KUCHING: The Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) headquarters here will be complemented with a new Community Hostel worth RM16 million by 2023.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg presented an initial amount of RM6.75 million for construction of the hostel to DBNA chief advisor Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong during a ceremony at the DBNA Hall yesterday.
The remaining amount will be handed over to DBNA in six months’ time.
Manyin, who is Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research, said leaders at DBNA had been trying their level best to provide facilities to the Bidayuh community.
Despite so, he informed all that DBNA and its leaders had their limitations and shortcomings while giving their best to serve the community.
He said the documentation of land, kick-started by DBNA in 2007, was among the initiatives Bidayuh leaders had engaged in to reach out to the community.
“We have done documentation of land in 100 villages. And now two Land and Survey teams are on the ground,” he said, adding that Abang Johari had directed the Land and Survey Department to give priority to the matter.
Manyin said leaders at DBNA were not going to apologise for not meeting the expectations of some individuals who criticised them on social media.
He opined that it was time for those who kept on criticising on social media to ask themselves what they could do for DBNA.
Introducing a little amendment to the famous quote of former US president John F. Kennedy, he said: “Ask not what DBNA can do for you – ask what you can do for DBNA.”
“DBNA has limited resources and leaders at DBNA are not paid, they are volunteers. So we should ask ourselves what can do for DBNA.”
According to Manyin, the Bidayuh community makes up only eight per cent of the state’s population, and less than two per cent of the country’s population.
He appealed to the Bidayuh community to be united as one force, adding: “We must find strength in ourselves, and we can contribute to the community, the state and the nation.”
The new Community Hostel is a nine-storey building, which will be built adjacent to the existing two-storey building that houses the DBNA head office at Jalan Kumpang, off Jalan Ong Tiang Swee here. Set to commence in January next year, the project comprises a gallery, function rooms, dormitory and 98 hostel rooms accommodating 196 people.
Once completed, it will provide affordable accommodation for members of the Bidayuh community who need be in the city from their villages for urgent matters.
It will also become a transit for rural Bidayuh students before boarding flights to outside Sarawak.
The new Community Hostel will also complement the existing facilities and enable DBNA to organise more programmes and activities including seminars.