Woo young members, intellectuals, Sadia told

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KUCHING: Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia) must recruit lots of young members and intellectuals to ensure the association remain dynamic and progressive.

In making the call, Balai Ringin assemblyman Snowdan Lawan said there were relatively few Ibans in the country, and thus it was important for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) like Sadia to stay relevant in order to help Ibans remain united.

“Only then can the Ibans strive for a better future in this multi-racial and multi-religious country,” he said at Sadia Kuching Branch’s 28th anniversary celebration here on Friday.

Snowdan added that in a rapidly changing world, all races, including the Ibans, must not be complacent, or else they would be left behind socio-economically.

“If we do not stick together, eventually some may part ways.

“We cannot deny that the Ibans are a very fragile community and have a tendency to split up. In my constituency, for example, there were only 188 villages in 2006, but now there are more than 200.”

Snowdan said one of the causative factors was politics, and urged the people to be rational and not to be carried away by their political differences.

This, he pointed out, was one area where Sadia could play an important role.

“Sadia is a big boat, and if you have a good captain, your crew will follow you.”

Snowdan also suggested that Sadia form a consortium with other Iban NGOs to bid for projects in order to be self sustainable.

At the function, he announced RM5,000 grant for Sadia Kuching Branch. Snowdan also presented certificates to the participants of a `Ngajat’ course.

Sadia Kuching Branch president, Dato Anthony Nait, said he was delighted that the anniversary dinner was better than expected.

“Besides fund raising, the dinner is also to foster closer ties among ourselves and to jointly promote our culture and tradition,” said Nait, who later presented Snowdan with a Sadia Kuching Branch Life Membership Certificate.

Sadia Sarawak president Sidi Munan and organising chairman Philip Sampurai were also present.