Sarawakians’ unity: You touch one, you touch all, says Abang Johari

From left: Minister in the Sarawak Premier's Department Datuk John Sikie Tayai, Dr Sim, Fadillah, Abang Johari, Uggah, Anwar, Taib, Raghad and others raise a toast at the Sarawak-level Gawai Dayak celebration at BCCK on June 7, 2023.

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By Lian Cheng and Ashley Sim

KUCHING, June 7: Sarawakians are a united lot where “you touch one, you touch all”, says Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg Tun Openg.

He said this can be seen from the fact that though Gawai Dayak is a Dayak festival, it is celebrated by all ethnic groups.

Citing a Gawai-Raya Celebration which he attended last week, he said despite entering the month of Zulkaedah, the spirit of Hari Raya Aidilfitri among the Muslim community still lingered and a combined celebration of Gawai Dayak and Hari Raya was held to allow the Muslims to celebrate with the Dayak community.

“This is the culture which has been in existence in the Land of Kenyalang, which we must protect.

“Despite our racial and religious differences, we shared one similar concept—‘cubit kanan, kiri sakit; cubit kiri, kanan sakit’ (when someone pinches us on our right side, our left side feels the pain and vice versa).

“This is Sarawak: you touch one, you touch all, meaning, we will defend ourselves for the sake of the future of Sarawak,” said Abang Johari during the Sarawak-level Gawai Dayak Celebration held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here earlier tonight.

Meanwhile, he also urged the Dayak community to monetise their land through technology.

It was also his hope that the community will put emphasis on education because only education can change Sarawak’s destiny for the better.

“One thing we have to acknowledge is that the Dayak has the land and we must monetise the land through technology, and then we hope that we may also give emphasis to education.

“Only knowledge can change our destiny, including that of Sarawak. We are blessed with bountiful resources including what I mentioned just now, but do use our knowledge to add value to our resources. (In) this, I urge all including the Dayak community,” said Abang Johari.

He congratulated the Dayak community for their achievements which he said was the result of close collaboration between various ethnicities in Sarawak where a right approach has been found to raise the living standard of the Dayak community to be on par with others.

Among others present at the event were Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib, Prime Minister Dato Sri Anwar Ibrahim, Abang Johari, Deputy Prime Minister Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof, and Deputy Premiers of Sarawak Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, and other Sarawak and federal ministers and deputy ministers. — DayakDaily