KUCHING: The Dayak National Congress [DNC] wants the community to be innovative and adapt to development changes in order to progress in tandem with the more advanced communities.
Its president Mengga Mikui, in a statement issued to the media yesterday also urged the Dayaks to embark on commercial farming and produce goods that could be sold on both domestic and foreign markets.
“As we welcome 2017 (today), we must resolve that this is our year and God willing we will make it a success. The many problems facing the Dayak community in the past must be resolved now,” he said.
Mengga described 2016 as a year full of challenges and experiences.
“The year 2016 ended with a trauma for the Dayak Community when the highest court in the land ruled against the rights of the Dayaks’ territorial domain (pemakai menoa). It was a day when we felt betrayed. We lost our rights to life, prosperity and happiness.
“For a long time, we have also fought for our identity as Dayaks to be recognised and identified as such in the Malaysian Government forms. This year, there were so many promises of it going to be fulfilled, but the year ended quietly,” noted Mengga.
He added that the election promises had remained as mere promises. The demand from the Dayak community for the State Civil Service to be inclusive to all races, particularly the Dayaks, at all levels of management seemed to fall on deaf ears.
He hoped that leaders would lead by example. He also reminded Dayaks in position of leadership to be humble and hear what the community has to say, adding that leaders must listen and serve.
“Learn to accept criticism with humility and do the simple task of leadership – speak for the people,” he advised.