Book on Kajang ‘adat’ awaiting approval for 12 years

The delegation in a group photo with Saferi (seated third left) and Liwan (seated fourth left) at the latter’s office yesterday (Jan 21, 2020). Erick is seen standing at fourth left.

Follow and subscribe to DayakDaily on Telegram for faster news updates.


By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Jan 22: Leaders of the Kajang ethnic community have called for the draft of their ‘Adet Kajang’ book to be approved immediately by the State Attorney General (SAG) as it has been waiting approval for the past 12 years.

According to Persatuan Bangsa Sekapan Belaga (PBSB) president and coordinator of four Sekapan NGO groups, Erick Drenner, the draft of the ‘Adet Kajang’ book was submitted to Majlis Adat Istiadat Sarawak (MAIS) in 2008 for publication purposes, and thereafter, a copy was sent by MAIS to the SAG in 2012.


However, Erick said due to the community leaders’ lack of communication and follow-ups with SAG, there has not been any progress.

According to him, it is crucial that the ‘Adet Kajang’ book be published to serve as a reference for the heads of the community in dealing with legal and customary practices which govern their daily life such as birth, marriage, and divorce.

“Leaders of the Kajang ethnic community have called for the draft to be approved immediately by SAG as it has been delayed,” Erick told DayakDaily here today.

He added that a Kajang delegation made a courtesy call on Assistant Minister of Native Laws and Customs Datuk John Sikie Tayai to highlight the importance of approving and publishing the ‘Adet Kajang’ book immediately as a source of reference for the community in managing their daily lives.

During their meeting with deputy SAG Saferi Ali yesterday, they were advised to carry out a workshop to iron out certain issues regarding their ‘adat’.

Erick said, the said workshop will be held in Bintulu soon for Kajang community leaders, MAIS and SAG for further deliberation and to finalise the book’s content.

The delegation meeting with Sikie (seated centre) at the latter’s office yesterday (Jan 21, 2020). Erick is seen standing at second left, while Ajang is seated at third right.

On a related matter, Erick said they also paid a courtesy call on Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah to discuss the proposed reconstruction of the Vyner Brooke Fort which has a significant role as a historic building as well as in the history of the Kajang in Belaga.

They also requested Abdul Karim for an annual financial allocation from his ministry to maintain Kajang burial monuments including the ‘keliring’ and ‘salong’ in Belaga district.

Similarly, they also paid a courtesy visit to MAIS yesterday.

The delegation in a group photo with Abdul Karim (seated fourth left) at the latter’s office yesterday. Erick is seen standing at second left while Ajang is seen at fourth right.

The visit was organised by four Kajang NGOs, namely PBSB, Persatuan Kejaman Sarawak (PKS), Persatuan Lahanan Sarawak (PLAS), Persatuan Kebangsaan Punan (PNA). The delegation also included representatives from the newly formed Sarawak Kajang Ethnic Community Association (PKEKS).

Leading the delegation was Temeggong Ajang Sirik from the Belaga Kajang community.

When contacted, Belaga assemblyman Datuk Liwan Lagang who is also Assistant Minister of Utilities (Rural Electricity) said he will get the necessary funding to organise the workshop as he believed that the book was crucial for the Kajang community. — DayakDaily