Talking Points

Yang Berhormat Dato Sri William Mawan Anak Ikom
Minister of Social Development & Urbanisation, Sarawak

at the

(DEEDS) 2009

22 August 2009 (Saturday)

Christian Ecumenical Centre
Jln. Stampin, Kuching


Yang Berhormat Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun

Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development

YBhg. Dr. Dusit Jaul, President SDGA

YBhg Dato Sri Daniel Tajem and Datin

YBhg Dato Sri Edmund Langgu and Datin

Professor Dimbab Ngidang, Founder President SDGA

Mr. William Nyigor, President DBNA
Mr. Edwin Tawie, Organising Chairman
Distinguish Guests, members of the press, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Ladies and gentlemen,

  1. Thank you to SDGA President and his executive committee for inviting me to be your Guest of Honor this evening. I have no qualm about being your Guest of Honor as I know SDGA has good intention and noble objective in organizing this dinner.
  2. I was informed by your president that this evening dinner has the following objectives.

    - To raise fund so as to enable the association to implement its various programs

    - To recognize Dayak students who have excelled in their PMR and SPM exam last year

    - To officially launch the association’s redesign website.

  3. In my message for the SDGA souvenir programme, I touch on education. Tonight I would like to elaborate further on this subject, because I consider it is too important a subject for a community like ours.
  4. Sarawak’s rural areas, where the Dayaks reside, I must admit, are among the poorest today.   Development is needed in all aspects of their daily life, ranging from agricultural production, health care and technology to environment and education.5. Education is therefore, a must in the process of creating change and development.  In this respect, the teacher is the key person. With patience, commitment and dedication, he should be able to take the challenges of development by bringing education to the rural areas.
  5. Firstly there must be more schools equipped with up to-date state of the art and more teachers qualified in their subjects. This is important because there are teachers who are asked to teach   subjects that they are not proficient at.
  6. Indeed education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world. But for us we are not going to change the world per se; rather we want to change our community, our mindset. 
  7. People everywhere need education, because it is believed to be the only means towards a secure job and a decent future as well as towards progress and development.
  8. Nelson Mandela, the well-known statesman once said: “Education is the great engine to personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of mine, that the child of a farm worker can become the president of a great nation.”
  9. I concur with what the former president of South Africa said. Yes we have children of poor farmers, rubber tappers and rural dwellers, who have now PhD holders, doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants and many hold other professional occupations.
  10. But the number of our graduates is insignificant as compared to graduates from other communities; the Dayak community is still lagging far behind in fields of medicine, pharmacy, engineering, accountancy and law. In spite of the lack of data and statistic, we know we are way behind.
  11. As envisaged by the Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association, there must be at least 10 graduates coming out from one longhouse or village out of more than 7,000 longhouses in the State by the year 2020.
  12. I believe this projection can be achieved if only every one of us can work together- the parents, the teachers, the non-governmental organizations like SDGA, SDNU, SADIA, DBNA and OUNA and Dayak leaders in the various political parties.
  13. SDGA has now started its programmes of capacity building, motivational talks, excellence awards, and so on. Let us all support its programmes. This is the only way where we can help to change the mindset of parents and students in the rural areas.
  14. As I said, parents should be the first to show concern about the future of their children. In fact we should never neglect pre-school education. It is on the hands of parents lie the direction and destiny of children especially in the first seven years of the children’s life.
  15. In other words, education begins at home. Parents are their role models and whatever parents do they will follow.

    This is not only going to rob the children of a bright future, but it is going to create more problems for the children and the community and society in later years. I have seen some children who lack parental guidance becoming scavengers looking for something in the dustbins. I am sorry to say the majority of them are Dayak children.

    Ladies and gentlemen,

  16. I must praise SDGA for having a good rapport with government leaders. More things we can do together to uplift the standard of education of the rural people. On this score I would like to suggest SDGA to initiate a study to find how many Dayak graduates are there in various fields and their occupations.
  17. Since my ministry is involved in social development, I am prepared to work together with SDGA. I believe that the findings of this study are not only an indicator of our educational and social progress, but such findings can be of great importance to the government. After knowing where the weakness lies, the government can come up with a master plan to address the issue.  Let this study be one of your 2010 activities.  Thank You.


Category : Speeches

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