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By Wilfred Pilo
KUCHING, Nov 23: The Bidayuh community can no longer avoid learning the English language, which has become an important communicating tool especially in trade and acquisition of knowledge.
Dayak Bidayuh Literacy Society (DBLS) chairman Datuk John Tenewi Nuek said the English language has become an indispensable tool and if the Bidayuh community do not master it, they will be at a disadvantage.
“The Bidayuh community are to master the English language whether they like it or not.
“It is not only the international language but it is the language of business and trade, the language of science and technology, the language of the academia and the language of diplomacy,” he told a press conference after the society’s annual general meeting at Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) headquarters here today.
Even the French, the Chinese and the Japanese, who at one time were adverse at learning it (English language), are now taking it up with considerable enthusiasm, he added.
Mastering the English language need not be at the expense of Bahasa Malaysia because the people can always master both, he advised.
He said it is the objective of DBLS to promote literary tradition within the Bidayuh community based on Bidayuh, English, Bahasa Malaysia and other languages.
“Once you master any language, then it is easy to promote reading habit, public speaking and other literary genres within the Bidayuh community.”
He also encouraged the community to do research, develop, publish, promote, protect and disseminate literary materials produced by the Bidayuh community.
“This is to develop literary talents within the Bidayuh community and at the same time, to complement efforts by other communities in the creation of literary tradition for the country,” he said.
With regards to the just concluded, John emphasised the importance of unity and working together among DBLS members to become a potent force.
He reminded members that it is also important to adhere to certain principles and there must be a zero-tolerance for corruption.
“Therefore, it is important to be inclusive and to work together with others. There is more to be gained by being inclusive as it brings more dynamism and mutual advantages,” he said.
DBLS deputy chairman Dr John Francis Noyan was present. — DayakDaily