Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pre-Gawai kicks off with ‘1Malaysia’ concept

BELAWAN AND KELIGIT: Jame (left) and Mengga with the winners of the Gawai Pageant contest

BINTULU: This year is an excellent time and opportunity for the Gawai Dayak celebrations to kick off with the ‘1Malaysia’ concept.

Sarawak Dayak national Union (SDNU) Bintulu branch chairman Jame Stephen said it is the most appropriate concept to galvanise all races, irrespective of religious beliefs, to work together for the good of the community.

Jame was speaking to more than 1,000 people who attended a SDNU pre-Gawai dinner at the civic centre here recently.

Senator Pau Chiong Ung officiated at the opening ceremony.

He said people from various backgrounds and ethnics are here together celebrating the occasion with the Dayak community.

“I am very pleased to see we are able to gather here and forget whatever differences in political ideology we may have to achieve the 1Malaysia concept introduced by Prime Minister Dato Seri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak.

“We need to preserve and defend our peace and harmony concept.

“There might be sceptism in the concept but it is a vital need for unity, particularly among the Dayak community if 1Malaysia is to become a reality,” he said.

Jame said it is a way to move forward for SDNU to enhance ethnic relations in Malaysia especially in Sarawak.

“We in SDNU Bintulu are embracing the concept as a guide to foster closer ties and understanding with our brothers and sisters from other races.

“Someone have to get the ball rolling. For this to happen it is indeed a task for the related government agencies to look into,” said Jame.

He said the government agencies need to play a bigger role by giving talks and information to the people in the rural areas, in particular youngsters.

“The youngsters in the remote areas are losing out as most development programmes are centred in the towns and cities,” he said.

“The Dayak community also must do its part to assist in the unity process,” said Jame, adding one should not waste time quarrelling about petty and unproductive issues.

Thus he called on the Dayak community to preserve their valuable heritage, particularly among the young generation with regards to their distinct and unique cultures.

“SDNU is a platform for the young generation of Dayaks to show their talent and leadership capability and strive for a better future,” he said.

Among those present were SDNU president Mengga Mikui, Deputy Resident Sirai Daha, Kidurong assemblyman Chiew Chin Sing, Sarawak Dayak Graduate Association (SDGA) president Dr Dusit Jaul and political secretary to Bintulu MP Zaiedy Nor Abu Nassir.

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