Motion to recognise Sarawak natives as ‘Dayak’ on government forms to be tabled in next DUN sitting
KUCHING: Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen will table a motion in the next State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting, calling for an amendment to the Sarawak Interpretation Ordinance 2005 to classify natives in Sarawak as ‘Dayak’ on official government forms, rather than the current ‘Dan Lain-lain’ (DLL).
Chong, who is also Bandar Kuching MP, also urged the federal cabinet to adopt the recommendation of the Minority Bumiputera Technical Committee to classify natives in Sarawak as ‘Dayak’.
“We call upon all ADUN (assemblymen and assemblywomen) in Sarawak to support our motion but if they want to put in the motion before us, or they want to put in the amendment to the Interpretation Ordinance before us, they are most welcome to do so,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
Chong, also national DAP vice chairman and the party’s state chairman, pointed out that the tabling of the motion would be what DAP could do at state-level.
At the national level, he said a written reply he received from the Parliament on Wednesday (March 11) stated that the government had entrusted the technical committee to conduct studies into the subject matter.
Based on the reply, he noted that the committee had met up with Dayak professionals and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) here, as well as in Sibu and Miri last month – with all those concerned unanimously agreeing on classifying the natives in Sarawak as ‘Dayak’ instead of ‘DLL’ on all official government forms.
The reply added that a meeting on March 5 had decided on submitting a proposal to the federal cabinet to replace ‘DLL’ with ‘Dayak’ on official government forms, he said.
“We call upon the federal cabinet to adopt this recommendation of the technical committee of Sabah and Sarawak,” he said, adding such move was to finalise and legalise the term Dayak as a race.
Chong said with the government adopting the recommendation, it represented a small step towards the recognition of the term Dayak to describe the natives of Sarawak.
“We call upon the federal cabinet not to sit on the recom