Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Baram folk told to stand up for their own rights too

MIRI: Baram folk must take greater responsibility of their own destiny and not leave their fate to others if they wanted due recognition and respect to their rights.

“Don’t just rely on the (political) party to pay (for everything) in fighting for your rights — for example, if you don’t like certain projects in Baram, like the dam,” said Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Baram deputy chairman Roland Engan at a pre-Gawai and appreciation dinner gathering for a thousand people in Telang Usan Hotel here last Sunday.

As the losing PKR candidate for Baram in the recent 13th General Election, Roland promised to carry on the party’s struggle in playing its role in defending the rights of Baram folks.

“Our loss (of Baram) is a joint responsibility — no need to blame others who did not support us or accuse anybody (for the loss),” said Roland who advised his supporters to be calm and learn from the recent loss of Baram seat by a slim 196-vote majority that saw a very close fight with the winning Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Anyi Ngau.

Roland stressed that he had not congratulated his rival Anyi who also happened to be his uncle on his win, because he wanted to appeal against the election result.

“I did not congratulate Anyi not because I was disappointed, but because I have not exhausted the legal process, and I have 17 days to go for the appeal,” he said.

Due to the tremendous challenge covering Baram as huge as the size of Johor state, which is also lacking in road infrastructure and amenities, Roland highlighted the need for early preparations and a sound strategy in future polls, like the 2016 state election.

He shared the results of the polls’ post-mortem showing PKR leading in most of the 16 polling districts in Baram, except for four where they lost.

“Now start to help register more voters for Baram, and save money for your transport home to vote, even if it’s just RM100 per year for the next three years,” he added.

Meanwhile, the guest of honour and newly-elected Miri MP Dr Michael Teo promised support for Baram folks who oppose the Baram Dam project, which they claim affected their rights to their land and heritage.

~ The Borneo Post

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