Dayaks must avail themselves to development

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BETONG: Dayak non-governmental organisations (NGOs) must know and understand the many programmes under the state’s Post COVID-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030.

Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said this would help encourage and prompt the community to take part in relevant programmes as outlined under the strategy.

“When we want to fish, we must know where the ‘lubok’ (deep pool) teeming with the ‘Empurau’ or the ‘Semah’ are. Similarly, if we want to look for fruits, we must know where the prolific durian and rambutan gardens are.

“If the community is in the dark about the PCDS, they will not be able to participate in it.

“When they fail to participate, they will be left out and at great disadvantage. So what will happen, like what had happened in the past,  there will be accusations that the community is deliberately being left behind.

“This is not true because the PCDS is for all Sarawakians, irrespective of their race or religion, social background or where they come from. The Dayak community must have the interest, the commitment to participate.

“They can pool their assets and resources and use their intelligence. After all they have many well qualified people including PhD holders,” he said when officiating at the Betong Division Gawai Dayak 2022 dinner gathering at the Dewan Tan Sri Stephen Kalong Ningkan here last Saturday (May 21).

Uggah said the PCDS is a brainchild of Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and was created to help the state recover from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The PCDS is based on data, innovations and technologies. It is to usher Sarawak into a high income region by 2030 where, among others,  Sarawakians will be more  prosperous, their livelihood secure and of high standard and education facilities are top notch.

“In other words, their tomorrow will always be better than their today.”

Alluding to development in the Betong Division, he said it was among the top divisions in the state in terms of infrastructure and amenities distribution.

Uggah said the next challenge was in developing suitable economic programmes to allow the people to generate income.

Meanwhile Uggah who helms the State Disaster Management Committee in fighting the Covid-19, urged the people not to neglect the Health Ministry guidelines or the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“Avoid mixing around when you are unwell.

“Do your own self testing as they are now easily available and at a very affordable price,” he advised.

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