Saturday, October 4, 2014

DIG: Why no Dayaks in key state civil service and statutory bodies?

Posted on October 4, 2014, Saturday

KUCHING: A single race monopoly on the management of key state civil service departments and statutory bodies still exists and failing to rectify the matter will only alienate the Dayaks further from the government, says Dayak Informal Group (DIG).

Dusit (seated second right) and other DIG members pose for a photograph with Masing (seated third right) after the courtesy call.

Dr Dusit Jaul, a DIG member and spokesperson, said the matter had been openly raised in the past.

The group felt the Dayaks were fully aware of the fact and that opportunities for them to contribute meaningfully towards the state’s development, by holding senior management positions in key or strategic state agencies, seemed to be slim at the moment.

The group paid a courtesy call on Land Development Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing at his office recently to discuss the matter.

Masing, of late, has been vocal in championing the rights of the Dayaks.

The one-hour meeting also saw the group raising issues such as education, civil service, economic, religious extremism and cultural issues deemed genuine concern of the Dayak community.

“DIG thus, through the Land Development Minister, wishes to convey Dayaks’ unhappiness and displeasure of this injustice to the state government, which if left unchecked, would alienate the Dayak further from the government.

“If in the democratic process, Dayaks’ displeasure is manifested through the ballot box, the state government has itself to blame for its seeming policy of favouring a certain ethnic group,” Dusit said in a statement received here yesterday.

On the position of the Dayaks in the country, DIG had made it known that their interest could not be negotiated and compromised.

“The Dayak community has been the indisputable pillar of strength to the government that has enabled the present day government to remain in power for more than 50 years.

“Likewise, the government should recognise this by giving top priority and attention to the Dayaks in its development, economic, education and cultural policies.

“Based on recent report that Sarawak now has the distinction of taking over from Sabah as being the poorest state in Malaysia, DIG is quite sure that Dayaks are the major contributor to this unwelcome distinction.”

Guided by past development and based on current scenario where Dayaks are confronted with wide ranging issues, DIG said it would remain constructively critical in its part to become a genuine voice of the Dayaks.

On cultural issues, Dusit said the meeting yielded a common agreement that more cultural activities and programmes should be organised to forge better rapport and understanding among the community.

Hence, a Dayak Cultural and Heritage Night was planned this November.

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