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By Nigel Edgar
LUNDU, Dec 1: The Dayak Salako Rara community here demands that they are given equal rights and opportunities as other Dayak and Bumiputeras in Sarawak.
Dayak Salako Rara Conference chairman Major Pahot Joll, who is currently serving at the Muara Tuang army camp, said following the Dayak National Conference on Sept 17, it was high time the Dayaks, particularly the Salako Rara community here, had their voices heard loud and clear.
He said all that the community ever wanted was to have equal opportunities as other Bumiputeras in the state.
“The objective and vision of this conference are for us to uphold our Salako Rara community on par with other communities in the state, and at the same time, going through the technological advancement revolution that we are facing now together.
“We will be discussing social issues among the Salako Rara community, economy, socio-politics, academics, culture and heritage, and native customary rights (NCR) land,” he told DayakDaily at Kampung Tebero Community Hall here, where the conference was held.
The conference was attended by hundreds of Salako Rara villagers and community leaders.
Pahot said after the conference, the committee would be collecting and compiling feedbacks from attendees over the next week and then draft a resolution the following week.
The resolution would then be forwarded to the various authorities and government agencies as well as politicians, elected representatives and ministers “so that our voice can be heard at the highest level in the government”, he added.
“The process should take about two weeks because some attendees would not able to give their feedbacks today due to time constraints,” he explained, adding that there were roughly 12,000 Salako Raras in Sarawak, most of them living in Lundu.
He highlighted that among the issues of concern, in particular among his community, was education and NCR land issue.
Several education-related issues were also raised during the conference. This included poor academic performance among Salako Rara students and higher learning opportunities. — DayakDaily