Masing: Dayak Chair must be filled by qualified Dayak scholar

Masing speaks to reporters after the press conference.

KUCHING: If it is true that the Dayak Chair of the Institute of Borneo Studies under Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) has long been vacated, then it must be filled soon by a qualified Dayak scholar.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datum Amar Dr James Jemut Masing said he did not even realise that there was a Dayak Chair conducting Dayak studies until it was brought up in social media.

“If there is, make sure it will be continued and make sure that it is filled by Dayak scholars because they know better.

“The appointment must be from the government as well as UNIMAS themselves. They must pick and choose who is the most qualified person,” said Masing, the Parti Rakyat Sarawak president when met by the media after the press conference for the 10th Sarawak Amateur Masters Open Gold Championship 2017 event at a local hotel here today.

Parti Bansa DAYAK Sarawak BARU (PBDSB) had pointed out that the position of the Dayak Chair of Borneo Studies has long been vacant.

According to the party’s press release recently, the position holder was to initiate and undertake research and studies which specifically involved the development of the Dayaks from Sarawak and Borneo.

The appointed Dayak chair was expected to engage in various research which contribute to an understanding of the issue of employment creation and income distribution among the Dayak communities; issues pertaining to the role and identity of the Dayak people as they enter the 21st century; the relations between various Dayak communities with coastal and urban groups, and new settlers from other regions; and also other issues of particular relevance that change from time to time.

The state government, the Tun Jugah Foundation and the Dayak Cultural Foundation have contributed funds to the Dayak Chair since 1997.

Due to various reasons, however, no appointment has been made with regard to the position.