Sape Musicians Captivate Sarawak Energy

Sarawak Energy Sponsors Production of Sape Album

KUCHING, 3rd September 2015: Captivating sape tunes, skillfully performed by musicians from Belaga's resettled communities resonated through the atrium of Menara Sarawak Energy recently.

Master sape musicians Kuit Kilah and his brother Laing Kilah from Long Wat, Tegulang together with Munan Epui from Uma Nyavieng of Sungei Asap were in Kuching to record classic sape tunes under the initiative of Sarawak Energy, as part of the power company's efforts to preserve and promote Sarawak's indigenous cultural heritage. Laing and wife Kulat were also recorded singing the haunting ‘sinui’ Penan depicting their lives in traditionally humble lyrical style.

All eventual proceeds from the recording will go to the musicians and the Murum Penan Development Committee (MPDC).

As part of the visit, the musicians treated Sarawak Energy staff to a preview performance of the tracks as Kuit’s wife Oring Atak, gracefully performed a traditional dance. The half hour performance culminated in thunderous applause from the audience.

“We have a strong commitment, based on the principles of sustainability, to continue to work together with the villagers from Murum and partner agencies to raise living standards and preserve the cultural heritage at the same time, “said Sarawak Energy Executive Vice President for Corporate Services Aisah Eden.

“The culture of the indigenous communities is priceless and we want to play a role in helping the communities preserve this in a holistic manner. This means providing the funding and other support to encourage, sustain and preserve this indigenous culture for future generations to enjoy. We are delighted to be able to help the musicians through this recording, and providing the follow up support. This follows on from what we have already done by supporting Penan artisans from Murum in their craft making and buying the handicraft as the company’s premium corporate gifts,” said Aisah.

Sarawak Energy has a suite of educational, agricultural and sustainable livelihood CSR programmes undertaken in the Murum area. Sponsoring the musicians builds on this principle of sustainability and responsibility for the cultural heritage of the Murum affected communities.

Sarawak Energy focuses on four key CSR areas - education and young people, community development and entrepreneurship, environmental management and conservation and culture and heritage in order to meet the real needs of the project affected communities.

The State’s energy provider recently allocated a revolving fund of RM200,000 to provide educational assistance for the Penan children in Belaga. Sarawak Energy has also worked with the Department of Education to set up two primary schools in the Tegulang and Metalun Resettlement Areas in Murum. Sarawak Energy’s award-winning Murum Penan Literacy Programme has enabled over 300 adults to undertake basic reading, writing and arithmetic.

At the performance, Aisah was joined by several members of the company’s management including Alexander Chin, Chief Financial Officer; Peing Tajang, head of Corporate Communications and Jiwari Abdullah, head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Also present was MPDC Chairman Labang Paneh.

Oring Atak gracefully performs a traditional dance to the sound of the sape played by musicians Kuit Kilah and Munan Epui.

Sarawak Energy Executive Vice President of Corporate Services Aisah Eden (fourth left) along with the senior management and staff of Sarawak Energy gave a rousing applause after a splendid performance by Master sape musicians Kuit Kilah and Munan Epui.

Master sape musicians Kuit Kilah and Munan Epui delivered captivating renditions of sape classics to the delight of their audience.