In the current Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak sitting, all the Bidayuh YBs kept quite and it make a news. They did not pose any question, not involved in debates or discussion. In short they were mere silent observers. But the silent Bidayuh YB's is giving Taib a cold shiver.
Taib, Awang Tengah and Asfia asked Manyin (the senior Bidayuh YBs) on their "silent protest". Being courteous lots, the Bidayuh YBs gave excuses ranging from not feeling well, not enough time to prepare their questions and thought the other YB will raise the question.
If you look at Sabah, their MPs are beginning to be very vocal about issues in Sabah. In Sarawak, the Bidayuh YB's are keeping mum. Taib, Awang Tengah and Asfia are worried that their silent protest is a sign. In another word, if the Bidayuh go left (read; switch alliance to Pakatan Rakyat), the Iban YBs may follow and it may create more political domino effect. Probably a bigger wave that can push the tide to Sabah and all the way to Putra Jaya, West Malaysia.
Being a minority race in Sarawak, Bidayuh may not be marginalized but they were also not given enough recognition, due and attention. In previous Sarawak DUN sitting, Bidayuh YB's have raised several issues and some are being solved. It just proved that, only when the dog barked, the master will feed the dog.
Others may think that all Bidayuh YB caught the same sore throat virus and could not speak, others may think that all Bidayuh YB are shy and timid or they are not happy for not being given additional ministerial post in Sarawak Cabinet. It's not. All the Bidayuh YBs are seasoned politicians and not strangers in the DUN.
So, this time around, their silent could be on purpose and a signal. If Badawi played mum on their requests and Taib is also silent on their requests, the Bidayuh YBs might as well as keep their mouth shut and keep their distance and let Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat kill each other and pledge their support for the last man standing.
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Source: theborneopost.com/?p=35519 (May 15, 2008)
Bidayuh reps not staging ‘silent protest’
BARISAN Nasional assemblymen from the Bidayuh community yesterday denied they were staging a ‘silent protest’ by not participating in any debate in the just-concluded State Legislative Assembly sitting.
Environment and Public Health Minister Datuk Michael Manyin Jawong, widely regarded as the de-facto leader of the Bidayuhs, said it was just mere coincidence that none of the Bidayuh assemblymen made any speech this session.
“This is just coincidence …There is no truth is such rumours (that we are holding a protest),” he said when met at the State Legislative Assembly building.
Normally, Bidayuh assemblymen are among the vocal speakers especially during the debate in appreciation of the address by the Head of State where they will touch on current issues and even make hard-hitting revelations on problems faced in their constituencies.
However this time around, none of them spoke which gave rise to speculations that there was a protest by the community especially after the Bidayuhs were no longer represented in the federal cabinet.
There were even talks that the protest was staged to pressure the state government into appointing a Bidayuh as an assistant minister in the state cabinet reshuffle which is expected anytime soon.
Three Bidayuh assemblymen when met yesterday admitted that they did not prepare any speech, but denied that they did so in protest or out of spite. Kedup assemblyman Frederick Bayoi Manggie, known for his no-nonsense speech, said he too did not prepare anything for the debate.
Stating that he was not feeling well the past few days, he said: “It is not right to say that we the Bidayuhs are protesting, just because we did not participate in the debate.
“It is just coincidence, but of course some people are picking on this just to make up stories,” he added.
Both Tarat assemblyman Roland Sagah and Tasik Biru assemblyman Peter Nansian said they were leaving it to others to talk this time around.
“It is just coincidence that none of us spoke this time. I did not prepare any speech but this does not mean I am protesting,” Sagah said.
Nansian in a similar tone, said: “There are many other YBs who will also like to speak in the august house … (It will be) quite tiring if so many of us make our speeches.”
The other Bidayuh assemblymen are Ranum Mina (BN-Opar) and Dr Jerip Susil (BN-Bengoh).