Community leader wants more Dayak ministers in federal cabinet

KUCHING: There should be more federal ministers from the Dayak community since all 14 Barisan Nasional (BN) Dayak candidates won their respective seats in the recently-concluded 13th General Election (GE13).

Kuching Iban Temenggong Datuk James Jimbun Pungga said it is his wish to see more Dayak representation in the federal cabinet, considering that the Dayak community have always been loyal and strong supporters of the ruling coalition.

On a personal note, he hoped that Kapit member of parliament Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi would be appointed to the cabinet to represent the voice of the Rajang region.

“Why not have four to five full ministers from Sarawak including some from the Dayak community since all the 14 BN Dayak candidates won their seats and we helped BN to victory.

“I’m a Kapit guy, and I would love to see a representative in the person of Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi in the cabinet. We already have a state minister from that area, and why not someone in the federal cabinet,” he said during the Pre-Gawai Dinner organised by Kuching District Iban Community Leaders.

The guest-of-honour for the event was Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu and also in attendance were several state assistant ministers and Nanta himself as the deputy president of Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU).

The new federal cabinet has yet to be finalised and announced by BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who was sworn in again as Prime Minister after leading the coalition to victory in the GE13.

On another note, Jimbun appealed to the government to allocate a piece of land as cemetery for the Iban community in Kuching.

He said this was the request of the community to reduce their financial burden, especially families who had come from other areas to seek medical treatment in the state capital. He also hoped official recognition would be given to 10 ‘Ketuai Genturung’ who had been assisting Iban community leaders in Kuching on matters concerning culture and traditions.

At the moment, he said the Iban community in Kuching had one Temenggong, one Pemanca, six Penghulu and 29 Tuai Rumah to take care of the 70,000 Ibans in settlements in the city.

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