Deputy Minister tells of heartbreak over loss of home in Pa’ Umor fire

Gerawat speaking to local media on Monday night (April 15, 2024) in Miri.

By Tedong Rantayy

MIRI, April 16 : On Sunday (April 16), a massive fire destroyed the home of the Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Labour, Immigration and Project Monitoring) Datuk Gerawat Gala, in Pa’ Umor, Bario.

Built by his parents and generations before them, the house stood for 32 years as a testament to their legacy.

Gerawat, when met last night during the Miri Malay Charitable Trust Board Hari Raya Aidilfitri gathering, recounted the devastation that befell his cherished family home.

“Each corner held memories etched with love and laughter….it wasn’t merely a house, it was a repository of my family’s history and traditions,” he said.

As Gerawat disclosed his heartache, he revealed that the greatest loss was not in the physical structure consumed by the flames, but in the intangible treasures it held—the memories of his parents and the older generations who toiled to build the very foundation of his life.

“Those cherished moments, etched within the walls and woven into the very fabric of the house, spanned over three decades,…” he added.

“Our home wasn’t just a structure,” he revealed with a sigh.

“It was a priceless legacy that had been cherished for generations.”

He spoke of the distinguished guests who graced their humble abode, from VIPs and ministers of state to ambassadors and companies CEOs, each leaving behind a trace of their presence in the laughter and conversations that filled the air.

“Our home was more than just a place to live. It was a place where friendships were forged and bonds were strengthened,” he reflected.

Even in the wake of the tragedy, Gerawat has found solace in the outpouring of support from high-ranking officials, with Head of State, Tun Pehin Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg among those extending their heartfelt sympathies.

“Our former Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang also called this morning because he too has fond memories of staying with us,” Gerawat disclosed.

According to Gerawat, during the fire incident, voluntary firefighters were mobilised from Bario to Pa’ Umor village.

“They fought valiantly to contain the blaze, but by the time they arrived, the fire had already engulfed the house,” he revealed. — DayakDaily