Monday, August 2, 2010

Kampung Long Banga Not Forgotten - A tribute to Malaysian PM

Dear Friends,
Long Banga, being a far outpost village in Sarawak, closed to the international Malaysia-Indonesia border (Kalimantan province) really is not a forgotten place of late. This village, established around 1900 by a group of Sa'bans that left their Kelabit families in Long Peluan and latter followed by their Kenyah Leppo' Ke relatives, has been thriving under all circumstances since their settlement at this scenic location. From the pagans days till they embraced Christianity in the late early 1960s, from pure farming community till education changed almost all families into semi-agricultural and partly town-based till today, the changes are apparent at this remote place. This village was also used as a base by the Allied Army during the Confrontation in the mid-1960s.
Then, all of a sudden the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato' Seri Najib announced he is visiting the village in July, 2010. The excitement over this visit was sky-high and the villagers had work hard together with the primary school teachers (amongst the only government office available there) to ensure the visit was a memorable ones. The cooperation amongst the Sabans and the Leppo' Ke are exemplary. Their work ethics are good eventhough going through personal differences at times. The Kenyahs provides the artististry and details into the raw ideas and prowess of the Sabans. This is not only evident in their works but also in marriages...
When PM Najib arrived at this place on 22nd July 2010, the more changed for the better were expected. He announced a RM6million mini hydroelectric scheme and a RM1million access road to the village's airfield..
As his visit was witnessed by thousands of other Orang Ulu (mostly Kenyahs and Kayans) from various long houses down-river Baram, whom also don't want to be forgotten, PM announced the construction of the infamous 30+ year old 42km Beluru-Lapok road for RM100+ million.. What a relieved for all Orang Ulus..
But most importantly, we the Long Banga folks appreciate PM's visit to this outpost village, which shows his eagerness to know more about this country, even to the tiny community like ours. At least, he showed that he is willing to be at the remotest of the Orang Ulu area, as he told the audience, after consulting Dato Jacob Dungau Sagan, who hailed from a nearby village down-river Baram.
While addressing to the Orang Ulu folks for the first time at their remotest village in Long Banga, PM Najib jested that he also like wearing the 'tapung' for the first time...

We like to thank all the government agencies that made the PM visit a success and all Orang Ulus that came in droves until we could not house everybody at Long Banga, visitors overnite spilled-over to Long Peluan and Long Balong, both 20 minutes away by 4WDs..

Again, with the Orang Ulu's standard of hospitality, we were short of giving a 'name' for PM, but there were numerous 'forest produce' gifts from various community, he was also blessed with special prayer from Pastor Oda of SIB Long Banga, also a first time for PM, I guess.

Let's see how the government agencies responsible for the projects announced go about their implementation..

1 comment:

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