PBDSB proposes using the term `Dayak’ in official forms in the state

Rapelson Richard Hamit

KUCHING, Aug 25: Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) is advocating for the term `Dayak’ to replace `Bumiputera Sarawak’ or `Lain-Lain’ in the official forms of Sarawak.

Its Youth chief, Rapelson Richard Hamit, opined this was because the Dayak community now preferred to be known as `Dayak’.

“The Sarawak Dayak ethnic term is required under the Federal Constitution, but the terms ‘Bumiputera Sarawak’ and ‘Lain-Lain’ are preferably replaced with the term `Dayak’ in the official forms of Sarawak.

“The recognition of the term ‘Dayak’ is of utmost important for our Sarawak native indigenous community, and it is the priority in our struggle,” he said in a statement today.

On another matter, Rapelson said PBDSB supported the state government’s proposal to give Sarawak Native Court (Dayak Court) greater autonomy and independence similar to that of the civil and syariah courts.

“This will be the first step of recognition of the ethnicity of the Dayak indigenous community at the national and international levels,” he added.

Yesterday, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had announced that members of the Sarawak Native Court will set up a committee to conduct detailed studies from all angles before forwarding the proposal to the state government.

Rapelson described this development as “good news” and showed that the state government had finally “walked the talk”.

“We (PBDSB) have been fighting for it ever since, and it was in our manifesto in the 14th general election that the native court should be at par with the civil and syariah courts,” he said.

He suggested that `Majlis Adat Istiadat Bumiputera’ should be replaced with `Majlis Adat Istiadat Dayak’ and that the term `Bumiputera Court’ should be replaced with `Dayak Court’.

Following the empowerment of the Dayak Native Court, he said the court should decide on native customary rights (NCR) land dispute cases. — DayakDaily