Posted on June 5, 2011, SundayKUCHING: Three Dayak personalities – two of whom are state ministers and presidents of BN component parties – were among 37 recipients of the Panglima Setia Mahkota award which carries the title ‘Tan Sri’ during the King’s birthday in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The two are presidents of the Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties namely Dato Sri Dr James Masing of the Dayak-dominant Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Dato Sri William Mawan Ikom of the multi-racial Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP).
Another notable personality from Sarawak who received the title is former politician Datuk Amar Leonard Linggi Jugah.
Linggi, former Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) secretary-general now runs the cultural and education-linked Tun Jugah Foundation. They received the award from Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.
When contacted yesterday, Pakan assemblyman Mawan said he viewed the award as an indication to work harder.
“While it (award) may be an appreciation of what we (Dayak leaders) have done to unite our people for peace and stability, it is also an indicator of a mission and assignment for us to work harder to further consolidate our people in order to gain greater peace and prosperity,” Mawan said.
“We should not be selfcentred. There is more to be done, especially when we have to consolidate the Dayaks in particular,” he stressed.
Masing: “We have every reason to feel appreciated for the level of peace we have contributed to the community. We have a mission and let us work harder to consolidate.”
He also took time to thank those who SMSed congratulatory messages to him yesterday.
He was thankful to the state and federal leaders, especially Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, for the recommendation but most importantly, it indicated that the top leaders recognised Dayak contribution to political stability.
He congratulated other Dayak leaders who received ‘Datukship’ from the King, namely state BN and PBB secretary-general Dr Stephen Rundi Utom and PRS vice-president John Sikie Tayai.
SPDP was formed in 2002 following a leadership tussle in Sarawak National Party (SNAP) that resulted in SNAP becoming an opposition party.
Baleh assemblyman Masing said he thanked the Dayak community for giving him and Mawan their support, which enabled them to receive their titles.
“Two Iban leaders are honoured by the federal leaders today. Of the 37 Tan Sri recipients, only William and I are politicians,” he pointed out.
PRS was formed in 2004 following the de-registration of Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) with Masing as PRSí first president.
Masing is Land Development Minister while Mawan, Social Development and Urbanisation Minister.