Monday, May 23

Puncak Borneo MP mulls special fund for ethnic music industry


Willie (second right) hands over the Special Award to Dewi Liana as (from left) Joseph, Charlie, Brown and Alim look on.

KUCHING: A special fund for ethnic music industry is being proposed so that ethnic artistes and musicians would no longer feel sidelined.

Puncak Borneo MP Willie Mongin said he had suggested in Parliament for this special fund to be established by the federal government.

If realised, he said money from this special fund would help the growth of ethnic music industry and ensure the welfare of artistes and musicians are better protected.

“In the Parliament, I have expressed my disappointment that there is no special allocation for those involved in ethnic music industry.

“This proposed special fund would benefit a lot of people involved in the music industry linked to their ethnic languages and cultures, including the Dayaks in Sarawak,” he said when officiating at the inaugural Ngarum Lagu Bidayuh (NLB) or Bidayuh Music Awards on Saturday night.

He congratulated Bidayuh Artistes and Musicians Association (Bama) for organising the first ever awards ceremony for the Bidayuh music industry and he hoped such event could become an annual affair.

He said he is an avid fan of Bidayuh music as well as songs from other Dayak communities despite spending most of his time in Kuala Lumpur. He cited ‘Bunga Kupou’ as one of his favourite songs.

Dino and Patricia sing their popular duet ‘Nogap Pingirindu’ to entertain the crowd.

“We have a lot of talented people in the Bidayuh community. They are like unpolished diamonds, who can succeed at higher levels. The best example is Dewi Liana Seriestha (who won the Miss Talent subsidiary title at the Miss World 2014 finals in London).

“On my part, I will talk to RTM and Astro to feature more Bidayuh music in their programmes,” he said.

He pledged a grant of RM20,000 to Bama to continue with efforts to improve the Bidayuh music industry, and he also hoped that Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) will allocate a space at its headquarters for Bidayuh musicians and artistes to train and upgrade.

Meanwhile, the night saw the presentation of awards for 19 categories, including a Special Bama Award for Dewi Liana who was present with her parents Yudhi Seriestha and Catherine Noep Sigit.

In her acceptance speech, she said she was impressed and amazed with the performances of artistes and musicians during the event.

“I am so proud of how far we the Bidayuhs have gone in the music industry. Let us remain united and together we elevate the Bidayuh music industry to a higher level,” she said before proceeding to sing two songs.

Bama president Dr Alim Impera said the awards ceremony aims to recognise and honour the works and contributions from Bidayuh musicians and artistes.

Also present were Bidayuh Entertainers Association of Kuching (BEAK) president Joseph Goyeng, Dayak Artistes and Musicians Association (Dama) deputy president Brown Sang and DBNA deputy president Charlie Ungang.

A new artiste of mixed parentage Cornelius Lim was the biggest winner of the night after winning the Best Single and Best Ballad for his song Renteb, Best Male Vocal, Best New Artiste and Best Non Bidayuh Artiste.

Michael Gayut won the Best Pop for the song Nitih Benua and Best Performance. The Best Album award was won by Vital Sign and the Lifetime Achievement Award went to Jimmy Geres.

The other winners are Best Duet/ Group (Mezzavoce), Best Music Video (Juliet Tan), Best Music Arrangement (Gideon Lanyun), Best Album Cover (Rozzi Chilli), Best Lyric (Jiram Mijong for the song Kemai), Best Rock (Mezzavoce), Best Indie Hip Hop (Julian Evan), Best Woman Vocal (Carrie Geres) and Best Song (Raynorld Sigay).