The key founder and the first President of the DBNA was the late Ahguan
Guga of Kg. Quop, Kuching. He was assisted by the following:
Nakid Mingen. (First Vice President)
Augustine Sirau. (First Secretary)
Wesley Harlon Timor. (First Treasurer)
Helbourne Simigat, William Nais, (Now Datuk), OKP Dukau Ak Bajag, Gris Nian, Michael Jesseng Langgie, Vincent Greene Sirau, Mrs. Ju Inn Ang and Rhoda Simigat and many more.
The DBNA was set up in 1955 basically "to unite the Bidayuh people, who were then separated by dialects, distance and religions", to quote the late Ahguan Guga. The Association's objectives were expanded to include the desire to help in the educational, economic and cultural improvement/development of the Bidayuh community.
The DBNA's Constitution (as revised in 1983); under Article 4 states, inter alia, that the objectives of the Association are :
In 1963, the DBNA built its first wooden HQ at a piece of land given by the Government at Jalan Ong Tiang Swee, Kuching at a cost of RM13,000.00 under the chairmanship of OKP Dukau Ak Bajag and assisted by Geris Nian, Nakid Migen, Dustin Sirau, Michael Jesseng and Vincent Grene Sirau. It was officially opened on 28th December 1963 by the first Chief Minister, Datuk Stephen Kalong Ningkan. This was the very first project set up by the Bidayuh, a powerful sign of Bidayuh unity in action.
In 1982, another bigger HQ was built at the cost of RM500,000.00 under the chairmanship of Wilfred Nissom and assisted by Stephen Jussem Dundon, Nicholas Gunjew, Peter Minos and Austin Dimin. It was officially opened on 3rd July 1982 by the Chief Minister, YAB Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud
Since 1955, through various projects and programmes, the DBNA has tried its best towards the unity and the socio-economic betterment of the Bidayuhs. Due to the DBNA's existence, the Bidayuh are now more united, cohesieve and close to each other. The DBNA has helped in some ways in the betterment of Bidayuh education through its many educational activities/exercises. The Association has also assisted in some ways Government bodies such as SALCRA and LCDA in the economic improvement of Bidayuh land.
The Presidents of DBNA since 1955 are :
Todate, DBNA has 16 Branches and 11 Units, spread throughout Sarawak. DBNA Branches are located in
It is DBNA's vision that, in the years ahead especially to the year 2020, it can and will do more towards the educational, economic, cultural and social betterment of the Bidayuh people, through greater unity of the community and through cooperation with all other racial groups in Malaysia. DBNA also wants the Bidayuh to contribute more positively towards an economically developed and industrialised Malaysia under Vision 2020.
Planning and Resource Management Assistant Minister Mr. Michael Manyin has called on Bidayuh politicians, leaders and intellectuals to change the mindset and attitude of the community especially the elderly and those living in the rural areas.
"We need to prepare ourselves for a better tomorrow - not only for ourselves but also for our next generations" he said when officiating at the closing of a two-day DBNA Delagates Conference.
The community's attitude and perception on issues such as education, politics, economics and development, he pointed out, must changed.
This he said could be achieved through the active involvement of DBNA, as an agent of change for the Bidayuh community.
DBNA as well as other Bidayuh leaders and intellectuals, he added, must be able to explain to the community what was happening around them to ensure that the latter did not lag behind.
Mr. Manyin also stressed that it was vital for the community to adopt new cultures which could benifit them, including the habbit of saving as well as the readiness to take risks in any undertaking, espically in business.
Culture, he pointed out, should not be static "in order to enable us to move forward and be at par with other communities".
It is our duty as Bidayuhs to preserve, protect, promote, propagate our historical and cultural heritages, our language/dialects and our ways of life and identity, including our traditional music, colours, dresses, dances, artifacts etc.
The educated Bidayuhs should do more research and write more on the Bidayuhs. The more their ideas are written and passed around, the better it is for the people. Others will know the Bidayuh more. And some of the ideas will help the people.
While we must always think and behave like and as Malaysians, we must not forget our history, roots and culture. There are a lot of good things in our cultures and traditions that can and must be preserved for all time, within a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious Malaysia. And for the the overall interests of Malaysia.
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