Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Sarawak's Natives wants Dayak stay

This posting is adopted from HERE

Federal Deputy Minister for Rural and Regional Development Joseph Entulu was severely criticised at a iforumn KUching on 11 July 2009)for suggesting that the term “Dayak” be dropped as its connotation was uncivilized, uncouth and low class.

The forum, should the term ‘Dayak’ be dropped, was organised by The Borneo Post in collaboration with the Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU).

Five panel speakers addressed some 150 participants, the majority of them were professionals, pensioners, businessmen and university students.

SDNU publicity chief Dr. John Brian Anthony said that the term “Dayak” was used anthropologically to describe the natives of Borneo.
He said: “It is sillier to suggest dropping the term ‘Dayak’. He must be drunk. Otherwise he is playing to the gallery of those who are against the term ‘Dayak’.

“It is our intention to bring all the natives together under the name of Dayak, but there are people who think that the Dayaks are threat. That is why Malaysian Dayak Congress (MDC) cannot be registered because it is considered a security threat to the nation,” he said.

SDNU which was formed in 1956 was considered as opposition organisation and because this organisation was being punished and no financial aids were given to it, he said, pointing out that the government gave funds to Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA), Orang Ulu National Union (OUNA) and other NGOs in order to spite SDNU.

It seemed, he said, that Entulu was given the job of bashing the Dayak community.

Next speaker was Sidi Munan, president of Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA), who said that the dropping of term to say the least was stupid and lack of understanding of history.

“I am wondering whether it is a government proposal. It looks like it. It may be slip of the tongue, but coming from the heart,” he said.

Sidi recalled an incident in 1967 in which someone suggested that the term ‘Dayak’ be dropped.

“And there is something more than meets the eye,” he said, and warned of the legal, political and cultural implications and consequences especially in respect of I Malaysia concept.

“There will be no gawai Dayak and the Federal Constitution need to be amended. Thus it is more good than harm to retain the name in this context,” he said.

Presenting his views next was Dr. Elie Luhat, deputy president of Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA).

He said: “If you want to get rid of the word ‘Dayak’ we are doing the work of others, that is, ‘ethnic cleansing’.

“And my advice to politicians is that if you proceed with the proposal to remove the word ‘Dayak’ you are creating problems and issues that will cause you to commit political suicide,"
Elie said.

Former Ambassador to Myanmar, Venezuela and Mexico, Datuk John Tenewi Nuek said that he was proud to be a Dayak and had never been humiliated for being so, pointing out that he traveled to several countries in his capacity as an officer of the foreign service.

He said that it was politically wise to retain the name as it provided a common umbrella for the various native groups to work and strengthen their political unity.

“Why should we change the word ‘Dayak’ which is already a brand name which gives us the best marketing strategy? Dayak is synonymous with Borneo.

“Dropping the name will be a step backward from the political, economic and cultural point of view,”
he said.

Mering Wan from the Orang Ulu community said that he was proud to be a Malaysian, and prouder still to be a Dayak.

When the forum was opened to the floor, several participants spoke against the decision to change the term ‘Dayak’. - The Broken Shied

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just like the idioits who wanted the term Kadazandusun be dropped.