This was one of the resolutions adopted at the Dayak Symposium held on Saturday, 31 January 2009 in Sibu where issues pertaining to NCR land had become the focal point of discussions.
The symposium agreed “That as a long term and wholesome solution to the injustices and unfairness and the undesirable public order situations the symposium is urging the people of Sarawak of all races to strike at the root cause by effecting a change in the leadership in government, that is, to remove the State BN government from power through the democratic process at the next general election.”
Other resolutions include:-
# That the Sarawak BN government under the leadership of the present Chief Minister has formulated and implemented polices relating to land that are unjust and that are burdening land owners;
# That the Sarawak BN government policy of freezing the survey of NCR land and freezing the issuance of native titles and its amendment of Land Code placing the burden of proving native customary rights on the land owners are unfair and unjust and, by design or otherwise, will result in Dayaks gradually and eventually to be dispossessed of their NCR lands;
# That the extinguishment of NCR lands without adequate and proper notice is resented as being unfair and unjust;
# That the Sarawak BN government does not pay due recognition and respect to Dayak customs and traditions relating to land rights and land use and does not recognize “Pemakai Menoa” and “Pulau Galau”;
# Grant of state leases which are now on the increase involving large tracts of State land and NCR lands to relatives, nominees and cronies of or companies belonging to BN leaders without due regards to customary rights over these lands and without regards to the consequences to the NCR land owners is unjust, abuse of power, irresponsible, a breach of fiduciary duty as a government and tantamount to corruption;
# That the word “Dayak” to be reinstated in the definition of “Natives”.
# That the Dayaks be identified and called according to their respective ethnic groups instead of being classified as “Lain-Lain” in various government official forms and documents;
# That the Dayaks being a minority Bumiputra group ought to be allocated special quotas in the award of scholarships and study loans, in placements and colleges, in appointment and promotions in the civil service, Police and Army;
# That in the delineation of the State electoral constituencies, the number of Dayak majority constituencies is to be proportionate and commensurate with the Dayak population in Sarawak.
Meanwhile, Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, PKR vice president and Sabah’s deputy PKR chief, when closing the symposium, reminded the Dayak professionals and leaders that changing the State government was not good enough.
“We must strive hard to change the Federal Government too. It is not good enough to change the State Government. We must learn a lesson from Sabah.”
Dr. Jeffrey was referring to the change of government from BN-Berjaya to Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) in the 1990s.
“The Federal Government sent ACA and ISA to undermine the PBS government. They created a Federal department through which federal money was to be channeled; they deprived the State of financial assistance and they even bought over PBS elected representatives to defect so that PBS government would collapse,” he said.
He stressed that the Dayaks together with Sabahans and Pakatan Rakyat must change the Federal government.
The symposium was opened by Datuk Sri Daniel Tajem, a prominent Dayak leader and former Deputy Chief Minister.
Some 200 professionals and Dayak leaders attended the symposium. The next symposium is likely to be held in Kuching. - The Broken Shield