for the Dayak people in Sarawak. For equality, such special allocation should also be distributed to the KDMR people of Sabah,” they stressed.
Hence, they hoped that in the federal Budget 2023 to be presented soon, the government led by Anwar would make a good start by allocating the Sarawak Dayak Special Fund.
“Let the Prime Minister make history by becoming the first Malaysian Premier to make Special Fund Allocation for the Dayaks of Sarawak and also include the Sabah KDMR people.
“Maybe the Dayak political leaders from Sarawak or KDMR are tight-lipped for various reasons, let the Non-Governmental Organisations of Sarawak and Sabah speak for the people from the island of Borneo who are still far behind in terms of physical development and human capital,” they said.
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