(Sarawak, Kuching 7 Feb) Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDS Baru)’s choice of a pig as the mascot for 14th General Election has sparked off controversies.
However, PBDS Baru does not compromise. Its president Cobbold John Lusoi explained that pig has a deep meaning in Dayak custom. It should not be an issue as the party has its right in the choice of mascot.
The cute little piggy mascot would be distributed to its branches of the party throughout the state once the mascots are ready.
Cobbold, in an interview with Sin Chew Daily, stressed that pig signifies unity in Dayak custom and it should be traced back to the peace agreement signed at Fort Sylvia in 1942. The Dayak killed a pig to symbolise the end of the tradition of head hunting.
He said Dayak believed pig is the link between creator and Dayak.
The Dayak remembered the contribution and sacrificed made by their ancestors and they are entitled to choose pig as the mascot for the party.
Cobbold does not think that the use of pig as mascot would offend other ethnic group or even a sensitive issue. He said it depends on how some people view the issue. If one is matured, he should not have problem respecting the custom and culture of a different ethnic group.
He said Sarawak is a diversified state where every ethnic group respects each other’s custom and tradition.
While some of the Dayaks hold different views on the usage of pig as mascot, he said these people are not party members of PBDS Baru and they have no right to intervene the decision and choice of the party.
“We are entitled to our rights in choosing our mascot. This is our tradition and custom. Why not?”
On whether the use of pig as mascot may be backfired among Muslim voters by not getting votes from them, Cobbold said the party is not worried as they believe in voters’ maturity and respect the custom of each ethnic group.
He hopes all ethnic groups respect the traditional custom of Dayaks and accept the mascot with an open heart.