PAKAN: The Dayak community should learn to be less over-reactive to any issues affecting them.
A senior state Dayak minister, Tan Sri William Mawan, who is the Social Development Minister and the newly elected member of parliament for Saratok, said this unnecessary trait was now practised by even the elders, the youth and the intellectuals.
“We are becoming too reactive to any issue before us. So, we are also becoming too easy to be manipulated, to be taken advantage of… it’s also becoming the perception of others about us.”
He said this at a pre-Gawai Dayak celebration and victory dinner for him and Julau MP Datuk Joseph Salang at the community hall here Saturday night.
The dinner was jointly organised by the Pakan branches of Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) and the Federation of Sarawak Dayak Women (SIDS).
Mawan, who is also president of Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP), a BN component party, said he had personally observed this situation, which he described as a weakness in the recent general election.
“One of the cornerstones of the Dayak culture is the respect they have for each other and to visitors to their longhouses.
“But, in the election campaign, I saw that some people tended to push this focus out.
“They were more concerned with matters close to their own heart, despite those being short-term political and personal objectives,” he said.
“It is my hope that we, especially the new generation, learn to be more strong hearted and keep a strong rein on their culture.
“They should not be easily influenced by negative thinking, hatred, selfishness, all for some parochial political beliefs to be carried forward or for the political party of your choice to win,” he added.
As president of SDNU, the national body for the Dayak community in the state, Mawan also expressed hope it would continue with its main objective of uniting them.
“We need unity in all aspects including in business, security matters and in politics.
“When we are united, we can forge ahead much easier in development and progress, particularly for our rural brethrens,” he said.
Mawan said he was also glad to note that both SDNU and SIDS were now “very close buddies” in promoting this and looking after the rights and welfare and doing their shares in the development of the community.
The crowning of the Pakan Gawai Beauty Queen was one of the highlights of the night.
Puan Sri Julia Mawan crowned 18-year old student Angela Nyai Lidi from Ladong as this year’s winner. — Bernama