Malaysiakini Letter

Better for Dayak council to be inclusive

Cleftus Mojingol

LETTER | I laud the newly-initiated Dayak International Justice Council at the recent Keningau Dayak gathering which was attended by representatives from Sabah, Sarawak, Kalimantan and Brunei.

Let us make this council an inclusive one, taking into consideration that Borneo Dayaks are made up of more than 500 ethnic groups and sub-groups as established during the three-day conference in Keningau.

A more inclusive council in its set-up or conferences will accommodate more synergised ideas and resolutions, be more representative, and therefore easier to be recognised at the international meetings like in the UN.

At the council level, I would like to see the unification of Dayaks being implemented via wider consultations and maybe through a referendum on our customary laws. In order to carry out this, the council needs to call upon all the cooperating tribal or native associations in Borneo, especially in Sabah.

We must also not restrain ourselves on unifying our Dayak tribes in Borneo only, but must carry on an amplifying the effort at national, regional and international levels.

This we must expedite now as challenges to Dayak natives in Borneo could have been easily resolved had there been strong political will by all parties, including the ruling parties and ourselves, the natives, too.

I would like to suggest to the inaugural chairperson of the council, Benedict Topin, to organise a follow-up conference involving more parties including the major ethnic groups.

On my part as president of PKRDS, I would like to make it a commitment to help the council get more groups into its ambit, especially those who can contribute to strengthening the consolidation of our common Dayak customary laws and customs.

The writer is president, Pertubuhan Kebudayaan Rumpun Dayak Sabah (PKRDS).

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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