By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, May 25: Dayaks should set aside their ego and self-righteousness in order to unite with fellow Dayaks, especially those from their own community, so that they would be able to move forward on par with other races.
Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom said from his observation, the one thing that had always been the factor bringing down the Dayak community is ego.
Speaking at the Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) Gawai Dinner here yesterday, he cautioned that if the Dayaks failed to put aside their ego and look ahead, they would remain the most backward community in the country forever.
“Why are we like this? Longhouses split and more Dayak associations mushrooming because we want to be the leader. Then we see others of our own rising up, we would try to pull him back down. Then we blame others for our predicament. Nobody else or external factors are causing us to be left behind. We are weak because of ourselves,” he lamented.
Dr Rundi even cited an occasion where a longhouse walled up a section of its ruai because of differences: That longhouse now has two `tuai rumahs’ (longhouse chieftains).
“What is the meaning of this?” he lashed out.
Even with differences in opinions and political views, he urged the Dayaks, for the sake of the community, to always be united when it comes to issues pertaining to their community’s well being and progress.
At the gathering, he announced a grant of RM50,000 to SDNU for its activities.
He also advised SDNU to not just use the funds for their own but also to use it to help and assist needy members as well.
Meanwhile, SDNU president Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom stressed that SDNU is a non-political organisation and members should not bring political issues into the organisation.
He said it was sad to observe that many Dayaks were using social media to fight each other and ridiculing their own leaders, while others watched and laughed.
“I think we should stop all of this. We are so fractured. We better get into some form of unity and solidarity.
“SDNU, as you know, is a place for us to get together. No reason for us not being able to get together in SDNU. Whatever your political differences, leave it out of SDNU,” said Mawan. — DayakDaily