MURUM, Nov 27: Sarawak Energy Berhad and the villages of the Murum Resettlement Area continue to work together on education and cultural programmes under the principle that as the communities progress, their traditional heritage would be preserved.
The 2019 Batu Tungun blessing ceremony was held on Nov 15 at a special site constructed specifically for the annual consecration of the rock formation held sacred by the Penan resettled community of Murum.
The event was organised and supported by Sarawak Energy in collaboration with the Murum Penan Development Committee (MPDC).
The blessing was performed by community elder Saran Joo according to the traditional sacred rites of the Bungan religion.
Earlier this year, Sarawak Energy had installed a new information panel at the adjacent Batu Tungun Lookout Point to reflect the lifestyle transformation experienced by the resettled community.
The communities were relocated in 2013 as part of the resettlement action plan following the development of the Murum Hydroelectric Plant (HEP).
Political secretaries to Chief Minister, Michael Mujah Lihan — who represented Murum assemblyman Kennedy Chukpai Ugon — and Beatrice Kedoh Tajang attended the event together with Belaga District education officer Jalong Wan and State Planning Unit assistant director (Penan Affairs & Resettlement) Awi Abang.
Community leaders including longhouse chiefs from Murum and Bakun were also present.
The Sarawak Energy team was led by Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability general manager Jiwari Abdullah. He was joined by Cascade assistant general manager Tay Chang Seng and Murum Station manager Encharang Ngtingih and Community Relations manager Augustine Supen.
In conjunction with the event, 419 students from SK Tegulang and SK Metalun received certificates and incentives for academic performance and attendance under the education initiatives provided by the Belaga Penan Education Fund.
In his speech, Jiwari congratulated the students on their school achievements for the year.
“For 2019, the number of those receiving the incentives have increased to 419 from 340 students in 2018. We hope to see the number of students who achieve good results increase every year,” he said.
Set up in 2015, the annual revolving fund of RM200,000 is a collaboration between Sarawak Energy and Bakun Charitable Trust to support Penan students and youths in Belaga and the Murum resettled communities.
The fund also supports Penan students at approved skills development centres or institutions of higher learning in Malaysia.
It has funded 45 Penan youth in training centres and higher learning institutions. Twenty-nine have successfully completed their courses and are employed in the construction, oil and gas, palm oil plantation and fabrication industries. — DayakDaily