KUCHING: Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) must remain as an apolitical organisation, said its chief advisor Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jawong.
He pointed out this was important in order to enable members of the Bidayuh community to work together in the spirit of ‘1 Bidayuh’ without any political pressure and influence.
As such, he advised those coming to DBNA meetings or official functions to leave their tambok (bag) of political ideologies behind and focus on common goals and objectives that benefit the community.
“I think this is the only association which is actively trying to preserve the culture, customs and languages of the community. Let us all work together to make sure we uplift our own community,” he said at a Christmas and New Year gathering jointly organised by DBNA Kuching Urban and DBNA Women branches on Saturday.
He also called on successful Bidayuhs to play their part and give back to the community either through voluntary and charitable work or sharing their success stories to inspire others to emulate them.
Manyin who is also the Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research advised them to work with the community to help lift others up.
“Do contribute back towards your community and be a good role model to whom others can look up to,” added Manyin.
Meanwhile, DBNA president Datuk Ik Pahon Joyik said the association recorded many achievements in 2020 despite it being a challenging year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said these included the DBNA Community Hostel project costing RM16 million which is funded by a government grant as announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He also said DBNA would continue with land documentation initiatives and assist with the preservation and gazettement of Bung (mountains) associated with the Bidayuh community.
Ik Pahon, who is also Deputy State Secretary, advised the Bidayuh community to continue to adopt and adapt to the new norms in order to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Meanwhile, an appreciation ceremony also took place concurrently at the dinner to appreciate the contributions of outgoing DBNA supreme council members namely former treasurer general Asem Linkin, former vice president Jimas Jihel and former supreme council member Mollina Luhum.
Souvenirs were also presented to former DBNA executive secretary Jane Dripin, former accounts clerk Elizabeth Nohek and past chairman of DBNA Kuching Urban, Boniface Anat.