It’s almost 6am and I am at KLIA 2 waiting to fly to Miri. I will be meeting Abun Sui and local PKR leaders at Miri airport. They will take me deep into the interior where they have organised about 4 events for the next two days. This weekend is all party work, so apologies to my constituents for not being able to attend your events. I am going to Miri to support and advise on state election matters.
At the request of The Edge, I have deleted my earlier posting on their 3 months suspension. I wish to reiterate that the banning of the Edge is a new low point in Malaysian politics and I wish them the best in fighting for press freedom. As an MP, I will continue to fight to uphold our democratic right to report the truth.
After arriving in Miri, we drove for 5 hours to Kampung Sungai Asap. This is the relocated Bakun dam settlement. We launched our local machinery office and then went to a nearby longhouse for a walkabout. The longhouses are devoid of young adults. Most have left to look for work in the towns.
I like Abun Sui, the most likely ADUN candidate for the area. He is the real deal. A lawyer who has been fighting legal cases for Native Customary Rights for the last decade.
We are spending the night in a longhouse. The air is fresh and the night is cool. The house has all basic amenities and is rather pleasant.
Good night to all. Signing off from Kampung Sungai.
This morning we bade farewell to our hosts, two grandmothers and two little girls, one two and one four years old. Their parents are working in towns and get to see them three or four times a year during holidays.
We woke up at 6am to an empty longhouse, and it is the weekend. It is one thing to talk about urbanisation but it is another thing to experience it.
Urbanisation has taken a massive toll on the community. There is ample land but little land titles for natives. I spent the morning talking to Abun Sui about urbanisation and the obvious emptying out of the longhouses. There are plenty of policies to address this problem but where is the political will to do so from the BN government? If this trend continues, the Dayak longhouse culture will end within the next generation.
To address the issue we need social justice policies and at the heart of such a policy is the issuance of land titles and grants. Land titles and grants will then be the basis of capital and with capital then only can local commerce and trade begin to stop urbanisation.
We are now heading towards Bakun dam for a short visit.
We went to Bakun for a visit but was stopped by the police from going further in. We took some nice photos and then went to another longhouse called Long Semutut. This is a lovely traditonal longhouse which required us to cross a suspension bridge. We met the residents there for a long chat and then as I was leaving, a man named Joe approached me and said that he is from Kelana Jaya. Joe is married to a local Sarawakian and tells me that it is so much better here in terms of community spirit. I can understand why. What a small world.