After the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government, once again we see how our country has gone back to race-based policies. The current Perikatan Nasional government is ruled by the majority and it seems that the government is not really interested in minority Malaysians.
During Pakatan’s administration, the cabinet comprised of Malays, Chinese, Indians, Dayaks, and Sabahans. After 9th May 2018, we were labeled as the beacon of democracy. 48.3% of Malaysians voted for Pakatan in May 2018 hoping to see a new Malaysia, a new Malaysia without race-based policies and religious bigots.
Pakatan fought for the equal rights of its citizens, shown in how it attempted to table a motion to amend the Federal Constitution so that Sabah’s and Sarawak’s status will be restored to be equal partners of the Federation of Malaysia. Sadly, it failed because Sarawakian based parties abstained during the voting. Furthermore, Pakatan was also ready to implement ICERD that had already been implemented by many other countries, including our neighbour Singapore.
Education, healthcare, finance, and business are part and parcel of our everyday lives, but can the Perikatan Nasional government guarantee that minority Malaysians will also enjoy the same rights in these areas?
The rights of Dayaks, Kadazans, Orang Asal in Sabah, Sarawak and even in West Malaysia have been ignored for years by the Barisan Nasional administration. Will there be hope for them now after years of being sidelined from development in our country?
As a Dayakian, I grew up in the rural area watching all the rights eroded, and I saw how race-based policies are bad for Malaysians. So is there still hope for the Dayaks, Kadazans, and Orang Asal in this country? Will the voice of the weakest finally be heard after being sidelined or will it only become an important instrument during elections?
I do hope that the current government can set an example to young Malaysians so that future Malaysians will proudly call themselves, “SAYA ANAK MALAYSIA!”
DAPSY Serian Youth Chief