Majlis Adat Istiadat Sarawak revamping Adat Bidayuh 1994
Posted on October 24, 2014, Friday
KUCHING: Majlis Adat Istiadat Sarawak (Mais) is in the midst of revamping the Adat Bidayuh 1994 to preserve and strengthen the common law of the Bidayuh community.
Its Bidayuh section head Bati Juram said in view of this, the council was conducting workshops in Lundu, Bau, Kuching and Serian districts to receive feedback and inputs from the community.
He explained that this was necessary in view of urbanisation in Bidayuh areas and modernisation that may diminish the law and culture of the community.
“We (Bidayuh) are invaded by urbanisation and modernisation, which may eventually diminish our adat (law) and culture…so in view of this, we need to take proactive steps to preserve and strengthen our culture because ‘adat’ is our identity,” he said yesterday at the closing of Bidayuh Adat (law) and Customs workshop at One Hotel Santubong.
Some 93 Bidayuh community leaders, comprising Pemanca, Penghulu and village chiefs from Siburan and Padawan areas, participated in the four-day workshop which ended yesterday.
The moderators of the workshop were officers from Mais; namely Bati, Philip Tonis, Suimi Kinseng and Midil Dimang, who touched on the different laws of the community.
He added that similar workshops had been held in Lundu, Bau and Kuching, and the next one would be in Serian.
Bati also pointed out that Mais was working with other government departments like Land and Survey Department, National Registration Department and Immigration Department to rectify problems faced by the community.
Mais will also work with Mahkamah Bumiputera to address issues, particularly those related to marriage and divorce, he stressed.
“For the community like other ethnic groups, we are gradually moving forward because the government is very concerned about the minority groups in areas of culture, social and economy,” he asserted.
Bati also pointed out that ‘adat’ and religion were two different things, explaining that ‘adat’ is common law while religion is belief.
Meanwhile, Bidayuh Temenggong for Kuching Division Austin Dimin Niyon said it would be good for church leaders to work closely with village chiefs in explaining and addressing social issues affecting the community.
Besides that, he urged community leaders to be efficient and neutral in discharging their duties, and support the government of the day.