Thursday, December 7

SDNU seeks answer to proposals on safeguarding Iban, ethnic languages


Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom

KUCHING (June 9): Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) wants answers from the state government regarding two proposals it presented 14 years ago.

One was to adopt the Iban alphabet in the education system, and the other was to set up an institution for the development of native languages of Sarawak.

SDNU president Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom said upon successfully holding the Forum Jako Iban in 2011, the union had presented the proposals to the state government for considerations and actions.

He lamented that until now they have not gotten a proper response.

“I would like to revisit this – the Ministry of Social Development had in 2011 organised the Forum Jako Iban, and during that time, two resolutions were passed.

“I would like to inquire, where had those proposals gone. We know and I remember, we had presented that (the proposals) to the government,” he said at the Ngabang Gawai programme at RTM here today.

Iban is usually written with the Latin alphabet, however there is an alternative script known as the Dunging script (urup Dunging) which was invented between 1947 and 1962 by Dunging Gunggu.

The Pakan assemblyman said Sarawak should have its own institute to create interest and develop Sarawak ethnic languages, including the Iban language.

“So we need this Institute, and SDNU would like to revisit these two proposals that we have presented to the government,” he said.