We continued our second leg of the PKR Roadshow over the weekend. The first stop was a Punan (not Penan) longhouse in the upper reaches of the Kakus River. The Punan are closely related to the Kayan.
Our speeding express boat proudly flew the Parti Keadilan Rakyat flag as we travelled up the river. Incidentally, the PKR logo is often mistaken for a moon. It is actually the eye of justice.
The team consisted of party members from Kuching and cabang members from the area.
Two hours later we arrived to a ceremonial welcome by the residents who played sape music.
Everyone was garlanded and offered a welcome drink.
After a brief welcome, we were invited to dine with the longhouse folk.
Simple, fresh, wholesome longhouse food!
After dinner, it was our turn to share our goodies with the residents. And they quickly devoured our small gifts in the form of printed material.
Our leaders shared the message of change and dispelled the climate of fear that once gripped these folk who had only known the Barisan Nasional all their lives. Now they know they have an alternative. A much better alternative.
"You have the power to change your lives. That power is in your hands. Give Pakatan Rakyat the state government and we will help you change your lives just as Pakatan Rakyat has changed lives in Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan. Sarawak too can change for the better!"
As the evening progressed, more people arrived. We estimated close to half a thousand people present.
At the end of the evening, the entire longhouse and several neighbouring ones unanimously asked to join the party, and a few rantings were formed on the spot! They even took a pledge of loyalty.
Sarawak State Liaison Chief Baru Bian presented the PKR flag to the Ketua Ranting of the longhouse to solemnise the affair.
SATURDAY 22ND JANUARY, KAKUS & TAMIN
The next morning we travelled to an Iban longhouse in the Entajum. The first thing we saw as we walked up the steps was this:
The residents can barely communicate with the outside world. Mobile phones have to be placed outside on the open verandah in order to capture what little reception that intermittently cuts through the clouds on a good day. This is the reality in the interior of Sarawak. This is BN's politics of development.
The next thing to catch our eyes were these solar panels, a gift from Najib - part of the Federal government's token to helping the hardcore poor. The residents had uninterrupted and free electricity...for two glorious months. And then the entire system broke down. They were told that after-sales service does not exist for their project. And so they had no choice but to go back to the old generators. Thank you BN.
A major part of our campaign is the distribution and dissemination of information.
Again, we shared the message of BERUBAHLAH!
"PKR ukai parti penyakal tauka parti pembangkang. PKR parti ti deka nyadi perintah!
PKR is not an opposition party. It is the party that is waiting to form the next government!
Kelia menya aki ini kitai naanka menoa bepantap ngena duku ngena enda takut. Diatu kita naanka tanah ngena pensil takut?
In ancient times our forefathers and foremothers bravely defended our lands with swords. Today, are you afraid to defend your lands with a mere pencil (when ticking your ballot paper)?
Kala kita meli bawang sekilo RM16? Nama kebuah barang naik? Perintah deka cukai kita laban hasil cukainya kena meli undi nuan!"
Have you ever bought onions at RM16 a kilo? Do you know why prices have gone up? So that the taxes collected can be used to buy your votes later!
Residents of three longhouses came to meet us, and even offered to share their lunch with us. Wholesome living!
It was heartening to see this just as we were leaving the longhouse.
Later in the evening, we visited an Iban longhouse in Tatau. We were received very grandly!
This lady even fired her shotgun as a sign of welcome!
The residents were very organised and well prepared. They invited their friends and neighbours to listen to our message of change.
They invited us to share dinner with them.
After dinner, Baru Bian officiated in the launch of their Wanita Wing.
About two hundred people were present. More significantly, six longhouse headmen came! Despite official warnings from BN ministers, these headmen defiantly turned up to show their support. As you can evidently see from these pictures, the tsunami of change is sweeping through Sarawak from Lundu to Lawas and there is precious little that the BN can do. The BN's politics of fear and intimidation have little effect now!
"Thirty years of BN and Taib are enough! BERUBAHLAH!"
SUNDAY 23RD JANUARY, ULU BAWAN & LABANG, KEMENA
On Thursday last week, Baru Bian received this sms:
"Saya mahu saudara B. Bian datang ke rumah panjang saya untuk kempin parti keadilan R. Atas permintaan rakyat di sini. TQ."
I would like brother B. Bian to come to my longhouse and campaign for the PKR party. At the request of the people here. Thank you.
And so we obliged and visited them. This is their longhouse, which we visited at 8am in the morning in order to fit them into our tight schedule as logistics in the interior is a major issue in Sarawak. Getting from one location to another can take up to three hours, sometimes half a day or even more. Unlike the BN, we do not have unlimited access to helicopters.
The entire longhouse is surrounded by oil palm planted by a company alleged to have links to Taib, who acquired the NCR land from LCDA who in turn rents it from the residents at a paltry amount of RM50 a hectare per year! Is this just and fair? Is this how the BN treats the Dayaks? This is the view from the verandah of the longhouse:
"We are surrounded by oil palms as far as the eye can see. On our land! And all we get is RM50 a year per hectare! This is what the BN has done to us. This is what they call 'politics of development.' Please help us!"
We helped them form a ranting, and promised them change when Pakatan Rakyat takes over the Sarawak government soon.
Again, the famous hospitality of the Iban was displayed.
In the afternoon, we visited an Iban longhouse in Kemena.
We brought our consistent message for change.
And shared printed materials.
The rural folk are beginning to stand up for their rights, and to vote for change. Help us help this boy and his fellow generation and the generations to come. Campaigning costs money and every ringgit helps. Make a monetary contribution.
We have opened a Sarawak PKR party account as follows:
Parti Keadilan Rakyat 11050014518059#
God bless you.
Read the first leg of the roadshow HERE.