KUCHING, 21 Nov: Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDSB) urges the government to recognise traditional Dayak attire for official functions.
“It is in accordance with the 1Malaysia concept introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak,” party youth chief Rapelson Richard Hamit said, adding that this is important in order to preserve the culture and heritage of the Dayak community in Malaysia.
Rapelson said it was necessary to justify the existence of Dayak heritage in Sarawak and Malaysia.
He claimed, many Malayans are not aware of the existence of Bansa Dayak in Sarawak and do not understand the culture and heritage.
“As a spokesperson of the community, I would like to bring this matter to Najib’s attention. This is not about racial sentiment, we want the government of Malaysia to look into this matter seriously. We want our culture and heritage preserved and recognised,” he said.
“The government of Malaysia has never promoted Dayak heritage pragmatically as how they promote the Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures in Malaysia. Even in primary school, students thought about Abu, Ah Meng and Kumar who represent Malay, Chinese and Indian. Thus, I urge our Dayak people to wear their traditional clothes for any official function.”
He added that the ‘sirat’ and ‘baju gagong’ or ‘baju burung’ are not practical for office use but its design could be modernised.
Instead of wearing tuxedos, men could wear ‘baju burung’ while women can wear ‘Ngepan Indu’ instead of ‘baju kurung’.
“Look at the news presenter on television especially TV1, TV2 and TV3 — they wear ‘baju Melayu’, Indian saree and Chinese ‘cheongsam’. But, why no Dayak traditional clothing?” Rapelson said, questioning if this would lead to racial genocide in Malaysia.
He also criticised the state government of Sarawak over the design of the new Sarawak Museum, saying there is a major absence of culture and heritage of “bansa asal” as the design more emphasises Arabic culture and design. — DayakDaily