KUCHING, 1 June 2009: The Dayak community in Sarawak celebrated the Gawai festival on a moderate scale today by holding traditional rituals and open houses.
Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng and his wife also spent some time visiting the house of Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party president, Datuk Seri William Mawan Ikom in Jalan Stapok, here today.
Also present was state assembly Speaker Datuk Seri Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar and Housing Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Abang Haji Openg.
Mawan, who is also social development and urbanisation minister, said the Gawai Dayak was not only a festival, but also an important forum for the Dayak community to interact with one another.
“The Dayak community (comprising Ibans, Bidayuhs and Orang Ulus) is a good example of the 1Malaysia concept and we hope the Gawai Dayak culture and tradition will be continued through events like open house,” he told reporters here.
He said the Gawai Dayak was also the best opportunity for Dayak intellectuals and professionals in the urban or rural areas to get closer to the grassroots.
“We want these Dayak professionals and intellectuals to help the government to implement capacity-building among the Dayak community especially in the rural areas,” he added. — Bernama