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By Karen Bong and Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, June 9: Elevating ‘Segulai Sejalai’ as the national motto reflects Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s recognition of the Dayak community’s enduring values – to stand together, work towards common goals, and strive for Malaysia’s continued growth and prosperity.
As the motto transitions into a nationwide symbol, Works Minister Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi hopes all Malaysians will comprehend its simple yet powerful message of unity in embarking on a collective journey together towards achieving common objectives for the betterment of the nation and its people.
“We are impressed and happy that the Prime Minister is quick to realise the meaning of the motto. When he announced that, it surprised everybody because no one expected it.
“This gesture by the Prime Minister is not only appropriate but also commendable,” he told DayakDaily in an exclusive interview today.
The Iban phrase ‘Segulai’, meaning together, and ‘Sejalai’ representing the idea of moving in one unified direction, Nanta, who is also Kapit member of Parliament (MP), strongly believes that its universal appeal will resonate with citizens from all walks of life.
Regardless of ethnicity or background, it symbolises the collective journey that Malaysians must embark on together, moving forward in one direction to build a prosperous and harmonious nation.
Noting that the resonance of the motto has been rooted in the Dayak community’s spirit since time immemorial, as the Sarawak government introduced the theme during the first Gawai Dayak celebration in 1987, Nanta pointed out that Anwar’s visit to Sarawak was made even more meaningful with the announcement.
“It embodies the virtue of unity and calls upon all Malaysians to unite in the pursuit and achieving all the good objectives for the best of Malaysia and its people.
“Adopting the Iban language’s tagline for Malaysia Madani, it advocates unity among all Malaysians,” he added.
On the possibility of Gawai Dayak being made a national public holiday, he was positive that the Federal government would consider it in due course as the idea has been put forward publicly for some time.
Since Anwar’s announcement on June 7 during the Gawai Dayak celebration dinner at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK), various broadcast channels have already started incorporating “Segulai Sejalai” into their programmes and show openings. — DayakDaily