Opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim delivered a fiery speech to more than 500 Iban residents of Kampung Tunku Abdul Rahman, Miri.
“Why should we be afraid? Did we steal people’s land? Did we rape young women? Then why should we?” those were the words that Anwar used to rile up the crowd during his speech.
Speaking at Kampung Tunku Abdul Rahman ahead of the Sarawak state elections, Anwar was referring to the alleged wrongdoings that the Taib Mahmud’s 30-year regime in the state has been accused with.
“When I was doing my rounds here, people told me that the government had stolen their land,”
“But this time, I could see that the people’s spirits are up,”
“There are still some elderly citizens who are afraid to vote for a change. But why we should be afraid? Those who have stolen the lands are not afraid, those who have raped young women are not afraid. Why should we when we did not steal anyone’s land?” he said to a rupturing applause from the crowd.
Mathew Ak Kalong, a resident in Kampung Tunku Abdul Rahman reiterated the land issue, saying that Taib Mahmud’s regime had stolen most of the lands where he lives at.
The loss of native lands is just one of a litany of corruption allegations leveled against the Sarawak state government.
The others include the rape of native Penan women in areas with illegal logging, and also the relocation of natives in order to build the Bakun Dam.