Sarawak Energy Continues To Partner The Murum Penan In Community Development Programmes

MURUM, 3rd November, 2018, Saturday: Sarawak Energy continues to partner the Murum Penan in community development programmes and events, four years after the commissioning of Murum Hydroelectric Power Plant (HEP) and six years after they were resettled, to ensure the community continues to benefit from the project. Community partnerships include programmes and projects in education, as well as social and sporting activities, and traditional celebrations that reinforce community spirit and strengthen cultural heritage.

For 2018, Sarawak Energy continues to support the Murum Penan community in the annual Batu Tungun Bungan ritual held in October this year at the Lookout Point overlooking the Murum HEP.

The sacred ritual was performed by community elder Saran Joo. He was joined by Murum Penan Development Community chairman Labang Paneh as well as leaders from Murum and Belaga including Pemanca Umek Jeno. Teachers from SK Tegulang and SK Metalun, primary schools built specifically for the resettled Penan communities of Murum, were also there.

Representing Sarawak Energy were General Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, Jiwari Abdullah and Murum Station Manager Encharang Ngtingih. Political Secretaries to the Chief Minister Michael Mujah and Beatrice Kedoh Tajang were also in attendance as was Belaga SAO Zain Rocky.

At the event, Jiwari said that Sarawak Energy would continue to work closely with the Murum Penan on programmes that aimed to enhance their socio-economic wellbeing.

“We will continue to support and implement community development initiatives to encourage growth especially in education, youth development and income-generating activities,” Jiwari said.

At the same event, Sarawak Energy also presented education incentives to the 340 students from SK Tegulang and SK Metalun for academic excellence. The incentive is from an annual revolving fund of RM200,000 under the Bakun Charitable Trust.

The funds are utilised for academic incentives for students in primary and secondary schools as well as aid for students pursuing their studies at approved skills development centers or institutions of higher learning in Malaysia. Funds are also available for any other educational development programmes or provision of teaching and learning facilities as deemed necessary and as agreed by the committee.

Prior to Batu Tungun ritual ceremony, a football competition was held and participated in by Penan youth from various longhouses in Murum. The competition was aimed at scouting for talent to play for the state football team next year. Sarawak Football team manager Awang Mahyan Awang Mohamad was at the matches to scout for new players.

Murum Penan youths had been actively participating in football tournament and development training since last year through the ‘Bintulu Rural Football Development Programme”- a collaboration between Sarawak Energy with Bintulu Football Association (BIFA) and LEA Sports Centre to develop interest in football as well as to discover new talents.

Since the introduction of the programme, Murum Football Club has won second and third place at the ‘Kejohanan Bola Sepak Luar Bandar Bahagian Bintulu’ in 2017 and 2018 respectively. They receive the ‘Best Rural Team’ award at the 2018 tournament with their players, Ritchie Siang was awarded ‘Best Player’ at the 2017 tournament.

(from fourth right) Beatrice, Michael and Jiwari presenting the education incentive to students together with (from left) Encharang, Luhat and Labang.

Students from SK Tegulang and SK Metalun in a group photo together with Sarawak Energy and Bakun Charitable Trust representatives, community leaders and teachers.

Murum Penan youths listening attentively to words of advice from Awang Mahyan after the matches.

Longhouse communities participating in telematch game