Sarawak Energy continues collaborations with Murum Penan to reinforce socio-economic wellbeing

Students from SK Tegulang and SK Metalun in a group photo together with Sarawak Energy and Bakun Charitable Trust representatives, community leaders and teachers.

MURUM, Nov 3: Sarawak Energy continues to partner with the Murum Penan in community development programmes and events, four years after the commissioning of Murum Hydroelectric Power Plant (HEP) and six years after they were resettled, to ensure the community continues to benefit from the project.

In their press statement, Sarawak Energy said that the community partnerships included programmes and projects in education, as well as social and sporting activities, and traditional celebrations that reinforced community spirit and strengthened cultural heritage.

“For 2018, Sarawak Energy continues to support the Murum Penan community in the annual Batu Tungun Bungan ritual held recently at the Lookout Point overlooking the Murum HEP.”

The sacred ritual was performed by community elder Saran Joo. He was joined by Murum Penan Development Community chairman Labang Paneh as well as leaders from Murum and Belaga including Pemanca Umek Jeno.

Others present at the ritual were teachers from SK Tegulang and SK Metalun.

Representing Sarawak Energy at the ritual ceremony were general manager for Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, Jiwari Abdullah, and Murum station manager Encharang Entingih, Political Secretaries to the Chief Minister Michael Mujah and Beatrice Kedoh Tajang, as well as state administrative officer for Belaga, Zain Rocky.

Before the ritual event, Jiwari said that Sarawak Energy would continue to work closely with the Murum Penan on programmes that aimed to enhance their socio-economic wellbeing.

“We will continue to support and implement community development initiatives to encourage growth especially in education, youth development and income-generating activities,” he added.

At the same event, Sarawak Energy also presented education incentives to the 340 students from SK Tegulang and SK Metalun for academic excellence.

Beatrice (third left) presenting the education incentive to a student. Seen with her are Jiwari (third right) and others

The incentive is from an annual revolving fund of RM200,000 under the Bakun Charitable Trust and the funds were utilised for academic incentives for students in primary and secondary schools as well as aid for students pursuing their studies at approved skills development centers or institutions of higher learning in Malaysia.

It was also available for any other educational development programmes or provision of teaching and learning facilities as deemed necessary and as agreed by the committee.

Longhouse communities participating in games

Sarawak football team manager Awang Mahyan Awang Mohamad was also in the vicinity scouting for talent to play for the state next year at a football competition held before the ritual.

The competition was participated by Penan youth from various longhouses in Murum.

Murum Penan youths listening attentively to words of advice from Awang Mahyan after the match.

Sarawak Energy added that Murum Penan youths had been actively participating in football tournament and development training since last year through the ‘Bintulu Rural Football Development Programme’ – a collaboration between Sarawak Energy with Bintulu Football Association (BIFA) and LEA Sports Centre to develop interest in football as well as to discover new talents.

Since the introduction of the programme, Murum Football Club has won second and third place at the ‘Kejohanan Bola Sepak Luar Bandar Bahagian Bintulu’ in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

They received the ‘Best Rural Team’ award at the 2018 tournament with their players, Ritchie Siang was awarded ‘Best Player’ at the 2017 tournament. — DayakDaily