Below is what William Mawan said:
“Our priority now should be to forge unity among the Dayak communities, particularly in the rural areas or at the grassroots level."
I'm not missing anything but William Mawan is stressing for unity among the Dayak communities but not at the leadership level.
How come? The Dayak communities have been splinted into various political groups such as PBB, SPDP, PRS, SUPP, SNAP, STAR and PKR. You can find Dayak leaders in a Malay party, in a Chinese party and in a few Dayak based parties. If there is an Indian party in Sarawak, you probably will find a Dayak leader inside as well. Fortunately, Dayak are not keen to be in an Islamic party like PAS.
So what is the point of uniting the Dayak at the communities level when those grassroots report to a leader and that leader report to his or her party president ? This means the Dayak leader interest on the party comes first and the communities come later.
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Source: theborneopost.com/?p=35711 (May 19, 2008)
Mawan: Forging unity should be Dayaks’ priority
SIBU: The top priority of the Dayak community now should be to forge greater unity among themselves, Social Development and Urbanisation Minister Dato Sri William Mawan said Saturday.
He said it was imperative for the Dayaks to be united so that they could successfully find ways and means to transform the rural areas which were relatively ‘very backward’ into progressive living environment.
The minister was speaking during a ‘leader with the people’ function at Rumah Penghulu Juni Masam, Rascom Resettlement Scheme, Nanga Jagau, Ulu Ngemah near Kanowit.
“Our priority now should be to forge unity among the Dayak communities, particularly in the rural areas or at the grassroots level.
“We must start to identify the differences which led us to become involved in petty squabbles (including politically), parochial behaviour and trivialities.
“And then we should discard, get rid of and throw away these differences so that we can come to common terms with each other in finding ways and means to bring more developments to our rural areas in order to make our longhouses and villages more progressive places to live in,” he added.
He said ways should continuously be found to bring more roads and water and electricity supplies as well as other facilities to the longhouses and villages to bring about greater economic development and progress.
“We must create an environment where the people can earn high and stable incomes conveniently and get out of the clutches of poverty,” said Mawan, who is Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) president.
The minister said the Dayaks must also be wise, practical and knowledgeable and sensitive to the developments around them.
“We need to keep abreast with the latest developments in the political and other fields so that we know how to take full advantage of any opportunity coming our way to upgrade our standard of living.
“We should not always wait for others to tell us what to do,” he said, adding that the government had formulated and implemented many economic and infrastructural plans to make the state and country progress further.
At the function, Mawan presented a grant of RM25,000 to the village security and development committee (JKKK) of Nanga Jagau to help them pay for a parcel of land to be used as their common cemetery or burial ground.
Nanga Jagau has 21 longhouses (about 230 doors in all) and was established 35 years ago during the insurgency era under the Rajang Security Command (Rascom).
Kanowit member of parliament Aaron Ago Dagang, who also spoke at the function, advised grassroots leaders in Kanowit to safeguard the good and clean image of the Barisan Nasional (BN) so that they could continue to enjoy good rapport with the people.
“Don’t behave arrogantly as this can hurt the people’s feelings and give a bad and wrong impression of the BN government to the people,” the MP said.
The function was also attended by Ngemah assemblyman Gabriel Adit Demong and a political secretary to the Chief Minister Paul Igai.