KUCHING : Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA) can build up its role and influence among the Dayak community if it has strong and solid financial strength with a large number of members, says its newly-elected president Dr Dusti Jaul.

Towards this end, membership drive and generating of income make up the two-pronged strategy he has envisioned for the association to achieve in the short term. "I will discuss and strategies with the other SDGA office bearers during our meeting," he said yesterday. Dusit, a senior programme coordinator at National Institute of Public Administration (Intan) since 2000, replaced Sarawak Planted Forest Sdn Bhd (SPF) general manager Dr Joseph Jawa Kendawang as the new president of SDGA.

During the election held on Saturday, Dusti polled 90 votes against Jawa’s 29 to win by a majority of 61 votes. Dusit, who has served in the government for 14 years as an administrative and diplomatic service officer, said the current number of members in SDGA is not reflective of the real number of Dayak graduates, adding that the association needs to make its presence felt among the Dayak community.

"Either they are unaware of SDGA’s presence or they just adopt a ‘wait and see’ attitude. But if we can have more members, the better we will be," he said. On plans to generate more incomes, he said the association will pursue ‘any ideas worth pursuing’. Asked if this includes his predecessor’s proposal to set up a business entity dealing in consultancy jobs, he said this can be one of the ideas the association may mull upon.

"We need to raise our own funds that will enable us to carry out our roles more effectively," he said. Dusit also said that he would uphold three values, namely team player, respect and high integrity, in the association. Meanwhile, in Saturday’s election, Dr Elli Luhat and Stanly Lingoh retained their respective deputy president and secretary general posts. It is learnt that 119 delegates participated in the election, held during its annual general meeting that day.

News from the Borneo Post, 23 February 2009

Category : Press

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