KUCHING: Residents of Rumah Ado in Sg Kakus, Tatau, have once again benefited through projects by Sarawak Planted Forest (SPF) Sdn Bhd and KTS Holdings.
The original 98-door longhouse was gutted by a fire in 2008.
SPF, which was previously involved with building two new longhouses for the affected residents, has teamed up with Pusaka-KTS (PKTS) to build another new longhouse next to the old site.
Longhouse chief Ado Bilong praised the companies during a recent visit by officers.
She said the assistance rendered is a far cry from a sensationalised report carried by a peninsula-based tabloid, which alleged that the companies only gave salt to the longhouse folk during their time of hardship two years ago.
Ado said residents have benefited a great deal through community development programmes and corporate social responsibility projects by the companies.
Residents are waiting for better homes from the government through the e-kasih housing assistance project for the hardcore poor.
She said most of the residents work for the companies in various capacities, particularly at the Kelana Logging base camps in plantation activities.
On the news report which alleged they were only given salt, Ado said it may have been created by individuals who were jealous and unhappy with the companies, in the hope of inciting hatred and anger among locals.
Ado said she never saw the tabloid’s correspondent at their longhouse, and had a feeling that the ‘manufactured story’ was relayed to the said correspondent by individuals with hidden agendas.
Despite what was reported, the longhouse chief said she and her people knew who the real ‘good guys’ are, because at the end of the day it is the local folk who are the real beneficiaries of development projects in their area.
The Rumah Ado community will be distributed into three settlements, with two new longhouses on higher ground to escape perennial floods.
The two longhouses were built on sites from projects given by SPF through its main contractor Grand Perfect Sdn Bhd (GP) and implemented by Gabung Trading.
All three companies are also involved in the vast reforestation project in the Bintulu Division.
For the latest longhouse, SPF and PKTS had earlier pooled their resources to level another site on higher ground next to the old longhouse for the same community.
Construction work will be undertaken by Kelana Logging, which is a KTS Holdings subsidiary company, at subsidised quoted costs.
The same longhouse community has also received a road, weir, water tank projects and a small clinic.
A handicraft centre and a church were also partially built with assistance from the companies, while the road constructed also eased motoring and transportation there.