Looking at the physical development of Sarawak, it lacks so many things even the most basic needs - roads, water, electricity, education and health. Why are we still so dependent on river transport? Why are Sarawak trunk roads in such poor condition and lack proper facilities for drivers?
Why is clean drinking water so difficult to get and there is still no electricity for dwelling places that are located in some urban areas and most sub-urban areas. Where is the money from our timber? Has it gone into the pockets of elite businessmen and corrupted politicians and civil service officers?
A timber tug boat operator now owns one of the largest timber companies and has hundreds and thousands of acres of plantation land - how can that be? It can be when the chief politician makes it so. In the process, the people of Sarawak are deprived of their wealth generated from the valuable tropical trees that the natives have held so dear to their heart.
The jungle is the major provider of their needs. For the rich man, he sent in gangsters to his estates to subdue any Dayak from making complaints and demanding for a better living standard. The Dayak got the wrong end of the stick in all cases.
Money from oil? Many are asking what has happened to the money we get from the oil royalty? We are now suffering from an oil price hike so when did we enjoy the money from our oil then? The price of gas cylinders for cooking is reaching $180 per tank in rural Sarawak. The natives cannot understand such products that are produced in Bintulu - from Sarawak’s gas field - are priced that high.
The West Malaysians are paying much less and they are the ones that have no gas when we take the Terengganu equation out.
Why are we not seeing good schools and good health care for Sarawak’s rural folks? The ‘Flying Doctor’ service is still too limited while billions worth of hospitals are built in West Malaysia - not one but many. In Sarawak, the Sarawak General Hospital was built maybe four decades ago. Do we have a new one - the answer is ‘no’.
We do have new expensive private hospitals though the poor rural folks have no chance of using them as they don't have the money.
Money from hydro-dams? The Batang Ai hydro dam has forced the relocation of people living in the area. There is no land to expand their farming activity and the Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) provides only minimum wages for their work in the plantations and a low return for their shares in Salcra. The government has shortchanged the people.
The same government headed by the same person after 30 plus years is ignoring the plight of the poor people in Lubuk Antu. You just need to go to Lubuk Antu - what major economic activities have been implemented there? The answer is none as the government’s idea of helping the poor is by not training them to have skills and knowledge to better themselves.
Some Dayak leaders are there to ensure that the Dayaks do not progress and are therefor easier to control for political gain.
Is electricity made available to the longhouses and villages in nearby areas? The answer is ‘no’.
The Bakun dam is near completion. Is it going to benefit Sarawak poor - the answer is ‘no’. It will feed the richer West Malaysian states and provide power to their industries.
Why don't they relocate their industries to Sarawak? Because it is too expensive and Sarawak lacks basic infrastructure, it lacks skilled workers, it has limited port facilities, a poor transport system, it lacks towns that can provide comforts for the employees, etc.
This goes to show that the rich grab the poor man’s resources but are not paying for such resources in the correct manner. Otherwise why are the poor getting poorer? Why should we still stay with Malaysia?
Money from palm oil? Where is the money earned from plantations? We all know that the biggest plantation companies are from West Malaysia and Umno-linked companies. Just go to their offices and the senior management teams and managers are West Malaysians. The field supervisors and labourers are local Sarawakians - we can't help but feel ‘colonised’ and made second-class citizen of Malaysia.
Our prime land is taken to feed West Malaysians. We feel very disappointed and hurt by this attitude. It is time for Sarawakians to think about leaving Malaysia. Leaving Malaysia - why?
Sarawak has not received what is due to them.
Sarawak has been sidelined and ignored - no senior positions in the federal civil service, no senior members in the police and army, no important positions in the cabinet. The Sarawak bumiputera is a ‘fourth class’ citizen, behind the major races in West Malaysia.
We didn't join Malaysia to only learn to speak Bahasa Malaysia and have Islam as our official religion. We did not join Malaysia to champion ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ and be made used of by Umno elitists to further strengthen their grip on political power and wealth.
We want justice, we want equality, we want respect and we want dignity in our lives. We do not need to bow, kneel and plead for what is rightly ours. We want our own money to develop ourselves and be able to live a better life.
From this frustration with the BN government under Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, we are even thinking of leaving Malaysia. It has brought us untold misery and frustration with its poor leadership and poor planning accorded to Sarawak.
Furthermore, why has the federal government not approved the Dayak community’s wish to form their own political party known as the Malaysian Dayak Congress? They should ensure that the races are represented by political organisations of their choice.
We want to have our political freedom of choice and association. We do not want to feel that there is ethnic genocide in Sarawak too. Sarawak for Sarawakians.
It is the very policy and structure of BN government that is causing Sarawak to lag behind so far from the rest of Malaysia. The Sarawak leader can shout nonsense that the Dayaks are equal to the rest of the Malaysian population etc because he wants to feel good about himself - he who has overstayed his welcome and value.
He has made certain elites in the community rich beyond their wildest dreams. Have these elitists helped Sarawak’s poor - the answer is still ‘no’.