KUCHING: The Bidayuh community is urged to be united and to think of quality, not numbers.
Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) advisor Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong said that this was necessary if the Bidayuh community was to move forward.
“We need to equip ourselves and ensure that we are competent, competitive and independent – this is what we want for the Bidayuh community in the future. We need to have a unity in purpose and not think too much about politics.
“There are only 200,000 Bidayuhs out of the 2.6-million population in Sarawak – but we should not think about numbers, but think of quality instead. We need to ensure that our community can be competitive tomorrow, five weeks from now and five years from now,” Manyin said when speaking at the DBNA 60th Anniversary held at Dewan Kampung Semaba on Saturday night.
He also urged the Bidayuh community to focus on education as a platform to move forward.
“If all Bidayuh parents think of education and are willing to sacrifice and be frugal and thrifty for our children, then education can really help them, and the Bidayuh community, to move forward. This is what Bidayuh leaders and DBNA wants for the community,” Manyin said, adding that Kampung Semaba was an example of a village moving forward because of education.
He also expressed his hope that the Bidayuh community would act on their advantages to spur the moving forward theme.
“We are lucky because we live at the periphery of urban centres and we are blessed with electricity and water supply and roads, so we need to make sure that we take advantage of a lucky situation so that we are not dependent on others but instead we can compete with them,” stated Manyin who is also Minister for Infrastructure Development and Communications.
The Tebedu assemblyman also announced that he would be giving RM30,000 for community hall upgrading and RM15,000 for DBNA Kuching Tengah.
The 60th anniversary dinner also saw the presentation of Academic Excellence Awards to outstanding students based on 2014’s UPSR and SPM results as well as the Outstanding Achievement Awards to members of the Bidayuh community within the DBNA Kuching Tengah branch to recognise their noteworthy and outstanding achievements.
Also present at the Diamond Jubilee dinner were DBNA president Datu Ik Pahon Joyik and the dinner’s organising chairman and DBNA Kuching Tengah branch chairman Anga John Lawrence.