NGO urges communities to unite and fight for progress


Dayak youths performing a warrior dance called the Ngajat at the pre-Gawai Bazaar Miri launch. —STEPHEN THEN/The Star

MIRI: There are already many groups and organisations formed by the Dayak community in Sarawak, and yet more are emerging.

This situation is not conducive to promote unity and solidarity among the Dayak people, said Gagasan Anak Dayak Sarawak president Gulin Shandom.

Speaking at the pre-Gawai Dayak Bazaar launch here on Saturday, he said there was a need for all Dayaks to come together under one umbrella organisation.

“We, the native people have so many organisations formed by the various Dayak and Orang Ulu communities throughout Sarawak.

“Each of them has its own activities, set-ups and branches.

“Still, more new associations are formed while splinter groups also emerge from existing organisations,” he said.

He urged the community to unite as one to fight for the progress of all ethnic groups.

“We have a lot of catching up to do in all the social and economic fields,” he said.

Shandom added that the Dayaks in Miri were organising a large-scale Gawai bazaar this year to help native groups market and expand their businesses.

He said the bazaar in Miri would begin operation from May 6 at the E-Mart Riam Complex, showcasing at least 80 entrepreneurs.

Association adviser Robert Pasang Alam said the Dayak community’s unity was crucial for the group to stay competitive in the marketplace.

He said Dayaks must speak as one to fight for a common goal to get a bigger slice of the economic pie in the state and country.

It would be a good start if all Dayak non-governmental bodies could hold frequent dialogues on issues affecting the community, he added.

The Gawai Dayak Bazaar in Miri is part of the Miri May Fest that is held annually in conjunction with Miri City Day on May 20.

The Gawai Dayak Harvest Festival will take place on June 1.

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