Sarawak party chides education minister for omitting Gawai and Kaamatan in season’s greetings

Sulok Tawie


PBDS Baru president Bobby anak William claimed Education Maszlee Malik (pic) had hurt the feelings of teachers and students in the two Borneo states celebrating Gawai Dayak and Pesta Kaamatan by leaving out mention of the harvest festivals. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUCHING, May 27 — Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS Baru) accused Education Minister Mazslee Malik of being “insensitive” in his video greetings to teachers and students celebrating the Gawai Dayak and Pesta Kaamatan.

Its president Bobby anak William claimed Maszlee had hurt the feelings of teachers and students in the two Borneo states celebrating Gawai Dayak and Pesta Kaamatan by leaving out mention of the harvest festivals.

“He was being insensitive and careless for not mentioning the two celebrations in his video greetings to teachers and students from Sarawak and Sabah having their school holidays,” Bobby said of Mazslee’s May 23 video posted on Facebook.

The Sarawakian politician reminded Maszlee that he is education minister of Malaysia, not just the peninsula or a particular community.

He said he hoped that Mazslee did not think that Gawai Dayak and Pesta Kaamatan were not important to the Pakatan Harapan federal government.

“Probably he has forgotten about the two celebrations. We forgive him, but his action is not sensitive to the indigenous communities of Sarawak and Sabah.

“Either it was done unintentionally or otherwise, we don’t know. But as an education minister, on a federal level, he should know better actually, especially when Gawai Dayak and Pesta Kaamatan come much earlier than Hari Raya Aidilfitri,” Bobby said.

He urged the federal minister to correct himself by offering a more inclusive greeting for all communities in the country.

In his video greetings, Mazslee wished teachers and students who are having school holidays from May 24 to June 8, a good time with their families and relatives to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

He urged them to be extra careful while they were travelling on the roads and he hoped that they reached their villages safely.

He said the school holidays were good time for them to be with their families and relatives as Hari Raya Aidilfitri fell during the school holidays.

Mazslee also urged the students to take care of themselves and not to play with firecrackers, which could endanger their lives.

Gawai Dayak celebration in Sarawak falls on June 1 and 2 while Pesta Kaamatan in Sabah falls on 30 and 31.

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