By Karen Bong
MIRI, Dec 15: The Federation of Orang Ulu Associations Sarawak Malaysia (FORUM)’s new headquarters to be built on a two-hectare land at Jalan Pujut Padang Kerbau here is expected to be completed in 18 months by May 2022.
FORUM advisor and its Building Committee chairman Datuk Gerawat Gala disclosed that the State government has approved RM25 million for the building which will be an iconic landmark in Miri city.
“We have received RM10 million of the grant and as the construction begins, we believe the remaining RM15 million will be given in due time.
“The government has also approved RM10 million for OUCCI (Orang Ulu Chamber of Commerce and Industry). So we are thankful to the Chief Minister for all the assistance,” he addressed the earth breaking ceremony for the construction of Forum headquarters by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg here today.
On the design of the FORUM headquarters, Gerawat elaborated it will incorporate the cultural values and arts of the Orang Ulu community with facilities and spaces for indoor and outdoor activities, exhibition, sales, a gallery, a multipurpose hall, a resource centre and general office in the first phase.
“It will also have offices to house the nine member associations of FORUM.
“We will work hard to promote FORUM centre as one of the main tourist attractions in Miri city like an Orang Ulu cultural village,” he said.
FORUM, he added, had also started planning for phase two of the centre which would comprise hostel and rental spaces for traders and this is to generate revenue to facilitate the maintenance of the headquarters.
Gerawat pointed out that the people of the diverse community in Sarawak including Orang Ulu community were appreciative in the leadership of the Chief Minister who is caring and inclusive in his administration and policies.
“This is demonstrated with 2.3 hectare land in Kuching allocated for the building of Dayak Cultural Foundation (DCF) and Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) with a grant of RM20 million.
“RM16 million for Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) for construction of new building near DBNA headquarters in Kuching, RM50 million approved for building of Wisma Melayu Sarawak and not forgetting land allocated for Sarawak Federation of Chinese Associations,” he said.
Apart from that, Gerawat added that the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) was also given an increased allocation from RM15 million in 2012 to RM50 million this year with land allocated and RM70 million approved for the construction of its headquarters.
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