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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why Bidayuh Must Thank SPDP?

Timik asked to thank SPDP
By Samuel Aubrey, The Borneo Post Press

Bidayuh representation in federal cabinet in last eight years because of SPDP: Mawan

KUCHING: Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) president Dato Sri William Mawan (pictured right) was upset yesterday following allegation that the party is to be blamed for the loss of Bidayuh representation in the federal cabinet.

“As far as Bidayuh representation is concerned, the party put up a Bidayuh in the person of Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe for the last eight years in federal cabinet. Why not highlight that?” he said to reporters after the prize presentation ceremony for Malaysian Sports School Council (MSSM) age-group golf championships at Kelab Golf Sarawak here.

Mawan was asked to comment on a statement made by Peter Timik Juin, who was Dr Tiki’s principal assistant secretary when the latter was the Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister. Timik on Tuesday said SPDP leadership was to blame for the exclusion of Bidayuhs from Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s cabinet.

“Dr Tiki’s principal assistant secretary is talking in the opposite. He should (instead) thank SPDP for putting the representation of the Bidayuhs for the last eight years,” Mawan countered.

Mawan pointed out that SPDP is a multi-racial party, but a small one in the Barisan Nasional, and thus it cannot just champion the cause of one particular race.

Rather SPDP strove to ensure that the other minorities in the party were also represented in the cabinet, Mawan said. He said the party could not afford to pay attention any single community, stressing: “What about other races? What about the Kedayans in Bekenu? What about the Bisayas in Limbang?

“What about Kayan and Kenyahs in Baram, the other Orang Ulu like Kelabit and Lun Bawang? What about the Chinese?

“I cannot just be talking about one issue, (or) one single race as far as SPDP is concerned as highlighted by Dr Tiki’s secretary.”

Mawan said in the spirit of multiracial SPDP and in the interests of all communities, the cabinet representation from the party had to be shifted to the Orang Ulu which had not been represented in the cabinet since the 1990s.

SPDP senior vice president Datuk Jacob Sagan, a Kenyah, is the Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry.

Mawan, however, refused to comment on Timik’s claim that the leadership of SPDP did not fully and wholeheartedly support Dr Tiki in the last parliamentary election.

“No comment from me as of now. I think somebody from the party will comment on this soon,” he said.

Timik, in his statement published in The Borneo Post yesterday, had made this claim, indicating a rift in the party.

“Some of those who make the noisy complaint of Bidayuh absence in the federal cabinet line-up might not themselves have been enthusiastic supporters of Datuk Dr Tiki’s campaign efforts in Mas Gading.

“Datuk Dr Tiki could have failed to win the Mas Gading MP seat if leaders of other BN component parties were not asked to help in the campaign,” the report quoted Timik as saying.

Dr Tiki, who is an SPDP vice president, had served in the federal cabinet for two terms before being dropped by Abdullah from the new cabinet announced on March 17.

Despite the challenges Dr Tiki was said to have faced during the polls, he still managed to increase his winning majority. He had faced three contenders - Sarawak National Party’s (SNAP) Dr Patau Rubis and two independent candidates, Favian Tisen and Apin Baeng.

Dr Tiki polled 8,551 votes to win by a majority of 4,301 votes. In the 2004 polls, he faced Dr Patau in a straight fight and won with a majority of 2,712 votes after he garnered 10,579 votes. Dr Tiki, who has been the Mas Gading MP since 1999, was the only Bidayuh in the cabinet before the recent reshuffle.

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When I was in primary school, there was one painful lesson that I had learn. When your teacher hit your palm you must say thank you for the punishment. Regardless any kind of punishments they are. One day, my friend was asked to spell “biscuit” and he could not spell it correctly. The whole class has to receive one rattan whack right on the palm. We were punished because we did not help him to spell the word correctly. It’s a punishment by one man’s fault.

Now, Peter Timik was scolded for asking for Bidayuh MP status in SPDP. Mawan is as mas as Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. He should give the Bidayuh full accountability on the Tiki’s dismissed in the parliament. He should be like SUPP leaders and tell the Bidayuh the vision and the plans for Bidayuh. Did SUPP?

Pity to Timik, though he is the full supporter yet being scolded in the media. What to do mentality is the only way to comfort the feeling. On the next State Election, Bidayuh must re-consider SPDP as it is too sensitive to talk about Bidayuh pleads in the party. What is the SPDP’s overall objective to unite and progress Dayaks of Sarawak?

As the president of SPDP, William Mawan should give a confidence to the Bidayuh that SPDP is indeed relevant in their struggle for the Bidayuh. Is it wrong for Peter to questioned him about Tiki’s drop-out from the Cabinet? What was Mawan’s reaction when he knew that Bidayuh representatives in SUPP and PBB were not on Pak Lah’s list?

The Bidayuh had once again being punished by SPDP because they wanted to ask the president about the need of a bidayuh being line-up in the cabinet based on their undivided support to the BN government. Now, what is PBB’s punishment where majority of Bidayuh in Mambong had support PBB, even until their graveyard like my dad.

This is Bidayuh’s sacrifice when they put SPDP, SUPP and SPDP firm under BN’s umbrella. This is the dilemma faced by the Bidayuh who support BN. Just like what Mahathir said, “If we vote for the leader, he will say that the victory is at his own effort and if we do not vote for him our beloved party will loose.” SPDP should appreciate Tiki’s effort to bring Bidayuh people to support the party. This is not his own desire but it’s the community desire to make sure SPDP (menjalankan amanah orang Bidayuh). It was not easy to win within 3-corner fight but Bau’s community still put their hope upon SPDP when they support Tiki.

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