PBDSB reiterates unanswered questions over Dayak Chair vacancy

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KUCHING: Despite a response from Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) continues to question the reason behind the Dayak Chair remaining vacant and inactive.

The party expressed appreciation for Uggah’s response, but stressed that its query had not been answered.

“The query had not been answered as to whom will be appointed to head the Chair of Dayak Studies which is known to be dormant, ever since the suggested appointment of Dr Peter Kedit by the Tun Jugah Foundation was strongly opposed by former Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu 10 years ago, until today.”

“If indeed there are 18 research projects approved as claimed, then why was there never any updates or reports on the research?” questioned PBDSB in a statement today.

The party said that it was crucial to reveal the outcomes of the research to the Dayak community in Sarawak.

“Dayak agendas are piling up and remain unresolved till today. For example, NCR (native customary rights), education and the economic crisis which impacts the Dayak. The Household Income and Basic Amenities Survey provided by the Department of Statistics shows that the majority or 47 per cent of poor income households were Dayak,” said PBDSB.

It went on to question that if the Dayak Chair has been effective, why has it not been utilised as a platform to provide amicable support to resolve the issues which the Dayak community are facing today.

Citing Prof Dr Jayum Jawan and Prof Dr Dimbab Ngidang, the party said there are Dayak scholars, professors and associate professors who are credible and capable enough to be appointed to the position.

“There are a few potential candidates of Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu ethnicities who are all well-qualified. But why were they never considered all this while? Apparently, Uggah did not touch on this at all in his response statement,” said PBDSB.

Uggah who is the Dayak Cultural Foundation (DCF) chairman yesterday explained that DCF contributed more than RM1 million to fund the Dayak Chair in March 1998 and that the fund has been used to approve 18 research projects thus far.

He also stated that starting from 2015, the management of the chair has been entrusted to Jawatankuasa Pemegang Amanah Kursi Dayak.