By Ang Ngan Toh
Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister Michael Manyin feels insulted by non-Dayak people telling him that Dayak leaders in the state government are not looking after the interests of the community.
“If we have indeed failed our people, as some members of the DAP implied that the Dayak leaders have not looked after the interests of the Dayak and not helped them, which is absolutely false, then the rural areas will not be what they are today, and we, the Dayak, will not be what we are today,” he said.
“If we, the Dayak leaders, have really failed our people, the infrastructures, amenities and educational opportunities now available to the Dayak community will not exist,” he added when winding up the debate on motion of thanks on the Yang di-Pertua Negeri’s address in the Sarawak state assembly yesterday.
Manyin, who is also a vice-president of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), said the opposition members were either wearing blinkers or were just bent on making scandalous accusations against the Dayak leaders in the government.
“In so behaving and in failing to provide any constructive, alternative schemes or programmes to help the Dayaks, I think I am entitled to say, without fear of contradiction, that we have in this august House some members of the opposition who fail miserably to measure to the democratic standard of a responsible and constructive opposition,” he said.
Manyin singled out Ting Tze Fui (DAP-Meradong, left), who had asked the Dayak leaders to have the heart for the Dayak people.
“I wish to tell her that such remarks are an insult to the Dayak community, who have been voting for us (BN) since Independence, and to their intelligence,” he added.
Quoting former Israeli prime minister, the late Golda Meir, Manyin said: “Don’t be too humble for you are not that great.”
To Ting, he said: “I also wish to tell her not to tell ducks how to swim, for you have not eaten enough salt.”
In her speech, Ting accused the Dayak leaders of neglecting their community and taking away their native customary rights land.
Ting: We speak out loudly on land grabs
“In view of the many NCR landowners whose lands have been grabbed over the years by big corporations with the cohort of the state government, it is just so sad that the government ministers, especially the Honourable Member for Layar (Alfred Jabu Numpang), persistently condemn the opposition as against development.
“When the opposition does speak out on matters related to NCR landowners, be rest assured that we are all the way for them. We have their vital interests over their land in our hearts.
“We want to protect their very legitimate claims over their land by speaking out loudly and clearly on their behalf and against indiscriminate and wanton land grabs by big or dormant
companies,” Ting had said.
Manyin asked if the policies of the BN were that bad as claimed by the opposition, then how was it that Sarawak had developed from a very poor state from the 1960s to the 1980s to what it was today.
“I believe many of us will not be what we are today and the BN will not have been able to rule Sarawak since Independence if not because of the good policies of the BN government,” he said.
The BN, Manyin added, had been judged many times in state and parliamentary elections, and winning two-thirds majority in the recent state election was clear testimony that the BN policies were good for the people and the state.