BAU: Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) chief advisor Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong has one goal he wants to achieve for the benefit of Bidayuh native customary rights (NCR) landowners before he retires from politics.
He hopes to get all those lands that were documented by the association (Dayak Bidayuh National Association) since 2007 to be surveyed and titles given to the landowners.
Manyin, who is also Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communication, said the Bidayuhs had many NCR land, but most of them were fragmented.The issuance of land titles would ensure ownership for the families, to be passed down to the younger generations.
Manyin added that the issuance of titles would not only settle land disputes, but would also enable the landowners to venture into business and commerce by mortgaging their land for start-up capital. This, he stressed, was line with the vision to create more middle-class Bidayuhs earning high income.
In order to achieve this, he challenged the Bidayuhs to continue supporting him in this pursuit and be more vocal in wanting their lands to be titled.
“We have been given a lot of assurance by the previous chief minister and current chief minister that the land (documented under DBNA NCR Land Documentation Project) will be issued with titles.
“I hope that before I retire, the Bidayuh community would get the land titles, not for 20 years, 50 years, or 90 years, but for perpetuity,” he said at the launching of the ‘Singai 98 Our Lives, Our People, Our Stories’ book in conjunction with DBNA’s 60th anniversary and DBNA Serapi Branch’s 40th anniversary at Redeems Centre near here on Saturday.
Also present were Association of Research and Development Movement of Singai Sarawak (Redeems) cum Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Peter Nansian, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry cum Mas Gading MP Anthony Nogeh, and a political secretary to the chief minister, Datuk Wilfred Rata Nissom.
On another matter, Manyin said the many successes achieved by the BiSingai, a Bidayuh sub-dialect group in Bau, should be emulated by other Bidayuhs.
He explained that the BiSingai, who had the most number of graduates and successful people, were pioneers and paved the way for the Bidayuhs to venture and succeed in critical sectors such as education and business.
He singled out DBNA Serapi chairman Henry Harry Jinep, a successful entrepreneur from the BiSingai, as a rising star in the business sector.
Meanwhile, Henry, who spoke earlier, said the 398-page ‘Singai 98’ book was a collection of stories on the 98 outstanding BiSingai personalities.
Nansian, who also spoke, mooted the idea of a Federation of Bidayuh Associations to represent the currently many clans and dialect-based associations. He also proposed the setting up of a body similar to Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka to develop a single Bidayuh language.
Highlights of the dinner included presentation of special awards to BiSingai personalities. Among the notable recipients were Nissom for his role in setting up DBNA Serapi, Raphael Scott Ahbeng for his contribution to the arts, and former MP Patrick Anek Uren for his contribution in politics.