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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Educated Dayaks back policies that are good for all

KUCHING: The Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA) says that educated Dayaks have no reason to turn against the Barisan Nasional government if its policies are good for Sarawakians at large.
Its president Dr Dusit Jaul said Dayak intellectuals were always supportive of government policies that benefited the people, the state and the nation as a whole.
He said Barisan also could not expect Dayak intellectuals to accept policies which were found to be unjust or favourable only to certain groups of people.
“Remember, intellectuals have the power of rationalising things, see things for themselves and draw conclusions.
“Either they think good of Barisan or otherwise, it is after they have analysed things rationally,” he said yesterday.
Dr Dusit was responding to Land Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr James Masing’s worries that educated Dayaks might turn against the Barisan government and sow the seeds of disunity in the community.
He was unable to verify the minister’s fear, but admitted most intellectuals had made up their mind on certain policies and would not easily be swayed by Barisan or the Opposition.
SDGA deputy president Dr Elli Luhat concurred with Dr Dusit, saying he would not be surprised if support from intellectuals for Barisan had waned.
Elli said although Masing had no basis for the fear, it could turn out to be true.
“The intellectuals don’t simply go against the policies. They are all matured and able to rationalise the government policies and if they are bad, they will reject them,” he said.
Elli said the Dayak leaders should not be worried about losing their support if they had worked closely with the group.
“Unfortunately, it did not happen that way. The Dayak leaders never sought the views of the intellectuals before policies are implemented. You can’t expect the educated people to accept bad policies,” Elli said.
However, he said it was unfair for Masing to presume that educated Dayaks would sow seeds of disunity in the community.
“Being intellectuals, I believe the majority of them will not behave in that manner,” he said.

Masing: Declining support from Dayak elite worries Barisan

MIRI: A senior Barisan Nasional leader has admitted that the ruling coalition is worried about waning support for the state government from educated Dayaks.
PRS president Datuk Seri Dr James Jemut Masing said educated Dayaks might turn the tables on Barisan in the state election if they warmed to the idea of radical changes.
He appealed to this group not to rock the boat, saying that even though Barisan might not be a perfect government, it should not be a reason for “wholesale changes”.
“We in Barisan have made mistakes, we admit that. But our leaders have made changes and improvements and we have a good track record.
“Don’t make changes just for the sake of changing the system,” he said at the launch of the PRS election website PRS 30 here yesterday.
Masing said Barisan leaders in Sarawak had four major worries:
·THE educated Dayaks may turn against the Barisan government and sow the seeds of disunity in the community;
·THE Opposition can bank on more financial resources from the four Opposition-controlled state governments in the peninsula, and two of these states, Selangor and Penang, have vast financial resources;
·THE Opposition is more organised in terms of strategies and deployment of manpower, and
·THE influence of the alternative media and their impact in the state election.
He urged the Barisan coalition and his own party to be prepared to counter the Opposition and not to be caught by surprise by any unexpected turn of events against the Barisan coalition.
“Don’t be caught with your pants down. This is the most complex and challenging state election ever. The educated Dayaks are the pillars of the community.
“It will be a very sad day for all of us if this educated group turns against the government for reasons best known to themselves.
“This state election is rather unique because for the first time ever, we in Barisan are fighting against opponents that are very determined to throw out the state government,” he added.
Masing said PRS was aware of the powerful influence of the alternative media, adding that the party was reaching out to the IT-savvy Dayaks to to counter the negative propaganda against Barisan leaders.
He said the PRS website contained comprehensive information about what the party and state Barisan had done for the people and its future plans for them.
“The alternative media is a very powerful tool. It nearly caused the collapse of the Federal Government during the last general election. We should never underestimate the powers of the alternative media.
“That is why PRS have formed a special team to learn from IT experts in Kuala Lumpur on how to tackle these online challenges. Our group has bloggers working day and night to counter the Opposition propaganda,” he added.

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