The Long Lama Bridge, the game changer for the locals

Dennis Ngau (fourth row, middle) posing with the participants after the prize giving presentation.

Jaythaleela K

MIRI, Sept 22: The inaugural Long Lama Bridge Run like the Long Lama Bridge will be an integral part of the life of the local people and its surrounding areas.

On Saturday, during the flag off of the run, more than 200 keen runners from all walks of life and of ages join in this invigorating event, including Telang Usan Assemblyman Dennis Ngau.

The run covered 6 kilometers and there were two categories – the Open Category and the Student Category.

Dennis at the prize presentation ceremony lauded the organising team and participants for their participating in the run that went into the history of Telang Usan as the first of this unique run.

“When I mooted the idea to have this run at the soft launch of the Long Lama bridge on Apr 18 earlier this year, I have no doubt that it will receive good response like what we have today as I knew that this run is unique as it is held in the deep area of Borneo surrounded by beautiful jungle, people and surroundings.

“With today’s overwhelming response, we will continue to organise this run and target more than 500 runners for next year…we will add additional length to the open route up to 20 kilometers and will be offering good and attractive prizes.

“And of course we are confidence the run participants will steadily increase in years to come especially those who loves nature as this is the only run held far in the remote area,” he said.

Dennis thus announced that the Long Lama Bridge Run will be held every year.

“It is our Telang Usan way to show our thanks and appreciation to the Sarawak government for building the bridge which now have changed the landscape of Telang Usan as it brought so much positiveness to our people,” he said.

He said after the opening of the bridge, the people enjoy more freedom to move in and out of the town and upper region of Apoh and Tutoh without having to worry about the ferry operating hours.

Therefore, he said the run symbolised freedom of movements for the people when they ran across the bridge over the mighty Baram River.

“On a personal note, I am a happy man as my mission to get the Sarawak state Government to build the much-needed bridge today is now a reality,…despite some cynical criticism hurl at me and the state Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government.”

He said it was a dream achieved as it was a joy to see the local people enjoying such convenience daily.

“I hope that the bridge will further spur our efforts to stay united and work harder to improve our life,” he stressed out.

Dennis further said that as this was the first time the run was held, the organsing committee decided not to give prizes to top archivers but the top 10 finishers in all the categories.

“If we look back starting from 2011, Telang Usan has been full of activities as we planned to hold different events at different localities in order to draw people to these places as a way to offer economic activities to our local population.

“Tourism is not only about drawing foreigners to our places but also equally important, to draw local visitors who will need transports, food and drinks, souvenirs and lodging. I know this from my vast experience in the tourism industry,” he said.

“Therefore event such as this means so much to our rural people.

“I hope the Ministry of Tourism Sarawak will play their role by putting special attention to rural tourism-base activities,” he said.

Also present at the event were District officer Telang Usan Baru Tai, Penghulu Desmond Yap Cheng Siang, Chairman of organising committee Kapitan Yeo Kee Shiang, headmen and councillors.— DayakDaily