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Dayak group: Why is Borneo still lagging behind after 60 years of nationhood?

0 month ago, 16-Sep-2023

Wellie Henry Majang

MIRI (Sept 16): The federal government must strive to bring in more development to Sarawak and Sabah to ensure parity with Peninsular Malaysia, say two Dayak-based organisations.

In a joint Malaysia Day message, Dayak Think Tank Association Sarawak founder Wellie Henry Majang and Dayak National Congress president Paul Raja questioned why such parity has not been achieved despite 60 years of nationhood.

Where is the promise of MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963) on equality of development between Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak? they asked.

According to them, the recent visit by the King and Queen to Sarawak and Sabah for the Kembara Kenali Borneo tour had revealed the sufferings of the people.

Their Majesties were saddened to see the poor state of the people’s lives and the lack of basic facilities such as roads, electricity, schools, clean water, internet network and more in Sabah and Sarawak.

Wellie and Paul said this development gap has become a point of dissatisfaction among the people of the two Borneo regions, adding Putrajaya must take immediate steps to correct inappropriate policies.

Paul Raja

The federal and state governments, they stressed, need to be honest, determined and brave in making positive changes to increase development in Sarawak and Sabah to be on par with the peninsula.

We sincerely hope that the Unity Government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim with the concept of Malaysia Madani can fulfil the aspirations and dreams of the people of Borneo.

Improvement on all public facilities such as roads, electricity, clean water supply, schools, clinics, communication systems, internet networks and so on must be fast-tracked, they said.

Meanwhile, Wellie and Paul said that the appointment of Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof as Deputy Prime Minister and entrusting him to look into matters pertaining to the MA63 was the right move by Anwar.

This is an opportunity that must be seized to ensure that development in both Sarawak and Sabah is on par with Malaya.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in one of his speeches stated that the Unity Government under his leadership would implement the conditions of MA63, and no longer continue to negotiate as had been done before.

Therefore, we hope that the 60th Malaysia Day will remind our political leaders to celebrate the occasion with justice and equal prosperity between Malaya and Sarawak and Sabah, they said.