BINTULU (June 24): The Dayaks must protect their unique culture and tradition, says Minister in the Premier’s Department Datuk John Sikie Tayai.
He said ‘Ngiling Bidai’ for example is an Iban culture that must be preserved and remembered at all costs.
Even before the Gawai celebration, he said several other customs such as ‘Ngacau Tikai’ would usually be held two or three days before the festival proper.
“We do not only emphasis on culture and tradition but this ‘ngiling bidai’ ceremony is one of the platforms for us to meet and build greater rapport with each other.
“If we have differences in opinion and misunderstandings, we set them aside so that we can enjoy the pleasure and happiness,” he said during the ‘Pengerami Ngiling Bidai’ programme at Promenade Hotel here on Wednesday night.
Bintulu Resident Datu Jack Aman Luat, Tatau District officer Jabang Juntan, Tatau District police chief DSP Jame Reis, Temenggong Utong Sigan, Penghulu Sanok Magai and Pemanca Gerosen Jubin were among those present.
Sikie said another culture that ought to be preserved is the ‘miring ceremony’ to welcome the ‘pengabang’ (guests).
“We are so rich in customs and culture. When I entered this hall I was greeted by the Gagung Club, accompanied by a ‘ngajat’ dance.
“We must defend our culture that shows how much we have respect for our guests who come to our houses or celebration,” he said.
The Kakus assemblyman also emphasised on the heavy task and challenges faced by the grassroots and community leaders.
He said the roles and leadership quality of leaders would always be observed and evaluated accordingly whether they are effective in carrying out their duties and responsibilities.
He added special courses for local community leaders would be conducted in the future to strengthen their roles.
During the event, Sikie presented certificates of appointment to four new penghulu for Tatau District, namely Penghulu Ngumbang Ajum, Penghulu Enteri Anju, Penghulu Nyanau Jabong and Penghulu Sekaya Tulong.
He also announced RM20,000 in minor rural project grants to the Tatau District Community Leaders Association.