Federal Cabinet approves ‘Dayak’ to be included in govt forms to denote state’s non-Malay Bumiputeras
KUCHING: The word ‘Dayak’ has been approved by the Federal Cabinet to denote the race of non- Malay Bumiputera in government official forms.
The was announced by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun who said it had been endorsed and approved at the Federal Cabinet meeting in Putrajaya yesterday.
“I would like to announce that the Federal Cabinet has unanimously approved the word Dayak to be included in all government official forms,” Entulu told The Borneo Post.
“Now, the word Dayak will be printed on all official forms. Government forms will have ‘Melayu’, ‘Cina’, ‘India’, ‘Dayak’ and ‘lain-lain’ for other minority races other than the major races,” he explained.
Entulu said the approval of the word Dayak by the Federal Cabinet had been pursued vigorously by the State Government.
When contacted, Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) president Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom welcomed the good news, stating that it was timely and apt.
“In Peninsular Malaysia the term Bumiputera refers to the Malays and Orang Asli.
“In Sarawak the term Bumiputera refers to the status of the Dayak community comprising of many races and ethnic groups, so that they are entitled to some privileges or special rights,” stressed Mawan.
The Senior Minister added that he had always found the term “lain-lain” (or others) referring to the Dayaks downgrading.
And now that the term Dayak has been recognised, he was happy to note that issues surrounding the term ‘lain-lain’ was settled once and for all.
“The term Dayak refers to people or humans – be they a race or a group of races. For the term to be used on government forms in future would help in
enhancing Dayak pride and dignity,” added the Social Development Minister.
Meanwhile, Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) president Datu Ik Pahon Joyik said the good news as announced by Entulu was what the community had been waiting for.
“The recognition of the Dayak community by the Federal Government in general and for the Bidayuh in particular is a very significant event for us all as it means that now we belong to a larger entity.
“We hope this recognition will spur better economic and social development for the community especially in terms of education and entry into the civil service.
“In short, this will be a day to remember for us all as Dayaks,” added the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism.
Assistant Minister of Native Adat and Penan Affairs Datuk John Sikie Tayai believed the word ‘Dayak’ should have been approved for use long ago.
“As a Dayak, of course I am very happy the world ‘Dayak’ has been approved for inclusion in government official forms,” Sikie, who is Kakus assemblyman, said when contacted yesterday.
He figured that before the approval, not many fellow Malaysians knew about them (Dayaks).
“Therefore, we are very grateful to Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah and Datuk Joseph
Entulu for making this a reality.”