KUCHING: Dayaks can now expect a bigger piece of cake from the government following a decision by the State Cabinet to constitute a special programme to develop the community.
Speaking to reporters after chairing the special Cabinet meeting at the new State Legislative Assembly (DUN) complex in Petra Jaya here yesterday, Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud revealed that the matter was decided at the special meeting.
He acknowledged that since Independence, Dayaks in the state had been left behind and with this special programme the community should be able to help escalate the government’s education plan to produce many intellectuals in the country.
“We want to help the Dayaks as over the years they have shown that they are willing to work together with their leaders in the government and also try to reorganise their assets.
“So this programme is more in line with providing better opportunities to further their studies in the discipline they prefer because the Malays have done theirs through collaboration between private institutions and the government,” he said.
Giving credit to his deputy Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu for forwarding the issue to the Cabinet, Taib however did not go into detail as to how and when the special programme will be implemented.
Meanwhile, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Masing when commenting on the matter opined that the community deserves greater attention from both the state and federal governments.
“Sarawakians must understand that we came to form Malaysia as an independent nation not a state like Johor, Pahang, etc and I hope the federal leadership is aware of this piece of Malaysian history,” he said.
Masing, who is Land Development Minister, also opined that Sarawak deserves bigger allocation from the federal government because it is a region in Malaysia and not an ordinary state.
Infrastructure Development and Communication Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin, on the other
hand, said ‘nothing special’ transpired during the Cabinet meeting.
“Nothing special, just to mark July 22 as the date Sarawak got its independence from the British,” he said, clarifying that Sarawak was an independent nation for 57 days and not 77 days as earlier reported – from July 22, 1963 to September 16, 1963 to form Malaysia. - theborneopost