Wednesday, May 13

Deputy Minister Entulu Distorting Perception of ‘Dayak’

It was reported in the media recently that Joseph Entulu, the Federal Deputy Minister for Rural and Regional Development, has called for the term ‘Dayak’ to be dropped because according to him it conveyed negative connotations like being uncivilised, uncouth and ‘low class’. This call is yet another attempt at selectively marginalizing some of the native Dayak peoples of Sarawak. And not surprisingly, it comes from a generation of ‘yes men’, the so-called Sarawak leaders whose signature contribution to nation-building has been to extinguish Native Customary Rights (NCR) lands. NCR is the last important resource in the hands of the natives. Now, evidently, not satisfied with the taking away of this Dayak resource, they are prepared to erase aspects of the community’s identity. As such they are not only being negative but also being manifestly unjust.
Lest the Deputy Minister has forgotten, the term ‘Dayak’ is a social and cultural construct, much like the term ‘Bumiputera’ is a construct. While the term remains a construct of social identity, they often have a policy implication. Thus, for instance, since the 1970s our country have used the term ‘Bumiputera’ to define and demarcate certain aspects of the country’s New Economic Policy (NEP). Dayaks do not enjoy such a status because in the 70s and 80s, there was no political will to refine the NEP to that level in Sarawak.
There are those, for their own reasons, who may have been uncomfortable with the term ‘Dayak’, who have politicised the term, and have sought to extinguish it. The present Sarawak Government has sought to drop the usage of the word ‘Dayak’. Indeed, until recently in Sarawak the term was included in the Interpretation Ordinance so that the term ‘Sea Dayak’ was used to mean also Ibans and ‘Land Dayak’ to mean those who are now commonly called ‘Bidayuh’.
Now, clearly, from time to time politicians who hope to revive their credentials will call for the term’s further degradation, evidently in an attempt to burnish their image and please their controllers.
Entulu laments the fact that Sarawak’s native communities have not been acknowledged “according to their respective ethnic groups.” He pointed out, “if we look at official forms or documents in the column for race, they only state either Malay, Chinese, Indian or Others.” Instead of blaming others, he should evaluate his own performance carefully; and if he did so objectively, he will find that this is damning proof that his generation of leaders have been ineffective representatives of the Sarawak natives.
The fact of the matter is that most Dayaks, with the exception of an opportunistic few, are proud of the name ‘Dayak’. They see the futility and the needlessness of changing the term just because some locals, the ‘jaguh kampung’ in power, have agitated for its abolishment.
When the federal bureaucrats get around to consider the dropping of the word ‘others’ in official forms, they should take a pointer from the Dayaks themselves. The Sarawak Dayak National Union, the Dayak Bidayuh National Union and the Sarawak Dayak Iban Association have, amongst others, used the word ‘Dayaks’ and have no problems about its reference for the 26 non-Muslim native communities in Sarawak.
It is time that the term ‘Dayak’ be accorded its proper place as a collective name to denote the non-Muslim natives of Sarawak. In the offending federal forms that Entulu griped about, the term ‘Others’ should be removed and in its place ‘Dayak’ and the names other specific communities should be put in its place.
Supreme Council Member
Parti Keadilan Rakyat


Anonymous said...

I am a Dayak, I am a Sea Dayak, and I am an Iban and damn PROUD of it. If Joseph Entulu thinks he is uncivilised, uncouth and ill mannered, then those are his own personal issues, much like his abhorrent views which he can't keep to himself. If he doesn't like his ethnicity nor his identity, I suggest the Minister should immediately attend to the nearest NRD office, and calmly put in his application for the status of "orangutan" under the category "primate". That way, he will be taken care of by the WWF. I for one, detest this man, and I yet hope, whilst I live, agree that he is indeed uncouth, and uncivilised.

Mr Tawie, print this and do so to remind this inbred lickspittle, that he is not fit for purpose, either as a Minister or for any posts that warrant our community's interests.


Anonymous said...

Najib is now a Bugis. Khir Toyol is now a Javanese. Azlan is now a Palembang. Zambri the Thief is now a Tambi.

Anonymous said...

1. [...] dayak baru Posted on May 12, 2009 by Pemuda Pas sarawak Does the word “Dayak” give negative connotation [...]

Frankly I would rather prefer that the term “Dayaks” be dropped rather than seeing the Dayaks being converted. Why? There appears to be attempt by certain quarters to introduce PAS doctrine/ideology among the Dayaks community. Associating ourselves with PAS or its Dewan Pemuda Pas, Sarawak means that we support and endorse the Hudud Law and Islamic State concept. I am inclined to think that Entulu came hard just to remind us of the danger of courting PAS. Perhaps he saw the threat is real and coming

jumpover said...

That "antu llu" was not a dayak. He ..actually was really2 son of "antu kamba". Better we,,the pure dayak throw him into the deep that he can marry with "dugung".

Universal Bidayuh said...

If the government agree to drop the term “Dayak”, we, the former Dayak have to accept the decision. We also have to accept that after this, there will be no more “Gawai Dayak”, “Sea Dayak”, “Land Dayak” and so on.

“Gawai Dayak” will be known as “Gawai Iban”, “Gawai Bidayuh”, and “Gawai Orang Ulu”. “Sea Dayak” before this usually used to refer the Iban, and “Land Dayak” to refer the Bidayuh.

Iban, Bidayuh, and Orang Ulu from a long time ago were united under the Dayak umbrella. If we change this to mathematical formula, then we can find Dayak = Iban + Bidayuh + Orang Ulu. The unity among Dayak’s sub-ethnic groups is strong, even though the dialects are different. Iban, Bidayuh, and Orang Ulu shared the same traditional cultures, for examples, they shared the traditional food called “ayam pansuh” and they shared the “Gawai” festival. “Ayam pansuh” is where the chicken is cooked in the bamboo, and “Gawai” festival is celebrates every 1st of June every year to thanks the spirit of paddy.

Dayak is a very united community, but they still week in the political unity, this is the fact.

Some people said that the term “Dayak” usually conveys the negative connotations such as uncivilized, uncouth, and low class. This is the passed history of Dayak. Not only Dayak, all of the civilizations in this world also faced the dark history. The Arab famous with their “Jahiliyyah” period, and also the same with West civilization, both Arab and West had faced the dark history where they uncivilized, uncouth, and low class.

Some people still have this kind of thinking: Dayak are uncivilized because they are still Animism; still celebrate “Gawai”, Dayak are uncouth because they are familiar with head-hunters, and Dayak are low class community because most of them still living on the trees. This kind of mentality always convey by those who did not know well about Dayak. Dayak nowadays had changed a lot. Dayak have so many respective leaders and so many educated young generations.

We had improved in all aspects, except in politic. Dayak politicians still split into many political parties. There is still no political party based on Dayak. If the term “Dayak” is dropped, the situation will become worse. Iban, Bidayuh, and Orang Ulu have to put the priority in how to find the way to promote the Dayak’s political unity. The term “Dayak” is one of the recommended ways.

Hopefully in one day, there will be one political party forms based on Dayak. The party must take the challenge in gather the all Dayak politicians. If the Iban, Bidayuh, and Orang Ulu politicians united in one political party based on Dayakism, the fight on Dayak’s rights will become more effective as Dayak are the majority in Sarawak.

The decision to drop the term “Dayak” must be revising again. It is a big issue and involved all of us who still identify themselves as Dayak. Think on the long-term effects, ones we made a mistake, we cannot go back and correct it again.

The decision also cannot be only decided by the government, it must has collective decision from the Dayak itself.

Anonymous said...

@jumpover when 'antu lu" was in ITM he was close to his course mate Anthony. When someone call for 'antu ni' someone will always reply 'antu lu'

Anonymous said...

Jusip Entulu Belaun "mee hip" his own personal-political agenda for "advocating" his "pet-idea" unilaterally.

Has he consulted people in BN political position? Like Jabu, Masing. Salang, Mawan ....

If he is smart and unbaised and REALLY concern, the fairest is for him to propose that a "REFERANDUM" be held through Sarawak and other part of Malaysia where there are Dayaks.

Let the votes decide and settle the issue once and for all. Nail the coffin with referandum.


Temawai lama said...

Amat minta sumpah jak Joseph Entulu tok (JE), engka JE tok udah kelalu tuai tauka mamau! Tauka ia gila glamour? Enti enda nemu utai ka bejako, anang bejako, diau ajak di kedai kopi, nyamai agi JE !

Malaysia Digest said...

Entulu parents are also Dayak what.