Sarawak Energy’s Basic Community Programme Draws Interest Towards New Community Life at New Resettlement Village in Murum

Kuching, 20th January 2014: Sarawak Energy, the state’s energy provider, in collaboration with Peng Doh Belaga (Belaga Women Organisation) recently organised the “Basic Community Programme” for the local Penan community at Long Wat, Murum. The programme, intended at supplementing the Penan community with new sets of skills that will contribute towards a harmonious community in their new resettlement village of Tegulang.   

The community programme encompassed motivational talks and hands-on guidance workshops on a variety of subjects ranging from basic hygiene to cooking was held last month.  Approximately 60 villagers, including the men, attended and displayed keen interest in picking up new skills.

Joanne Tan (陈楚燕) , Social Investment Manager in Sarawak Energy said: “We were very pleased with the enthusiasm and passion showed by the community. Among some of the activities that were well received by the community is the sharing of arts and crafts. During the sharing session, some of the villagers eagerly rushed home to collect their own work of art in the form of weaved rattan baskets and beaded accessories with intricate and unique designs to show to our team,”

“The other popular class was the cooking class, where the ladies chopped, mixed, and fried away an array of fritters and banana chips to the delight of the young children who were more than happy to munch on their new found recipes.”

The workshops were beneficial for both Sarawak Energy and the local Penans as it provided an avenue for Sarawak Energy to identify future community development and entrepreneurship programmes. This will enable Sarawak Energy to scout for potential talents amongst the locals in handicrafts, parang-smithy and cooking.  This partnership between Sarawak Energy and the resettled communities in Murum will continue as a long term commitment to ensure the communities progress well in their new living environement.

“By organising such programmes, we believe that the local community can move forward by enhancing their potentials and capabilities.  These workshops are vital for the community as it also promotes social unity. It is also great that the local community can learn from this and grow as a better informed and skilled unit,” Joanne added.

The Basic Community Programme is just one of its strings of community events that Sarawak Energy has organised for the betterment of the community in Murum. Sarawak Energy is determined to continually engage the local community in the future to ensure a prolonged mutual relationship with the locals. Other similarly beneficial programmes that Sarawak Energy has organized for the indigenous communities include ‘Home Garden’ and Murum Penan Literacy Programme to name a few.

Active participation by the Penans at the Long Wat new Resettlement Village

Penan ladies displaying their intricate weaved baskets

Young girls learning how to make vegetable fritters (cucur sayur).

Proud Penan men showing off their handcrafted blowpipe and sape.

Presentation of certificates to programme participanants by Datin Seri Debong Anyi, Chairperson of Peng Doh Belanga.  Also seen is Livan Lajang, Project Coordinator Peng Doh Belaga (2nd Left) and  Joanne Tan (陈楚燕), Sarawak Energy’s Social Investment Manager (2nd right)