Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dayak grassroots leader claims Bukit Aman spying on him

As Sarawak natives get organised to push for their communities' interests, one leader is alleging that he is being followed and threatened by "Special Branch officers" from the peninsula because of his vocal stance.
Dr Dusit Jaul (pic) of the non-governmental organisation the Dayak Informal Group (DIG) lodged a police report yesterday claiming that people were sent to silence him from speaking on Dayak rights.

Jaul lodged a police report at the Sungai Maong police station yesterday over a trespassing incident at his home in Tabuan Jaya more than a week ago.

“No amount of threat or intimidation can silence us,” said Jaul who leads DIG, which was formed earlier this year. The term “Dayak” is used to widely refer to the natives of Sarawak.

Jaul said he was not at home when the incident happened on October 7, when five men whom he claimed were Special Branch officers from Bukit Aman came and "delivered messages" to his wife, Selimah Gamon.

“They informed my wife to tell me to stop going against the government and to follow the examples of three good Dayak leaders whom they named as (Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred) Jabu, (Minister for Infrastructure Development and Communication Datuk Seri Michael) Manyin and (Assistant Industrial Development Minister Datuk Peter) Nansian," he said.

The reference to these Sarawak ministers implied that they wanted him to stop raising controversial issues, as these leaders are seen as  weak and "muted", Jaul said.

Jabu and Manyin are senior leaders in Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) – Jabu is deputy president, Manyin is vice-president – while Nansian is the deputy president of Parti Tenaga Sarawak (Teras), which is Barisan Nasional-friendly.

“They also told my wife to tell me to cease voicing issues of Dayak interests,” Jaul said outside the police station.

In his police report, Jaul alleged that he and his family had been followed when they returned to their longhouse in Lubok Antu – about 300km from Kuching – during the Hari Raya Aidiladha holidays.

Jaul said they left their “calling card” by tampering with his car.

“We found that on the morning of October 5, all the windows of my car were partially wound down.”

Jaul told police he suspected the five men who barged into his home and threatened his wife must have been responsible for this.

He said the men had told his wife that "they will do something" to Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing, who has been critical of Putrajaya on several issues, including attempts to ban the Malay Bible and to covert rural Dayaks to Islam surreptitiously.

Members of DIG have met Masing in his office at Masja to discuss issues affecting the Dayak community, said Jaul.

“All we want is justice and fair treatment for the Dayaks. We want the government to listen to the plight of the Dayaks before it’s too late.”

If the state and federal governments failed to engage the Dayaks now, Jaul added, they would have to deal "with more aggressive Dayaks in the future". – October 18, 2014.

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