By Karen Bong
MIRI, Dec 15: Mulu assemblyman Datuk Gerawat Gala hopes that the only Orang Ulu state legislative seat still outside the fence of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) can return to the coalition in the upcoming State Election.
Of the 82 state legislative seats he pointed out that the Orang Ulu community has six seats but unfortunately one of the six was not under GPS. The community has two of the 222 parliamentary seats.
“This is something we need to address well in the coming 12th State Election because we want all the six Orang Ulu state legislative seats to be with GPS,” he said during the earth breaking ceremony for the construction of multipurpose hall, general office and resource centre of the Federation of Orang Ulu Associations Sarawak Malaysia (Forum) by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg here today.
Gerawat was believed to be referring to the Ba Kelalan seat, the only Orang Ulu seat not under GPS. Since 2011, the seat has been held by Baru Bian is a former member of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) who has now joined Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB).
Gerawat said the Orang Ulu community in Sarawak is very small with less than 200,000 people, they made up only six percent of the 2.8 million population of Sarawak.
“If this small group of community is not with a strong and bigger group which leads the government, we will not be given due attention and we will be on the disadvantage.” he emphasised,
Gerawat, who is also Forum advisor and Building Committee chairman, thus reminded the Orang Ulu community that this is something that they need to think rationally without letting emotions take over their minds and intellect.
“Don’t be easily swayed and used by oppositions because they only like to create all kinds of accusations and allegations. They are not interested in the truth or facts but only to provoke people to go against the government, that’s their objective,” he advised.
He assured that the Orang Ulu community have full confidence and trust in Abang Johari’s leadership and will be with the GPS government which has proven its ability in delivering the promises to the people and able to determine the future of Sarawak and Orang Ulu community.
“I call upon our Orang Ulu community to unite and support the Chief Minister and GPS in the coming state election,” he urged.
Meanwhile, the state government has allocated a five-acre land at a strategic location here for Forum building with an approved grant of RM25 million.
The designs of the Forum building will incorporate cultural value and arts of the Orang Ulu community. and expected to be completed in 18 months.
Once completed, the Forum building will be an iconic landmark in Miri division with facilities and spaces for indoor and outdoor activities, exhibition, sales, gallery and offices for nine member associations of Forum.
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Assistant Minister of Women and Early Childhood Development Datuk Rosey Yunus, Lambir assemblyman Ripin Lamat, Forum president Kennedy Chukpai Ugon, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau and Batu Danau assemblyman Paulus Palu Gumbang were among those present. — DayakDaily