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Overcome all barriers, Borneo natives told
Published on: Thursday, June 20, 2019
By: Johan Aziz

KENINGAU: Understanding who comprise Borneo Natives by recognising each other as a Dayak Clump (Rumpun Dayak or Dayak stock), Dayak people and Borneo Indigenous were among issues addressed at the just-ended Dayak International Justice Congress at the Perkasa hotel, here.

“We are like inhabitants in a longhouse but in small rooms separated by walls as a border and we do not even know our neighbours. The boundary is the political boundary due to history and colonisation that has separated us. 

“And it is time to remove these political borders and unite the Dayaks, the indigenous people of Borneo as one people,” said President of Borneo Dayak Forum (BDF), Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.

He urged them to develop and strengthen what is useful and relevant and discard what is no longer useful or relevant or even harmful or hampering their future and progress.

“Our objective is to connect and to create a common base for our traditional government and jurisprudence for the entire Borneo natives based on Adat, Customs and Traditions of the Dayak People as recognised by the United Nations,” he said.

He said ‘Adil Katalino, Bercuramin Ke Seruga, Bersengat Ke Jubata’, should be the Borneo Dayak denominator for unity. That means Justice and respect for each other, sincerity and purity of actions and to remember always to be guided by the Almighty.

“Why have we been divided for so long? We are facing so many obstacles and challenges such as by our own mindset and self-imposed limitations; by political and ideological indoctrination; by geography; and by individual or personal interest (selfish). 

“Now is the time to overcome all of these barriers by ourselves,” he said.

 Jeffrey who is Keningau Member of Parliament said the second issue highlighted in the congress was connectivity, interaction and common practice where to operationalise common heritage, they must connect, then interact (relate) then they can move forward together.

“We need to deal with new realities such as politics, development, science and education. It means adjusting the customary law and the traditional administration practised before with the present condition.

He said they should look into the codification of Adat and Custom, structuralisation in economy, modernisation, politics and social.

“With big picture approach we can unite and relate to others and because we are not alone, we are part of the world community. Focus on strengths; cultural heritage as our identity and economy, land and environment as our lives; trade relations (growth and expansion); and progress in development.

 “Our next step is to organise ourselves, assign responsibilities, set up operational mechanism, decision making, communication and coordination and establish reporting systems,” he said.

He said the congress is historical and a step in the right direction and beneficial to all knowing who they are, their common roots and heritage, strengthen cooperation and brotherhood in the hope for a better future.

The congress was the second and organised every two years. It was being held for the first time in Sabah. In 2017 it was held in Sintang West Kalimantan.



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