Miri chiefMIRI: The small Bidayuh community here want their presence to be more visible and felt by other communities in the division.
According to an unofficial census, more than 5,000 Bidayuhs live and work here, most of them settling and residing in Kampung Bidayuh, Lusut area and Taman Tunku with some in Permyjaya, Senadin and Tudan, disclosed Capt Bernard Idit, Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) Miri chairman, on Thursday.
Leading a courtesy call on mayor Lawrence Lai at Miri City Council (MCC), Bernard said: “Although we are just a small or minority group in Miri we want to contribute and play an active and effective role in the socio-economic development of Miri.”
Mostly hailing from Serian, Bau and Lundu, the community is growing in the division due to migration, he added.
“With the growing population, we are hoping that a penghulu be appointed to look into the cultural affairs of the community although a village chief has been appointed for Kampung Bidayuh in Lusut.”
He said they needed a penghulu to look into matters such as marriage, divorce and issues pertaining to culture and practices of the community.
To make their presence more visible in the division, he disclosed that DBNA would collaborate with the city council in cultural and community programmes.
Among the activities to be organised by DBNA is the Divisional Gawai Dayak celebration next year, he said.
“In September 27 this year, we are going to have a charity golf tournament and anticipate around 200 players from throughout the state including from Peninsula and overseas to converge on Miri Golf Club (KGM).”
Apart from promoting Miri as resort city, DBNA hopes to raise money from the tournament for its education fund.
In his response, Lai welcomed the contribution of the association and community to the city council and Miri in general.
“Everybody must work together and not just the city council to really market and promote Miri as a resort city. Therefore, we welcome any contribution and collaboration from non-governmental organisations in activities and programmes to turn Miri into a lively resort city,” he added.