By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Feb 6: It’s high time for Majlis Adat Istiadat Sarawak (MAIS) to be upgraded into a full-fledged department in tandem with current needs, according to PRS vice-president Datuk Liwan Lagang.
Currently, MAIS is a unit under the Chief Minster’s Department.
“In tandem with the needs of time and to meet the needs of more than half of the population of Sarawak, it is high time for Majlis Adat Istiadat to be upgraded into a department,” Liwan told DayakDaily here today.
Liwan, who is also Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity Supply, reiterated that as a department, MAIS will have more resources and staff to carry out research and development on the natives’ tradition and culture in Sarawak.
“But it is also feasible to combine both Majlis Adat Istiadat with Unit for other Religions (Unifor) and the two entities could then be upgraded into a department,” stressed Liwan.
On a related issue, Liwan who is also the Belaga assemblyman said he will be sponsoring a workshop for the
Kajang ethnic community in Bintulu on Feb 20-21.
The workshop will be held for Kajang community leaders, MAIS and State-Attorney General (SAG) office personnel for further deliberation and to finalise the contents of book on Kajang customs and traditions whose publication has been delayed for the past 12 years.
According to Persatuan Bangsa Sekapan Belaga (PBSB) president and coordinator of four Sekapan NGO groups, Erick Drenner, the draft of the ‘Adet Kajang’ book was submitted to MAIS in 2008 for publication purposes, and thereafter, a copy was sent by MAIS to SAG in 2012.
However, Erick said due to the community leaders’ lack of communication and follow-up with SAG, there has not been any progress.
“The ‘Adet Kajang’ book is crucial to be published as a reference for the heads of the community in dealing with the legal and customary subjects that govern their daily life such as birth, marriage, divorce,” Erick told DayakDaily recently.
During their recent visit to Kuching, a delegation from the Kajang community paid a courtesy call on Assistant Minister of Native Law and Customs Datuk John Sikie Tayai to raise the importance of approving and publishing the ‘Adet Kajang’ book immediately as a source of reference for the community in managing their daily lives.
Their recent visit to Kuching was organised by four Kajang NGOs, namely PBSB, Persatuan Kejaman Sarawak (PKS) Persatuan Lahanan Sarawak (PLAS), Persatuan Kebangsaan Punan (PNA) and representatives from the newly formed Sarawak Kajang Ethnic Community Association (PKEKS). — DayakDaily