KUCHING: The diamond jubilee celebration of Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) this year is made even more special following the elevation of Serian district into a division, said its president Datu Ik Pahon Joyik.
He pointed out the announcement of Serian as the first Bidayuh-majority administrative division by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem was made at Pesta Birumuh 2015, an event organised by DBNA on April 11.
“The Pesta Birumuh 2015 will go down in history as the most successful ever held since it was started in 2008, because our honourable chief minister used the occasion to announce the elevation of Serian district as the 12th administrative division of Sarawak.
“DBNA deserves some credit because a few of us in the central exco were also involved in the project paper and proposal with our chief advisor Dato Sri Michael Manyin. The Pesta Birumuh 2015 would not be a success without the support of all DBNA branches.
“We celebrate Serian as a division for the Bidayuh community,” he said when speaking at the DBNA’s 60th anniversary appreciation dinner organised by DBNA Kuching Tengah branch at Kampung Semaba on Saturday.
Ik Pahon also singled out Manyin, the dinner’s guest of honour, as the main person who fought for and was instrumental in the creation of Serian division.
In his winding up speech at the recently concluded state legislative assembly (DUN) sitting, Adenan described the newly created Serian Division as a Gawai gift to the Bidayuhs and he also announced that it would commence operations as a division in June (next month).
On a related matter, Ik Pahon said various activities have been lined up to commemorate the anniversary of DBNA, an umbrella body for the Bidayuhs, established on September 22, 1955.
The organising committee would be headed by deputy president Boniface Anat. Activities would include a grand symposium, 60th anniversary dinner and workshops. Ik Pahon also mentioned that the theme for the celebrations was ‘Moving Forward’.
“To ensure we (the Bidayuh community) continue moving forward, we have set up three main committees resulting from the resolutions at the 2014 state cultural symposium. Among them Council of Elders, headed by Temenggong Austin Dimin, to look into matters such as our adat resam (culture and traditions), language and documentation of customary lands.
“Dr Clarence Jerry heads the committee on education, and technical and vocational training, while James Nahar heads the committee on entrepreneurship,” he said.
He also disclosed that DBNA now has 21 branches, including one in Klang Valley and said that DBNA Kuching Tengah branch (originally Semaba branch) was it’s oldest.
Meanwhile, DBNA Kuching Tengah branch chairman Anga John Lawrence said the branch would organise activities to preserve Bidayuh culture and language as well as to promote academic excellence among the younger generation.