By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Nov 3: Two community leaders from Apau Koyan (formerly Sungai Asap) today urge the Sarawak Government to establish one of the five proposed residential international schools in their area.
Pemanca Tony Kuleh said it is high time that the people of Apau Koyan, who have sacrificed so much for the construction of the mega Bakun hydroelectric (HEP) be given due attention.
“Even Minister of Tourism, Art and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah who recently visited us acknowledged our huge sacrifice when we had to move out from our ancestral land to give way for the construction of Bakun HEP Dam,” Tony told DayakDaily here today.
He stressed that the residents of Apau Koyan welcome such a move as it will provide the opportunity for the children of the area to get the best education.
Additionally, it will spur on the economic growth in the area, he said.
Tony was commenting on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s recent statement to build five residential international schools specially cater for the needs of smart children of the rural areas.
Echoing Tony’s suggestion, Pemanca Umek Jeno said an ideal place to build such school will be at a place called Anding, which is the junction leading to Murum HEP Dam.
“The place is strategic as it will cater for the students from around Belaga Town, the Penans from Metalun and Tegulang Resettlement Schemes as well as from our area, Apau Koyan,” said Umek.
Meanwhile, Tony also put forth another request he hoped to get the attention of the Education Department.
“It is also our hope that both the SMK Bakun and SMK Belaga be upgraded to have Form Six to cater for the growing number of students.
“The government could even consider setting up a matriculations centre in Belaga District to cater for our children’s needs,” he said.— DayakDaily