Chief Minister Launches Album “Sape classics from Belaga”

Sarawak Energy funded CD - strengthens cultural preservation for musicians from Murum and Sungei Asap Resettlemet Areas

KUCHING, 22nd OCTOBER 2015, THURSDAY: The admirable talent of sape maestros from the Belaga resettled communities is now captured on CD and available for all. The album “Sape classics from Belaga” features captivating sapetunes skillfully performed by Penan master sapemusicians Kuit Kilah and his brother Laing Kilah from Long Wat, Tegulang, from the Murum Resettlement Area together with Munan Epui who is a Kayan from Uma Nyavieng of Sungai Asap.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Haji Adenan Haji Satem launched the album at his office at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today.  Also present were Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit, Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer, Executive Vice President and SESCO Chief Executive Officer Lu Yew Hung and Aisah Eden, Executive Vice President of Corporate Services.

Sarawak Energy initiated the production of the album as part of its overall efforts to preserve and promote Sarawak’s indigenous cultural heritage. It also provides additional income for the musicians who depend on farming and other local small business opportunities in their villages for their livelihood.  

Sarawak Energy sponsored all the costs of the album, including the transportation of the musicians to a recording studio in Kuching and the production of the first the first batch of 1,000 CDs. In addition to sponsoring the costs, Sarawak Energy has also purchased 400 pieces from the musicians to be given out as corporate gifts.

All proceeds from the recording will go to the musicians, with a portion of the sales from the first 400 purchased by Sarawak Energy going to the Murum Penan Development Committee.

Sarawak Energy will continue to assist the musicians in the sales of their album by promoting it at trade shows and other corporate engagements. The CDs are being sold at RM25 each.

“Sarawak Energy is delighted and honoured to be involved in the production of this album that highlights and showcases the beautiful music of the Orang Ulu. We are constantly looking at ways to assist the communities affected by our projects in a sustainable manner by developing the opportunities either in education or marketing their handicraft or funding cultural growth. This expands their platform and showcases their music in a way that is accessible to all.

“Promoting talented musicians is a part of this initiative and at the same time we are determined to help preserve the communities’ culture and heritage, in hopes that these skills will be passed on from generation to generation. This is priceless and we cannot afford to lose them. For that we would like to thank the communities for allowing us to be part of this effort, in preserving their cultural heritage,” said Torstein.

As a responsible corporate citizen, Sarawak Energy focuses on four key CSR areas - education and young people, community development and entrepreneurship, culture and heritage also environmental management and conservation which the company is actively pursuing.

The company supports Penan craft artisans by building the community’s potential in handicraft-making and purchases these handicrafts to offer as exclusive corporate gifts.

Sarawak Energy has also been supporting formal education in the resettlements by helping set up two primary schools in the Tegulang and Metalun Resettlement Areas. In addition, the company provides learning assistance such as providing uniforms, shoes, school bags, exercise books, stationeries and sports equipment in hopes to encourage more children to attend school.

To  close the  literacy gap among the resettled Penan community, the company embarked on its award winning flagship, the Murum Penan Literacy Programme which now sees more than 300 Penan adults being able to display basic reading and writing skills. The programme has successfully moved on to Stage 3 where it focuses on simple accounting and home economics.  

The Murum Penan Literacy Programme has garnered national and global recognition, bagging the CSR Excellence Award in the Sin Chew Business Excellence Award for its CSR initiatives in Shah Alam and the coveted “Excellence in Provision of Literacy and Education Award (Gold) at the 7th Annual Global CSR Summit and Awards 2015 in Yogjakarta in Indonesia.

Just recently, Sarawak Energy announced it will allocate a revolving fund to provide educational assistance for Penan communities in the Belaga district under the umbrella of the Belaga Charitable Trust.

The initiatives are aimed at empowering project affected communities in a sustainable manner to ease their transition into mainstream development whilst maintaining and strengthening their cultural identity.

,center>Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Haji Adenan Haji Satem flanked by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu (left) and Second Minister of Resource Planning and Environment Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah Bin Ali Hasan (right) along with the rest of the invited guests and Sarawak Energy’s top management listen to the captivating tunes of the sape.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Haji Adenan Haji Satem receives an album of the “ Sape classics from Belaga” from Sape musicians Kuit Kilah and Munan Epui  and Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit as  Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu (second right) and others look on.

Sape musicians Kuit Kilah and Munan Epui shares a light moment with the media as they take questions on the need to release the album on Sape classics from Belaga.