Yes, give Gawai Dayak mainstream media coverage: Masing

KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing hopes that the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led federal government will continue to broadcast Gawai Dayak on mainstream media channels.

“Gawai Dayak is Sarawak’s rich cultural heritage, and it must be shown in mainstream media, especially on television. I hope PH will continue this good tradition,” he told New Sarawak Tribune today.

Masing said this in response to Communication and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo’s statement that the Gawai Dayak celebration will be given coverage in the mainstream media.

Masing who is Parti Rakyat Sarawak president, said previously when the federal government was under Barisan Nasional (BN), Gawai Dayak was given fair coverage.

However, Masing, reminded that those organising Gawai Dayak celebrations must ensure that the Tuai Gawai (host) must be a Dayak while the Tuai Pengabang (head of the visitors) can be of other ethnic groups.

He further explained it was important to have a Tuai Gawai during Gawai festival as it is the normal traditional practice.

“Tuai Gawai is the host. So, a Gawai festival should have a host to hold a Gawai and the visitors will be led by Tuai Pengabang, who will lead the visitors to the feast,” he pointed out.
“I would like to advise that if any of these has slipped someone’s mind, it would be ridiculous if an official Deepavali is hosted by a Dayak, or a Hari Raya celebration is hosted by a non-Muslim,” he said.

He said for instance, a state-level Gawai Dayak celebration must either be organised by Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU), or Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia), or Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) or the Orang Ulu National Association (Ouna).

“Most importantly, we must remember that Gawai Dayak celebration must never be politicised because it is a cultural event celebrated not by political parties but by all Dayaks along with their other brethren from the other communities,” he stressed.

Gobind was in Bintulu today to attend ‘Ngerandang Jalai Gawai’ programme.