By Karen Bong
KUCHING, July 27: The Orang Ulu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OUCCI) has urged the State government to allocate a suitable piece of State land on prime area in Kuching for the setting up of its headquarters and other commercial development, similar to other chamber of commerce buildings in the city.
Its president Datuk Mutang Tagal emphasised that the OUCCI aims to facilitate the creation of a community of Orang Ulu entrepreneurs focused on the holistic development of the community in all areas, namely a robust economy, excellence in education, inculcating good social and cultural values, and adopting good management and governance practices in business.
“The Chamber is a platform for Orang Ulu entrepreneurs and professionals to share ideas, resources for mutual benefit and for the benefit of the Orang Ulu community.
“The Chamber will liaise and engage with the State and federal governments, their ministries, agencies and departments on behalf of its members in all matters relating to trade, industries and commerce.
“The Chamber will work and cooperate with other business chambers and trade associations having the same aspirations as the Chamber to achieve mutual objectives and benefits,” he said when speaking at the launching of OUCCI by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at a hotel here today.
In addition, Mutang also urged the Sarawak government to provide more assistance and support to integrate the less developed Orang Ulu community which is a minority into the more developed core of society so that they too can enjoy economic prosperity as aspired to in the State’s inclusive development agenda.
For the Orang Ulu community in the highland and hinterland areas to contribute to the agriculture and tourism sectors, he has requested for agropolis or sub-tropical agro tourism clusters to be set up such as those in Sabah’s Kundasang and Peninsular Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands.
“In Sarawak, we have the Meligan and Kelabit Highlands which we can develop as integrated highland food baskets for the State.
“There is also a need to establish more food baskets and handicraft terminals in the rural areas so that local industries such as crop farming and handicrafts will have a platform to market their products. This, in turn, would help to support and further encourage the development of these industries.
“Other than that, more agro processing centres should be set up at each longhouse or village cluster in order to encourage more business and economic opportunities among the community,” he added.
The State Legislative Assembly Deputy Speaker, who is also the OUCCI advisor, Dato Gerawat Gala, Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity Datuk Liwan Lagang, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau and Murum assemblyman Kennedy Chukpai Ugon were among those present. — DayakDaily