(From left) Tony, Sai, Robert, Moses, Julius, Kipli, Susan and Emilia during the launching of the PBDS GE15 manifesto. — Borneo Post pic
KAPIT, Nov 11 — Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) on Wednesday launched its 15th General Election (GE15) manifesto at the operation room of its Kapit candidate Robert Saweng.
The launching was performed by Deputy President I Moses Ripai representing party president Bobby William who was on the campaign trail in Sibuti where he is contesting.
Among those present were Robert and PBDS Julau candidate Susan George.
The ‘Dayak First’ manifesto, among other things, seeks to push for the Native Court to be of equal status to the civil court in all proceedings that impact the Dayak community; advocate the appointment of community leaders by way of local elections; and for the federal government to recognise Gawai Dayak as a national holiday.
“On education, PBDS seeks to strengthen education in rural schools and the interior areas where the Dayak communities reside; increase the quota of Dayaks in teacher training institutes to resolve the shortage of Dayak teachers posted to rural and interior parts of Sarawak.
“We also seek for equal rights in the awarding of scholarships and education loans to Dayak students who apply for aid from Mara, Public Services Commission and other government-sponsored scholarship and education financial assistance,” said Moses during the launch.
He said PBDS also seeks for the next Yang di-Pertua Negeri to be a Dayak, and for the term of the Head of State to be limited to three years and rotated between the Dayak, Malay/Melanau and Chinese communities to reflect Sarawak’s multiculturalism.
“PBDS champions the cause of the Dayaks who are mainly rural-based. As the largest population in Sarawak, we are still far behind in various fields especially in education and socio-economy,” he added.
Also present at the launching were Deputy President II Sai Malaka, Deputy President III Julius Enchana, vice-presidents Tony Sepawi and Emelia Ambrose, and secretary-general Kipli Ayon. PBDS is contesting three seats in this election — Sibuti, Kapit and Julau.
Bobby is in a three-cornered fight in Sibuti with incumbent Lukanisman Awang Sauni of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) Zulhaidah Suboh.
In Kapit, Robert is challenging incumbent Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi of GPS and PH’s Khusyairy Pangkas; while Susan is in a three-cornered fight in Julau against incumbent Datuk Larry Sng of Parti Bangsa Malaysia and GPS’ Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum who is Parti Rakyat Sarawak president. — Borneo Post