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By William Isau
SIBU, May 22: Sarakup Indu Dayak Sarawak (SIDS) is setting up an education fund named the Barbara Mendu Bay Education Fund to help improve the education of Dayak students in the State.
“This education fund will be used to help Sarakup children, Dayak children who are students in secondary schools, matriculation centres or universities. A special SIDS committee has been formed to discuss the criteria for those eligible. Sarakup has been previously been given a grant by the government. Therefore, part of the grant will be spent on this education fund,” revealed SIDS president Dato Ir Alice Jawan.
She added that Sarakup members will also be asked to contribute to top up the fund.
“We have about 10,000 members Statewide. if each of us (members) gives RM12 only once, our fund is more than RM120,000,” she said at a Mother’s Day-cum-pre-Gawai celebration dinner here last night.
She was representing Sarawak Deputy Premier, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas at the function.
Alice who is also the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Utilities said, Barbara Mendu Bay was an Iban woman who was most active in politics in the 60s and 70s.
“She was then a member of the Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), that’s why when I asked Deputy Premier of Sarawak, Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian for SUPP to support this fund, in the name of their former Bumiputera member (SUPP) Barbara Mendu Bay, he agreed to it. Dr Sim will reveal further (details) on the fund,” she said.
Alice added that SIDS had also established the Tan Sri Empiang Jabu Research Chair (TSEJRC) in collaboration with Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) to conduct research on the development of Dayak women in various fields such as politics, social and economics.
“The first task of TSEJRC is to close the development gap, the second is to provide scholarships. This means Sarakup’s children will be assisted in their studies at private universities in Sarawak or UPM in particular,” she added.
At the ceremony, Alice announced a grant of RM20,000 from Uggah to SIDS Sibu for educational development and to organise activities.
Also present were SIDS Sibu chairwoman Angelyn Uchi Maseng, organising chairwoman Monica Giri, Temenggong Stanley Gramong Bandang and others. — DayakDaily