Majlis Adat Istiadat Sarawak embarks on corporatisation, plans to set up research institute

John Sikie addressing a press conference at Media Room of DUN Complex on Nov 29, 2022.

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By DayakDaily Team

KUCHING, Nov 29: After half a century of being established, Majlis Adat Istiadat Sarawak (MAIS) is embarking on corporatisation, with plans to set up of a Research Institute on adat of various ethnic groups.

Minister in the Premier of Sarawak’s Department Datuk John Sikie Tayai informed that once corporatised, the management of MAIS will have a free hand in determining it’s day-to-day administration which includes among others, recruitment of officers and planning for future undertakings.

“The establishment of MAIS as enacted under MAIS Ordinance 1977 is as a body corporate with perpetual succession.

“MAIS was established in 1972 with the aim to preserve, codify and promote adat of the natives in Sarawak. From 1974 until today, MAIS functioned as a unit in the then Chief Minister’s Department.

“The works on corporatisation is in progress in tandem with MAIS’ strategic plan 2022-2026,” he told the august House during the winding-up for the Ministry today.

Among the most notable proposal that MAIS is embarking under the corporatisation, is the setting up of a Research Institute on adat of various ethnic groups to strengthen its position as the focal agency in relation to native adat and traditions.

The programme, he continued, will be the key enabler to Majlis Adat Istiadat to fully utilise its research capacity in the development, promotion as well as preservation and nurturing of native customs and traditions.

However, Sikie said MAIS is facing a staffing problem, especially in the research section with all the staff on yearly contract basis.

“Currently, the overall number of staff serving in MAIS is 45 of various grades and under various sections mainly, the administration, documentation and repository, corporate and ICT and research.

“Research section comprises four subunits, namely Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu and Melanau. All the subunits are only manned by three officers each,” he said.

In order for MAIS to effectively execute its function as a corporate body, John Skie added that the Majlis Adat Istiadat Ordinance 1977 and Native Customs (Declaration) Ordinance 1996 needs to be reviewed and amended accordingly. — DayakDaily