Interpretation Ordinance holding up recognition of term ‘Dayak’ — Chong

Chong Chieng Jen

By Nigel Edgar

KUCHING, June 10: Sarawak has to clealy define the term ‘Dayak’ in its Interpretation Ordinance before the federal government can recognise it.

Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Chong Chieng Jen said he did move a motion in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) two or three years ago to amend the ordinance for this purpose, but it was rejected.

“And they (state government) did not make any stand to clearly define the term (Dayak).

“I think in the Interpretation Ordinance, there’s no one word ‘Dayak’ to include all the ethnic groups like Bidayuh and Iban. So, that has to be done first, legally and technically speaking,” he told reporters here this afternoon.

Yesterday, Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) secretary-general Julius Enchana lamented there had been no further action from the federal government four years ago after it agreed to add the term ‘Dayak’ into the list of races to be recognised in Malaysia.

Worse still, he said, even Dayak leaders had not spoken about it since then.

“There is no action, and our leaders just go silent about this. Now, we must give the power to this law. The term ‘others’ is just a mere step to ignore the ‘Dayak’ or just to label them as non-Malay, Chinese and Indian.

“We don’t want our race to be considered illegal if we start to call ourselves ‘Dayak’,” said Julius. — DayakDaily