BINTULU, May 18 ― Communication and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo has fully supported the celebration of Gawai Dayak in Sarawak to be given coverage and space in the mainstream media channels.
He said with the coverage in the mainstream media under the New Malaysia, the younger generation would be exposed to the wealth and fineness of the arts and culture as well as the customs of their communities that they could hardly witness.
“I understand that the Dayak community is very rich in custom and culture.
“The diversity of culture and race is the privilege of our country, and the harmony resulting from the unity of multiracial community is an attraction to the people from around the world,” he said when officiating the Leaders with the People programme at the Bintulu Old Airport here today.
Gobind said he was very happy with the celebration themed “Bejalai Betungkatka Adat, Tinduk Bepanggalka Pengigat” (know your culture and roots in the Iban language), which also saw participation from Dayak community from West Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Gobind who extended his wishes of “Selamat Hari Gawai” and “Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri” to the multi-racial audience, said that Malaysians were grateful to be able to celebrate their respective festivities in peace and harmony.
He said the safe and secure environment allowed the government to focus on national development programmes to improve the standard of living of the people in terms of economy, education, infrastructure, culture and religion.
“Inter-racial collaboration is key for us in dealing with, as well as facing various threats and challenges, and it should not be underestimated or ignored.
“The diversity of Malaysians is something that should be celebrated and strengthened together, for a better and prosperous future,” he said.
Earlier, Gobind flagged off more than 3,000 participants of the “Ngerandang Jalai Gawai” programme as they started marching for 1.7km from the Bintulu Old Airport to Bintulu town centre.
The event also witnessed cultural performances from local Dayak associations as well as those from West Kalimantan and the Dayak ethnic fashion shows.
Gobind, at a press conference later, described the programme, organised by his ministry for the first time, was very successful.
This was based on the presence of many participants and visitors at the event.
He hoped such programme would be organised every year to foster unity among the multiracial people through culture and customs.
Also present were Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Chong Chieng Jen. ― Bernama