Tuesday, October 20

DNC: Enhancing Dayaks’ education, socio-economy

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WE ARE INCLUSIVE: Mengga (seated fourth left) and secretary-general Richard Lias on his left with the committee members after the inaugural general meeting.

KUCHING: Dayak National Congress (DNC) will focus on enhancing the socio-economy and education of the Dayak community while not neglecting its cultural development.

In this aspect, the congress will try to reach out to the Dayaks in the state, Sabah, Peninsular Malaysia and Kalimantan to tie up with other Dayak-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Its president Mengga Mikui, said the congress would become a vehicle and platform to improve the socio-economic development of the Dayaks, capitalising on the development of NCR land, which forms the strength of the community.

“We see that the Dayaks have been in the doldrums, and after much thought about the situation, the group of Dayaks decided to set up DNC to alleviate poverty among the community.

“We will become a voice for the Dayak community in Malaysia, and also those in Kalimantan to have a global outlook,” Mengga told a press conference after the inaugural general meeting at a hotel here yesterday.

Mengga pointed out that unlike other Dayak NGOs, whose scope is confined to culture, DNC is inclusive and a new platform for the Dayak community to prosper.

“We will be very inclusive in our undertaking because we see that the community is still lagging behind in socio-economic and other development.

“DNC has an ultimate goal of helping the indigenous people of Borneo,” he asserted, adding that rural-urban migration would be drastically reduced if poverty among the community was alleviated.

Mengga explained that DNC is apolitical body and registered in June this year, and with the main and ultimate objective to help the Dayak community.

Asked if the membership is only open to Dayaks, Mengga replied that it was not, saying that it is also open to Orang Ulu and other indigenous groups in the state and Sabah.

He added that the congress was looking at gathering around 100,000 members and will be organising membership drive soon.