KUCHING, Sept 10: Newly registered Persatuan Kebudayaan Dayak Sarawak (PKDS) plans to build a cultural centre to reflect the identities and cultures of the various Dayak groups in the state.
Its chairman, Judah Anom, said PKDS was now scouting for land along Kuching-Serian Road to build the proposed centre that is estimated to cost RM6.5 million, including land cost.
“Building the centre is a top priority of PKDS,” he said in a statement today.
He claimed he was inspired to build this structure after visiting Pontianak in West Kalimantan over the past few years.
“In Pontianak, the Dayak cultural centres are designed to reflect the traditions, customs and identities of the various Dayak communities in Kalimantan.
“They use these centres for Gawai celebrations, cultural sports and other festivities. In the recent Gawai Dayak celebrations, thousands of Dayaks flocked to these centres to celebrate the occasion,” he said.
Judah hoped the proposed centre would become a tourist attraction, too.
“We will incorporate an exhibition centre-cum-mini museum, handicraft centre, meeting hall and administrative office into the centre,” he said, adding that the exhibition centre would showcase photos of famous Dayak personalities like diving queen Pandelela Rinong, war hero Temenggong Datuk Kanang Langkau, singers Andrewson Ngalai, Michael Jemat, Rickey L, former Dayak paramount chief the late Tun Jugah Barieng and former Chief Ministers the late Tan Sri Stephen Kalong Ningkan and the late Datuk Tawie Sli.
He said the centre would have a hostel for guests, especially tourists, who wanted to stay overnight.
Meanwhile, Judah said his association would be launching a recruitment drive soon to get more Dayaks or Sarawakians with Dayak fathers or mothers and who are above 18-years-old to be its members. Members only have to pay RM50 for life membership.
For further inquiries, call PKDS secretary William Manggor at 017-8590533. — DayakDaily