RM15 mil allocated for Orang Ulu Culture Heritage Centre

Tony (2nd left) receiving the certificate for the tallest Belawing tower at Uma Baha yesterday in the presence of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (4th left). Also seen in the photo are from left: Belaga Assemblyman and Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity Supply Datuk Liwan Lagang, Sarawak Energy chief executive officer Datu Sharbini Suhaili (3rd left) and Kennedy (right).

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Oct 28: The RM15 million allocation for the construction of the Orang Ulu Culture Heritage Centre at Apau Koyan (formerly known as Sg Asap) is a proof that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johri Tun Openg was sincere in wanting all the ethnic groups to develop their heritage and culture.

Murum Assemblyman Kennedy Chukpai Ugon said, the allocation which was approved by the Chief Minister recently was a testimony that the Orang Ulu too will have a fair share of allocation to further develop their culture.

“We are very thankful that the Chief Minister who has approved the allocation of RM15 mil for the Orang Ulu Cultural Heritage site in Apau Koyan. To me this is a proof that what he (the Chief Minister) promised, he fulfilled,” Chukpai told DayakDaily today.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing (centre) cutting the cake to symboise the closing of the Pesta Apau Koyan last night. Seen on his left is Kennedy.

On the change of name of Sg Asap to Apau Koyan, which was announced yesterday at the closing of Pesta Apau Koyan, Chukpai said it was timely as the word ‘apau’ means a plateau, which refers to the original place of all the Orang Ulu community in Sarawak.

“We hoped that Pesta Apau Koyan will be included in the tourism calendar so that tourists can participate in our traditional events which we organised once in two years; which will be celebrated alternately with the Belaga Regatta,” he stressed.

The new site of Orang Ulu Cultural Heritage Centre will be situated on a three-acre piece of land located near the SMK Bakun, Apau Koyan.

Among the proposed structures within the Orang Ulu Cultural Heritage Centre are the cultural longhouses of Orang Ulu subgroups such as the Kayan, Kenyah, Penan, Punan, Kejaman and the Ukit; a 20-room homestay for visitors; an open air multipurpose hall; carparks and an improved road network.

It is expected to be ready in two years’ time.

File photo of the Belawing tower at Uma Baha, Apau Koyan.

Meanwhile, chairman of the Tungun Belawing (Belawaing Tower) organising committee for the Malaysia Book of Records Pemanca Tony Kulleh said he was very proud that the structure was finally recognised as the first Orang Ulu Belawing tower to make it to the prestigious Malaysia Book of Records.  — DayakDaily