Sino-Dayaks seek recognition as an ethnic group in Sarawak
SERIAN (September 20): The Sino-Dayak Association of Sarawak hopes its community will one day be recognized as an ethnic group in the state, its chairman Sebastian Bong has said.
He said this will alleviate the problems faced by the community and ensure that they are not overlooked in government policies and development plans.
He explained that the community grew out of intermarriage between the Chinese and the Dayaks, and they maintain and observe the cultural identity of the two ethnic groups in their way of life.
“I have written officially to our ‘wakil rakyat’ (elected representatives) in the hope that the government will recognize the Chinese-Dayak race,” he said last night at a Mooncake Festival rally at a restaurant. by Seryan.
At the rally, Bong also pointed out the plight facing the Sino-Dayak people to the rally’s guest of honor, Bukit Semuja, MP John Ilus.
John, in his speech, said he understood the situation facing the Sino-Dayak people as he had faced a similar problem when he was previously Sarawak’s administrative officer in areas like Pakan and Julau.
He said he would respond to their request and look for ways to overcome the problems.
Regarding the multi-purpose hall being built by the association, he was confident that it could be completed next year with financial assistance through funds from the state government.
John had announced in July that an allocation of RM250,000 had been approved by the government for the construction of the hall.
The hall is currently under construction on a site not far from the town of Serian.
Meanwhile, the rally saw the presence of leaders from the Serian Chinese community, namely Temenggong Gee Ah Chok, Pemanca Chai Min Lee, Penghulu Fong Soon Fah and Kapitan Benson Bong.
Bong said it was the first time that these community leaders had been invited by the association to its activities in hopes of maintaining a cordial relationship between the two parties.
He said four Chinese-Dayak families from Kuching also came to join the rally.