MIRI: The aggressive and unrelenting approach used by the state to curb excessive drinking, gambling and cock-fights among Dayaks is bearing fruit.
Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu said there had been a decline in the number of people indulging in such activities in many urban and rural areas.
We have been repeatedly telling the Dayaks not to go overboard with such activities.
I have personally gone around advising people to cut down and concentrate on things that can benefit themselves and their children.
Our effort in this direction is starting to show results. There are signs of improvement among the Dayaks in many parts of Sarawak, he told some 2,000 community leaders and members of cultural and ethnic organisations during a pre-Gawai gathering yesterday.
Jabu, who is State Rural and Land Development Minister, said Gawai the festival to offer thanksgiving for a good harvest used to be an occasion which emphasised lavish celebrations.
However, the Dayaks have now realised that Gawai could serve as a good opportunity to share and educate each other on the opportunities available in the states socio-economic development.
Jabu said he would get more Dayak students to secure places in Curtin University of Technology Sarawak Campus as the number was still low.
He also said the state had appealed to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad during his visit to Long Bedian last week to increase federal allocation for rural projects in interior Sarawak.