President’s Message

Greetings!

It is almost 20 years since the turn of the 21st century. Then we were imagining the face of globalisation, today we are living in that globalised world. Technology morphs every second as we speak. Information is literally at our finger tips, automation is a necessity in many industries, financial technology (FinTech) solutions are being applied by us everyday, and education is emphasizing digital literacy. I remember in the early noughties, computer was a luxury item for students. Today, primary school students are already being exposed to coding, which is amazing and frightens the dinosaur in me.

It is quite worrying that we are still barking on issues touching on basic infrastructure and amenities in 2019. We have over 1,000 dilapidated schools in Sarawak. In 2018, only 23.5% of total students in Sarawak qualified for science stream after Form 3 (against 60% target of whole of Malaysia), only 10% pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education at tertiary level. Most academicians and employers will attest that Dayak students are bright but timid. They have low proficiency in English and lack communication skills. These are facts we cannot deny, and issues that need emphasis.

Despite all of that, I am still very hopeful. We have taken the encouraging measures by setting up our own Sarawak Ministry of Education, Science, and Technological Research as we continue our plight for autonomy in education. The introduction of Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) is also very welcoming as our community aligns ourselves with the state’s Digital Economy aspirations. We as citizens need to constantly be innovative and motivated in sourcing for ideas and solutions if we are to resolve these concerns.

SDGA shall persist to address matters on Dayak’s education. However, we must be mindful of the change in landscape the world operates today.  While students in the hardcore rural still need more opportunities to prosper, urbanite students are desperate for more platforms to harness their talents. It is vital for us to approach them differently to avoid any misdirection. STEM and TVET (Technical and Vocational Education & Training) education are more significant than ever. Dayak students cannot get left behind if we are to ride the tide that is IR4.0 (Industrial Revolution 4.0).

Being an Association of Dayak graduates, we must also address the prerequisites our fresh graduates need in their quest for employment. We acknowledge that there appears to be racial imbalances in employment in both civil and private sectors. Therefore, SDGA encourages all academic research pertaining to employment particularly concerning the Dayaks, to identify the issues and to formulate a solution. However, it is imperative that we should stay away from any siege mentality and strive towards skill improvement and entrepreneurship instead.

Exciting times are ahead of us. Hence, I have assembled an eclectic mix of young individuals from various discipline – education, healthcare, legal, engineering, property, information technology, civil service & entrepreneurship, to be part of this new Exco to brave SDGA into new frontiers. We have programmes that we wish to execute in due time, although financially it seems like an uphill battle. We just have to weather the storm and the least we could do is to let the community be informed of opportunities that are out there.

Having said all of that, the Exco share these common aspirations: -

  1. To become an association that is contemporary and informative in today’s landscape;
  2. To be adaptive of changes in technology;
  3. To be respectful of other races and foster stronger ties with them;
  4. To embrace young talents and new ideas;
  5. To work closely with all stakeholders – government, private sector, individuals & other Civil Society Organisations;
  6. To commit to the global agenda that is UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG);
  7. To facilitate development of Human Resource; and
  8. To be good Samaritans.

I shall conclude with this: - “Knowing is easy, Solving is satisfying”.

We are excited to hear your ideas. Get yourselves registered now!
 

Cheers.

Gary Ningkan
President
Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA)