LUNDU: The spirit of 1Bidayuh among the Bidayuh community must be retained so they can continue to progress to be on par with the best, said Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong.
He pointed out that unity among Bidayuhs is already strong, as they identify themselves as Bidayuhs despite coming from different dialect groups – some of which are distinct from the other.
In order for the community to remain united, he coined the ‘1Bidayuh’ term eight years ago.
“We (the Bidayuhs) should no longer distinguish ourselves as Selako, Jagoi, Singai, Biatah, Sadong, Bukar and so on. We should only call ourselves Bidayuh as that is our identity.
“But the Bidayuhs are the minority in the country, numbering only 200,000 or 8.4 per cent of the state’s population and 0.07 percent of the country’s population. So how do we transform ourselves to be on par with the other leading ethnic groups? It is by developing quality Bidayuh individuals and education is the way to do it,” he said.
Manyin, who is also Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) chief advisor, mentioned this when opening the DBNA Lundu branch’s triennial general meeting on Saturday.
He said DBNA has served as an umbrella body uniting the Bidayuhs since 1954 and has been preserving culture and tradition to further nurture the Bidayuh identity.
Also present were Opar assemblyman Ranum Mina and DBNA president Datu Ik Pahon Joyik.
The function saw the presentation of incentives to Bidayuh students from Lundu who excelled in public examinations and those who got accepted into higher institutions of learning.
Three outstanding Bidayuhs from Lundu – Pemanca London Tasin, businessman Asieng Jihep and state cyclist Rosnina Minggu received with awards.