15 Orang Ulu longhouse chiefs disapprove moving Sg Asap under Sebauh administration

Ellision Duren Lihan

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Feb 17: A total of 15 maren uma (Orang Ulu longhouse chief) from Sg Asap has voiced their disapproval to the Sarawak government on moving the sub-district under the administration of Sebauh district.

According to the Majlis Persekutuan Maren-Maren Uma Apau Koyan (Apau Koyan Maren-Maren Uma Federation Council) chairman Ellision Duren Lihan of Uma Bawang, all the 15 maren uma from Sg Asap have pledged their support to the stand of the two elected representatives in their areas, Kennedy Chukpai Ugon (Murum) and Datuk Liwan Lagang (Belaga) on the matter.

The other 14 longhouse chiefs from the Sg Asap resettlement scheme who officially voiced their disapproval are Donny Dian Talik of Uma Juman, Huvat Laing (Uma Lesong), Ngarip Lijap (Uma Uki), Mingu Magoi (Uma Penan Talun), Nyaban Kuleh (Uma Badeng) and Palan Bisau of Uma Bakah.

This included Edmund Lating of Uma Balui Ukap, Bujang Bit (Uma Kulit), Ding Ajang (Uma Belor), Huvang Liah (Uma Daro), Luhong Tajang (Uma Nyaving), Wan Batang (Uma Kelup), Lajang Nyipa (Uma Lahanan) and Edok Maring (Uma Long Liko).

“Since the time of the White Rajah (James Brooke), Belaga has been given to the Orang Ulu community and since then, we have a treaty with the Iban that both our races will abide by the demarcation boundary which has been enforced.

“Based on that, we, the Orang Ulu of Belaga, will not want to be separated anymore but remain as one community,” Ellision told DayakDaily.

He said they have willingly given up their homeland to be flooded to generate energy with the implementation of the Bakun HEP.

“Now they want us to ‘move out’ for the second time. This is most illogical thinking by those who planned this move,” he opined.

Ellision warned that such a move, if allowed to proceed, could swing the voting pattern of the locals toward the opposition if their voices are not heard.

“Now with unpredictable political undercurrent, we, the leaders, will not be able to stand against the tide of discontentment among the voters should this move persisted,” he said.

He believed that if the Sarawak government is sincere in upgrading their well being, then Sg Asap should be upgraded into a district, and together with Belaga district, should be elevated into a division for the Orang Ulu community.

“Only then it is fair for us so that we too will be able to have better development programme and amenities on par with other races in Sarawak,” he continued.

DayakDaily reported yesterday that three community leaders in Sg Asap, Penghulu Saging Bit, Pemanca Umek Jeno and Pemanca Tony Kulleh, have also voiced their disapproval on the matter.

Saging said those responsible for the move to be careful with the sentiments of the local people and that any efforts to break Sg Asap sub-district away from Belaga should have been discussed with the local community.

Tony, who is a Kenyah, claimed that four villages in Ulu Belaga – Sang Anau, Long Jawie, Long Busang and Long Unai – wanted Sg Asap to remain under Belaga district.

On Saturday (Feb 15), the Murum assemblyman expressed hope that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg would intervene and cancel the proposal.

He said a letter of objection from the community leaders will be handed over to the chief minister during his visit to Sg Asap scheduled on Feb 29. — DayakDaily