SWP: Will longhouses in Sarawak become extinct in 20 years time?

Munan Laja

KUCHING, Oct 19: Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) president Munan Laja has urged the government to conduct a study on the future of the 4,500 strong longhouses in the state.

“The question now is what will be the status of the traditional Iban dwellers in 20 years from now.

“We urge the government to make a study whether longhouses in rural Sarawak will still exist after 2040. It is important to know the future of these longhouses in years to come as it is the origin of the Dayaks, a majority race in Sarawak,” he said in a statement today.

There are about 4,500 longhouses in Sarawak. Besides being synonymous with the state’s cultural heritage, they are also a major tourist attraction.

Munan opined that there ought to be awareness and concern about these longhouses as they were gradually being abandoned over the years.

“SWP urges Dayak leaders, ministers and representatives in the government to look for a solution. We believe they can do a lot of things. Longhouse dwellers are your supporters and waiting for you to bring them hope,” he said.

Munan acknowledged that towns and cities were developing quite well because the government had given them due attention, but the same could be said of longhouses, which had remained idle. — DayakDaily