The Penans in Ulu Seridan are appealing to the government to provide them with basic amenities and preschool facilities for their children.
Among their requests are clean piped-water, 24-hour power supply, telephone connectivity and repairs to schools and longhouses.
Mulu assemblyman Dato Gerawat Gala, during his visit to remote Penan settlements in the interior of Baram, was inundated with requests from his constituents. During his four-day journey, beginning Sept 22, he travelled to Long Balau in Ulu Seridan on the first day to meet Penans from three settlements.
The journey included a three-hour drive on treacherous logging roads. He was accompanied by new Long Lama District Officer Baru Tai, Penghulu Freddy Abun and longhouse chief (KK) Lagang Tipung of Long Seridan.
They were welcomed by Penghulu Tebaran Siden and village chief Garawat Tebaran at Long Balau.
The community requested Gerawat, who is also deputy speaker of the State Legislative Assembly, to help bring in clean piped-water supply, 24-hour power supply, telephone connectivity, pre-schools and repairs for their 32-door longhouse.
Their brethren from surrounding settlements of Long Menging and Long Seliang also turned up, requesting assistance to build a proper longhouse, church and a suspension bridge across Maguh river.
They said this bridge was critical for safe crossing for their children to study at SK Long Seridan, which is located at Long Seridan, a Kelabit settlement.
Gerawat told them he would bring their requests to the government.
During the visit, he approved a RM5,000 grant from the minor rural project (MRP) fund for the Long Balaw village security and development committee. The entourage later visited the Penans in Long Ludin. The folk there asked for clean piped water supply, church and housing materials to build their longhouse.
Philip Kiew, email@example.com