The Dayak dilemma needs a holistic solution, says NGO

Michael Jok

KUCHING, September 14: The dilemma currently faced by Dayaks must be addressed holistically, said Society for Rights of Indigenous Peoples of Sarawak (SCRIPS) secretary-general Michael Jok.

He said the dilemma was multi-faceted and could only be solved by the community with the collaboration of the more developed communities.

“The more we reflect on the fate of our community, the more we will understand that we are facing a real dilemma not only in business but also in the civil service.

“But who are we to blame? No one of course. So the faster we accept our weaknesses the better. It is for us to leap forward and unleash our potential,” Michael told DayakDaily.

He also hoped that that the community would continue to collaborate with other communities in the country so as to learn from them.

“For instance, we can learn from the Chinese as they have over 5,000 years of history behind them. So too we can learn from the Malays and the Indians, who are doing much better than us,” he opined.

Michael said one of the most urgent matters for the Dayak community to address now is to fight for their land to be titled.

“Once we get our land titled, we can mortgage part of it and use the proceeds to venture into business. This way we can also be successful in business. Likewise, we must give top priority to education so that our children will do better than us,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Michael hoped the Dayaks would participate in the one-day Dayak National Conference to be held on Sept 17 at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK).

“We have invited prominent Dayak intellectuals to give the talks on a wide range of issues so that we can learn from them and see how we can apply the acquired knowledge into our lives so that we can become more progressive and successful,” he added.

Among the prominent Dayak intellectuals who will be giving the talks are Dr Dusit Jaul, Dr James Alin, Professor Dr Dimbab Ngidang and Associate Professor Dr Ricardo Baba. — DayakDaily