KUCHING: Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) thanked Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem for agreeing to use the word ‘Dayak’ in the race column in all government forms.
“It was well said by Tan Sri Adenan during his first year interview as chief minister of Sarawak which was telecast live on TV1 recently,” DBNA vice-president Joseph Jindy told Bernama yesterday.
Jindy said it was the wish of DBNA that the government of Sarawak obtain its recognition adding that the DBNA gave its full support on the use of the term Dayak to replace ‘lain-lain’ for Sarawak Bumiputera.
“In our case (Bidayuh) the term Dayak has long been embedded in our association (DBNA) since 1955,” added Jindy.
Adenan during the interview said members of the Dayak community seemed unanimous about replacing the word ‘Others’ or ‘Lain-lain’ in government official forms with ‘Dayak’.
During the interview, Adenan spoke of how he told Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak that it was weird to call the Ibans, Bidayuhs and Orang Ulu ‘Lain-lain’ in government forms.
He said when Najib asked how they should be called, he said since they were Bumiputera, call them Bumiputera Iban, Bumiputera Bidayuh and Bumiputera Orang Ulu.
“But it seems now they want to be called Dayak. Maybe I was wrong (about the Bumiputera part).
“They can call themselves whatever names they like.
“It is up to them to use whatever name they want. If they want to use ‘Dayak’, I agree,” Adenan said.
Now it was up to the Bumiputera Minority Technical Committee led by Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Joseph Entulu to submit its recommendation to the federal Cabinet.
Leading Dayak-based NGOs, political parties and politicians, as well as Dayak intellectuals and leaders, had all agreed that the term ‘Dayak’ was appropriate, mostly because of its long history of usage by the natives of Sarawak.
Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU), Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA), Dayak National Congress (DNC), Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and its chief Tan Sri Dr James Masing had made clear their preference for the word ‘Dayak’. — Bernama