Two things he mentioned very clearly.
(i) Don’t bring politics into the Union
(ii) What is your contribution to the Union?
Don’t bring politics to the union:
Salang said that the Union has never been involved in politics and it should be kept that way. Some of the members, he said, might be involved in politics, but that was their personal involvement.
“You cannot blame them for being in politics, although they may hold office as president, deputy president, secretary and committee members. And your political leaning is your own business. Some of us are in BN just like me; others are in the opposition.
“Why should people like me want to bring SDNU to BN and others to Opposition?” he asked and said: “We cannot force people to follow your parties.”
Salang added: “Whether you are in the opposition and I am in the BN, there is no reason why we cannot make the union as the centre of our cultural unity.”
Our contribution to SDNU:
Next Salang touched on the subject of members’ contributions to the union so that it can achieve a higher plane of success.
“I ask myself how much have I contributed or helped the union; and if all of us put our efforts collectively I am sure the union will do much to help the Dayak community.
“Our union is just like a bandong (a big boat). One person will not be able to paddle it, but if all of us paddle it, it will move where we want it to go.
“We must not question who is our captain or ‘juragan’ of the boat otherwise our boat will be stranded,” he stressed.
The Broken Shield’s Observation:
I notice few things were not right at this TGA. May be I see them through a reporter’s eyes. Firstly, there was an inadequate publicity in the papers, so not many Dayaks even in Kuching knew about it. (I was one of them). It is important that this type of meeting, the triennial general meeting, should be given ample publicity, unless of course you do not want other Dayaks to know. But I thought SDNU represent the Dayak community!
Secondly, there was a miscommunication between the deputy minister and the organisers. There was no proper invitation, according to Salang. He was informed to come at 9.30 a.m to open the meeting and when he arrived, nobody was there to welcome him, He was then invited to sit with us – me, Tajem and a few others at a coffeehouse.
Guests, delegates and observers should arrive at 8.30 a.m, and the president should arrive at 8.45 a.m. But the president arrived at 10.00 a.m. So the deputy minister was waiting for half an hour and I can see he was not happy as he mentioned during the speech that people used to complain “baka nganti menteri, tang sekalitu, kitai nganti president. Aku ukai nyindir president.”
Thirdly, the backdrop mentioned that Salang was “the Minister of Information, Communication and Culture.” Albert Anggie saw it and asked it to be corrected.
I am sure there were committee members who have been appointed to head certain sub-committees such as publicity sub-committee, welcoming sub-committee, food and drinks sub-committee, etc.
Although these are seemingly small things, they reflect badly on our community in organising any function. Something for all of us to ponder? – The Broken Shield