Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu - to split the Dayak!
by Dr John Brian Anthony
Who says that Jabu is NOT an important man in Dayak politics?
The most powerful Dayak politician is Tan Sri Jabu and we need to appreciate and understand his role in modern Dayak politics. I will leave it to the readers to make their judgment on his performance. To me, the “yang dikasihi” originator is the most successful Dayak politician in modern era Sarawak.
He is a parallel to Taib in many ways - even though some of his achievements are not easily appreciated, Jabu's footprint among the Dayak is “large” and sometimes destructive.
How many Dayak ADUNs / MPs in PBB?
The REAL reason for the Dayak in PBB is to weaken Dayaks politically in Sarawak and uphold Taib/Muslim leadership in Sarawak. Jabu will never become the Chief Minister - otherwise why does PBB discuss about Adenan, Salleh, Abang Jo, Suleiman as possible successors? Why?
The Ibans in PBB have ONLY 5 DUN seats - Jabu, Robert, Gramong, Blikau and Rundi and MPs are Uggah and Alex. Taib will look after these Ibans, to ensure that overall the Dayak are weaker in their political voice and direction. None of the PBB Dayaks mentioned above have any real voice or opinion. But ALL of them are eager to reprimand and suppress the Dayak people over radio and at meet the people sessions.
Who stands-in mostly for Taib in his absence?
It is common knowledge that George Chan chairs cabinet meetings in the absence of Taib. That relegates the Dayak to 3rd level position in their own land (*Sarawak Headhunter's comment: This seems to say that Sarawak belongs only to the Dayak, which is of course not true, and is a misconception which must be corrected by the Dayaks themselves if they wish to be respected among their own race and by the other races of Sarawak). Many people would not like this observation unless you are willing to listen and understand the truth about the true picture in the power structure of Sarawak.
What is Jabu’s role?
Most CIVIL SERVANTS are scared of Jabu. If any Dayak civil servants are known or wrongly accused of supporting the opposition Jabu will make sure that his opinion is made known and it is not uncommon for undesired transfers to be affected.
Jabu is also in control of Dayak community leader approval, disapproval, dismissal etc. He is the boss as he wants to play the role of the “Paramount Chief” for the Dayaks. Being a political “nut case” he has successfully politicized the “community leader system”. Our Penghulu /Pemanca / Temenggong therefore cannot represent the thinking and voice of the Dayak. Any community leader who steps out of the line will face the negative consequence of not being reappointed again to the post.
Jabu has effectively shut the voice of grass root Dayaks from the Community leaders category.
Jabu and Dayak YBs
Dayak YBs usually refer to Jabu for his opinion. And Jabu has also made it known that he wants to give his opinion in most cases - to keep the Dayaks “in-line”. How much Masing listens to Jabu is anybody's guess but still Jabu's influence would be difficult for Masing to just brush aside.
Jabu is known to have a big influence in selecting Dayak BN candidates. It is common knowledge that the new MPs from Lubok Antu, Nyalau and Mesir are his “manok sabong”. Dr. Johnichol Rayong is another Jabu man now, even though he is asking to join SUPP. Why?
The more Dayak or Iban YBs are under Jabu, politically it makes Jabu an important asset to Taib and Jabu would ensure lesser problems from the Dayak YBs. It is a well known fact that Jabu does give out money to support certain Dayak candidates who would later maintain a “servant and master” relationship with Jabu.
Jabu's Political Philosophy: “Segulai sejalai”
You must be aware of Jabu's political philosophy for the Dayaks. That is, to keep them quiet and talk things over and behind closed doors, do not touch on the sensitivities of others, do not display your ambition, work within the system, we do not need to lead but can be effective and find your opportunity to equip yourself with enough personal finances and the Opposition just talk only and they can do nothing to help you.
Do you ever wonder who is helping those in Penang, Perak, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan now? It is just a matter of who wins the election and not the meaning of politic as provided by Jabu.
You just need to listen to PBB Dayak members and grass root leaders, all these whose value systems have already been pushed down. Many Dayaks, even the educated ones, cannot differentiate between the State and the political party in their thinking: eg. you cannot fight the government because they have the money, if you do not vote for the government you would have no schools and roads, only the government can give you minor rural projects - (you see BN is made to be the same as the State of Sarawak). This is not true and we have Pakatan Rakyat in Selangor that is paving and improving roads etc. all the time.
Why is it important to understand this Jabu's political approach? In order to win, the opposition would have to formulate strategy to counter these Jabu thoughts. These thoughts are embedded in the Dayak community leadership principles and are easily accepted by Dayaks. These thoughts are reasonable to Dayaks to accept but what have the Dayaks achieved by following this approach:
- Total submission to BN: whatever BN does is correct and is good for the rakyat.
- Total submission to Taib: Jabu blocks any one's ambition to go up as Taib is his best master.
- Total submission to Jabu: "I am the Paramount Chief, listen to me and to me only. I work for the benefit of the Dayaks".
If Dayaks were to move out of PBB
Should the Dayak YBs move out of PBB, the minority hold to political leadership in Sarawak would be hollow. the 5 + 2 Dayak Ibans in PBB are causing all the Dayaks loss of political power and effectiveness. Taib uses them as a weapon to weaken the Dayaks. Taib uses the Dayak YBs to make his position legitimate as the leader of all bumiputeras. For all these, the PBB Dayak YBs have more “economic” cakes to eat without problem.
PRS and SPDP merger
Hopefully Mawan and Masing are not playing a “wayang kulit” show so that this does not happen in reality. If they are, then there is no reason to blame the Dayaks for supporting PKR in Sarawak. Masing and Mawan might have made some serious mistakes in their leadership, but by bringing the two Dayak based parties together, we can forgive their sins. It would be timely for PRS and SPDP to merge before the next state election, otherwise this opportunity to see Dayak unity would be lost yet again.
It is better for us to see and understand “political facts” even though they are difficult to accept. For Jabu he should review his political approach as the young Dayak generation holds on to the perception that JABU is the stumbling block to Dayak progress.
For Masing, he sinned by causing PBDS to be deregistered, he must make the correction to strengthen Dayak unity through merging with SPDP.
For Mawan, it is time that he should consider stepping down in the near future, his capability and capacity is already reaching its limit. To grow, we need effective and leaders with high personal integrity. Politiking is good but most of the time it is not sustainable. Mawan is good in politiking because it is so “blur and sweeping” in approach as long as you are a great risk taker. But then things are not so stable when one single factor / leader fails in the politiking calculation.