COMMENT | Former Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Daniel Tajem, considered one of Sarawak’s foremost Iban leaders, passed away on May 27.
Dayakism, the term coined by Tajem when he co-founded Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) with Leo Moggie in 1983 as the political war cry for the Dayak community, was buried with the 82-year-old Tajem when he was interned three days later, on May 30.
"If Umno speaks for the Malays, MCA for the Chinese and MIC for the Indians, let PBDS speak for us Dayaks," Tajem had famously declared at the birth of the party.
As a journalist with the Sarawak Tribune in 1983, I was among the press corps at Tajem’s residence, a humble government house on Rodway Road in Kuching that afternoon, when the formation of PBDS was officially announced.
That was the birth of Dayakism. Tajem was politically astute to coin “Dayakism” to rally support from the community. PBDS needed a racially-linked slogan to attract support from the Dayaks, rightly or wrongly and it worked initially.
Admittedly, I was not that politically mature 35 years ago to fully grasp it all. If the Dayaks really wanted a party they could call their own, they had every right to form one. Well, that was my simplistic, very ordinary but fair judgment, or so I thought.
But one thing was clear even then. A party established along racial lines surely wouldn’t last long. Not in Sarawak!
PBDS was born because Moggie was defeated by James Wong, a Chinese, for the presidency of the Sarawak National Party (SNAP) in 1981...
Unrestrained power in your hands
For almost 20 years, Malaysiakini has stayed true to the cause of providing the Malaysian public with the truth. We believe that with unadulterated information, the people will obtain power to make informed decisions.
Decisions which lead to a healthy, robust nation - ours!
Keep the truth alive. Support your robust, independent media. You have the unrestrained power to do so.
Who says it's not our fault?
We aren’t trained to take responsibility.
Everytime we observe an injustice - and choose to keep mum - the prevalence of injustice becomes our fault.
Astute journalism paves the way for the public to be continuously furnished with the fastidious truth. You are continuously empowered to act and to uphold the integrity of the nation.
The Rakyat owns Malaysiakini
We choose to take a risk on independent media because we believe that only through independent reporting can one be NOT beholden to the interest of businesses or organisations. This allows us to really pursue the truth - aggressively.
Independent for 20 years.
The victorious people
In the light of holding the truth to power, Malaysiakini will continue to uphold its mission of providing credible news to its discerning public. Your support for Malaysiakini is always treasured as a testament of innate nationalism. Your victory is our history.
Quietly. Effectively. Says it all. Malaysiakini.
Speaking truth to power
When we embarked on this journey 20 years ago, we knew we would face intimidation, harassment, raids, arrests and perhaps even jail terms. We got into this venture with our eyes wide open.
The main reason we have survived this long - when many others have folded - is partly because we are prudent in our finances. But while we may be tightfisted in our budgeting, we do not hold back when it comes to speaking truth to power and holding power to account. And certainly, this new administration will not stop us from continuing to do so.