KUCHING: The estimated 100,000 hardcore members of the deregistered Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) should not “look back into their past” and push for the revival of the race-based party.
Former PBDS supreme council member Baru Bian said the days of race and community based politics were no longer relevant in a new era of politics in Sarawak and Malaysia.
“I do recognise that political parties in Malaysia started by representing various communities such as MIC representing the Indian community, Umno the Malays, MCA the Chinese, and PBDS the Dayaks, and even PBB.
“But such political parties are no longer relevant in a new era of Sarawak.
“I think we have come out of this and we are now in a new era and this is the reason why people like us are with PKR,” said Bian who is Ba’Kelalan assemblyman.
He was commenting on the efforts by some ex-PBDS to register the party in order to regroup some 100,000 hardcore members to continue with the unfinished struggle by the party.
PBDS was deregistered about eight years ago due to a leadership tussle.
Said Bian: “My response to the revival efforts is; don’t waste your time in trying to revive something of sentimental value.
“It does not help the future of our community, nor for the state and nor for the nation. How much can we do as a race-based political party?
“I think we should all move into national politics, into multi-racialism and multi-perspectives and play our role more effectively alongside leaders of diverse background.
“This is very crucial for our future,” he said urging the Dayaks to join them in PKR which he considered as the best platform for them to voice their concerns.
‘They’ll split Dayaks again’
What Bian feared most is that upon the registration of PBDS Baru the Dayaks would be further split by those who wished to see the Dayaks to remain disunited.
“And by forming a Dayak based party, I know they are going to use it in their campaign against us in the Ulu to say the Dayaks are racialists,” he said, adding that the power that be had been using it against the Dayaks for more than 30 years.
Recalling the days they were in PBDS, Bian said: “I appreciate the fight for the protection of our rights including native customary rights land.
“Nothing much we could achieve. And when we applied back to join BN, (Sarawak Chief Minister and State Chairman of BN) Abdul Taib Mahmud said very clearly that PBDS should not raise NCR land issues any more.
“We were even told that all past resolutions regarding the NCR land should be erased and thrown away. We accepted the condition and what choice we had as we had only seven seats,” he said.
“We were at their mercy, but now things have changed.
“I ask every Dayak not to look back into the past. Let us look forward to the future for a new Sarawak and a new Malaysia,” he said, pointing out that gone are days where political parties are based on race and community.