MIRI: Dayak Association Miri (DAM) was among the many Dayak-based associations and Dayak individuals to support the state government’s request to remove the `lain-lain’ (others) column in official forms.
Like the others, it wants to comment on the matter which is important to Dayaks.
Representing the members in particular and Dayaks in Miri in general, DAM’s president Serawa Budol expressed their support and welcomed the federal government’s move to replace the term `lain-lain’ with `Dayak’ in the race column of government
forms and other official documents, as this reflected the actual identity and representation of the various races, especially in Sarawak.
Serawa opined that, in fact, it could be made more specific to reflect the indigenous races within the Dayak group for example Dayak Iban, Dayak Bidayuh and so forth.
“This will not only portray the actual identity of these various races, but serves as an invaluable knowledge and information to
other communities and nationalities, particularly those from overseas,” she said.
Serawa acknowledged that the various races within the term `Dayak’ played a significant role in the political, social and economic development of Malaysia, at least, since Independence Day.
As such, their identities by race should be reflected in any government document alongside their counterparts that include the Malays, Indians and Chinese.
“The term `Bumiputera’ alone does not really display the identification of the races concerned, but more for economic clustering or classification towards achieving economic and national development,” Serawa pointed out.
The change was announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem at a function in Kapit recently.
DAM is one of the leading Dayak-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Miri that promotes the cultural, social, economic and educational pursuits of its members.
The membership comprises all races within the Dayak community such as Bidayuh, Bisaya, Orang Ulu and Iban.