SARIKEI: Bidayuh may be a minority group in the state, but it was certainly not a reason to deter the community from progressing or achieving success in any field.
Infrastructure Development and Communication Minister, Dato Sri Michael Manyin stated this when he graced Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) Sarikei branch Silver Jubilee celebration at the Civic Centre here Saturday.
In Sarawak, the Bidayuh population is about 205,000 and small in comparison with other races, but it was not a cause of concern especially when everyone irrespective of their ethnicity were given equal opportunity to succeed under the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, he pointed out.
“As far as the community is concerned, it is the quality of its members that makes the real difference, not the quantity or numbers,” Manyin reiterated.
Manyin, who is also DBNA chief advisor, advised the association to focus their efforts in improving the quality of members’ life in particular and the Bidayuh community in general.
“DBNA as an influential non-governmental organisation (NGO) for the Bidayuh community ought to function in a very smart way such that, every programme or activity it undertakes is aimed at improving the socio-economic status of the community,” he stressed.
He said it would be great if DBNA could compliment the government’s aspiration to produce quality, skilled and knowledgeable capital to meet the country’s development needs.
Manyin called on DBNA to give their children’s education special attention since it is a key factor to achieve success.
He also stressed on preserving unity among the community and felt that the ‘1 Bidayuh 1 Identity‘ was very appropriate as he believed it could bring Bidayuh speaking various dialects closer together.
Manyin announced a RM10,000 contribution for the branch to hold activities and programmes. DBNA Sarikei branch chairman, Dr Alim Impira said the programme was held to commemorate the branch’s 25th anniversary and state DBNA’s 60th anniversary.
The branch objectives, among others, were to promote unity, mutual help, co-operation and understanding among Bidayuh in the Division and to foster co-operation and goodwill with other races, he added.
He noted that the local DBNA branch had matured and would like to extend his gratitude and appreciation to all past chairmen and their committees.
Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Promotion of Technical Education), Datu Len Talif Salleh, who was guest of honour, spoke at the event.
He said that he felt proud of the community’s progress and was impressed by the presence of many professionals who served in various capacity in his Belawai constituency, in Sarikei and the state in general.
Among those present were DBNA president Datu Ik Pahon Joyik, Sarikei Resident Dahim Nadot, political secretaries to the Chief Minister, John David Nyauh and Dayang Raoyah Abang Adeng and Sarikei District Council chairman Chan Phan Chan.