Hosting Gawai open house a way to strengthen national unity, says Deputy Minister

Abang Johari (seated centre) flanked by Ugak on his right in a photo op with distinguished guests during Ugak's Gawai open house in Bintulu on June 4, 2023. Photo: Sarawak Information Department (Japen)

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KUCHING, June 4: Hosting open house in conjunction with Gawai Dayak is a way to strengthen Malaysia’s unity, in line with the concept of Malaysia Madani, says Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah, Sarawak Affairs, and Special Duties) Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong.

According to a news report published by Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas), Ugak, who is also Hulu Rajang MP, mentioned that today was a historic day as in his past three terms as MP, he has never held an open house.

“However, after becoming a Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, I saw my friends during Hari Raya hold open houses, and I thought that this open house was a way to bring the people together in terms of our unity government, Malaysia Madani, today.

“So the significance for me is that the Premier of Sarawak is willing to attend my open house in Bintulu. He (Sarawak Premier) is also a leader who is loved and respected by all Sarawakians, so I also invited residents of my parliamentary constituency in Tubau, Sungai Asap, and Belaga, as well as representatives of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) who are in this Bintulu area.

“The main goal is to treat every citizen and ensure that whenever a festival arrives, the people can celebrate it alongside their leaders,” Ugak said when interviewed by reporters at his Gawai Dayak open house today at his residence in Bintulu.

Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg arrived at Ugak’s residence at around 11.20am today, accompanied by Minister of Food Industry, Commodity, and Regional Development (M-Ficord) Sarawak Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom.

Ugak and his family and guests welcomed the Premier’s presence which was also greeted with traditional music to enliven the ceremony. This was followed by a welcome dance by cultural dancers representing the Iban and Orang Ulu tribes in Bintulu.

Abang Johari and other distinguished guests were then escorted to a special room in the courtyard of Ugak’s residence to cut a cake commemorating the 60th anniversary of Sarawak’s independence and to distributing mementos.

The Premier’s visit concluded with a photo session with Ugak’s family, followed by other distinguished guests.

Also present were Sarawak Deputy Minister of Utility and Telecommunication Datuk Liwan Lagang, Sarawak Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development Datuk Majang Renggi, Lubok Antu MP Roy Angau Gingkoi, Jepak assemblyman Datuk Talib Zulpilip, Tanjong Batu assemblyman Johnny Pang Leong Ming, Murum assemblyman Kennedy Chukpai Ugon, and Resident of Bintulu Division Nyurak Keti. — DayakDaily