KUCHING: Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA) welcomes the appointment of Prof Dr Jayum Jawan as the 15th holder of Tun Abdul Razak Chair at Ohio University, United States, for two years beginning July this year.
Its president Dr Dusit Jaul said the move was appropriate and timely, considering that Jayum was a very capable and competent Dayak in his own academic field.
Extending SDGA’s congratulatory wishes to Jayum, Dusit said SDGA had full confidence that Jayum would be able to perform his duties well, based on his excellent track record.
Dusit said that Jayum was outspoken and very objective on issues that affect Dayak people as he (Jayum) had observed that Dayaks were academically left behind in major fields.
“Whatever comes out from his writing or his insights during seminars and conferences on issues affecting the Dayaks are purely based on his (Jayum’s) high level of professionalism.
“We hope that in the future, the government will consider promoting more Dayak intellectuals to important and strategic positions because SDGA believes that there are many capable and competent Dayaks who can handle the responsibilities, given the opportunity,” said Dusit.
Jayum, who hails from Sibu, is currently Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Human Ecology Faculty deputy dean (graduates studies).
The appointment of 56-year-old Jayum as the 15th holder of Tun Abdul Razak Chair at Ohio University, United States was notified by the Education Ministry recently.
Jayum is also deputy head (Politics, Security Cluster and International Affairs Cluster) of the National Professors Council and was a visiting professor at Hull University twice in 2004 and 2005 and Leeds University in 2011.
He began his career in UPM as a lecturer at the Education Faculty in 1982.
On a related matter, Dusit hoped that more Dayaks would be taken in to help government agencies at the state and federal levels be it in the military, the police force or non-uniformed bodies.
He cited the commander of First Malaysian Infantry Division, Major General Datuk Stephen Mundaw, a two-star general, as a good example of a competent individual from the Dayak community.
“Similarly, in the field of business, SDGA hopes that more opportunities would be given to Dayaks to venture into business along with other communities.
“This is a fair request because we do not want – by the time Malaysia reaches developed nation status in 2020 – the Dayaks to be still lagging behind compared to other communities.
“What we request is very fair whether it is in the public service or business sector,” said Dusit.