Sunday, September 22

‘10 per cent Bidayuh middle class possible’

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KUCHING: Dato Sri Michael Manyin has set a target of creating 10 per cent Bidayuh middle class in Sarawak.

The Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) chief advisor said this could be achieved if the already successful Bidayuhs could help to bring up other members of the community instead of pushing them down.

“I did say before that the next focus for the Bidayuh was to create more middle-class Bidayuhs. Our target should be 10 per cent, which is about 20,000 out of the 200,000 Bidayuhs in the state.

“When are we going to reach that? Realistically, I’d say 1 per cent for the next two to three years and more as we go along. We have to create as many as possible the number of middle class Bidayuhs. Once realised, I think we will finally be able to walk on our own two feet,” he said at the presentation of prizes to winners of the 11th World Bidayuh Golf Championship (WBGC) yesterday.

Manyin, who is also Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communications, said events such as the WBGC was a good platform for Bidayuhs to linkup and do networking and assist each other in their respective fields.

Alluding to the ‘crab mentality’ which used to be prevalent among the Bidayuhs, he called on the Bidayuhs to discard the mentality of pulling down those who were on their way to success.

“It is good for us to link up because we will have someone to pull us up rather than push us down. I hope all of you in that (middle-class) level can bring up others so that more and more of us can go up. Maybe not the middle-middle class yet but the lower-middle class to start with,” he said.

Meanwhile, the 11th WBGC saw the participation of 79 Bidayuh golfers including those who travelled from their current places of domicile in Bintulu, Miri, Sabah and Kuala Lumpur.

Manyin, who noted the increasing number of participants since the tournament was first held in 2005, called for more participation from Bidayuhs who are living overseas to make the tournament really live up to its name of World Bidayuh Golf.

Yesterday saw seasoned campaigner Magit Semong successfully defending the Dato Sri Michael Manyin Challenge Trophy (gross category) he won last year. He carded 78 gross points to finish above second placed Johnie Chai (84) and third placed Andrew Colin (89).

Raymond Bang won the DBNA President Challenge Trophy for nett category with a score of 69. Dany Neb was presented with the Best Lady Golfer as she was the best placed woman golfer in the tournament, having finished 11th in the category.