Datuk John Sikie Tayai (second from right)
08/03/2023 08:39 PM

KUCHING, March 8 (Bernama) -- The Iban community must be proud of and uplift their mother tongue by naming it compulsory for their children to take language as a subject in school, said Minister in the Sarawak Premier’s Department Datuk John Sikie Tayai.

He said that for those studying in rural areas, the Iban language is offered to them as an additional subject, but not for those who live in the city such as in the Kuching area.

“As such, the mastery of the Iban language among those living in this city is very weak or even less fluent because their use of the language has been mixed with other languages,” he said.

He told the media this after representing Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas to close the Workshop on Strengthening the Iban Language in Communication, here, today. 

According to him, he is confident that through the workshop the use of the Iban vocabulary that has the same meaning can be adjusted for standard use, if the pronunciation varies by region.

“Citing the meaning of plate (pinggan in Bahasa Melayu), in the Iban language it is called Capak or Pinggai, so through this workshop participants are exposed to the standard language for official use,” he added.

About 40 comprising Iban language media practitioners from Radio Television Malaysia, Cats FM, Suara Sarawak, Utusan Borneo and TVS participated in the three-day workshop organised by the Sarawak Public Communication Unit (Ukas) and the Sarawak State Education Department, which began on Monday (March 6).