Monday, July 22

Bidayuh elation for Serian division a ‘joy shared by all’

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SERIAN: Serian folk are very happy and excited with Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s recent announcement that the government was seriously considering elevating Serian to a division.

Manyin shakes hands with the dinner attendees upon arrival at the function hall.

Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawaong said he was thrilled the Chief Minister had responded positively to his open request on Saturday for Serian to be made a division.

“But this will not be immediate because the whole process involves things such as budget and assigning of officers. Nevertheless, we believe we are ready.

“While we are very happy and applaud the announcement, we should also be more vocal in supporting this dream (so that it can be realised sooner). Voice out your support through social media and the print media,” he said at the 7th anniversary dinner for Pertubuhan Penduduk Kampung Pichin at Dewan Chung Hua Serian here on Sunda.

Manyin, also Tebedu assemblyman, was commenting on the announcement made by Adenan during the Bidayuh Symposium at Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) headquarters in Kuching on Saturday.

Adenan said he would discuss the matter with State Secretary Tan Sri Morshidi Ghani on the administrative processes involved.

At present, Sarawak has 11 divisions: Kuching, Samarahan, Sri Aman, Betong, Sarikei, Mukah, Sibu, Kapit, Bintulu, Miri and Limbang.

Previous news reports had it that the proposed Serian Division would be carved out of both Samarahan and Kuching Divisions – from Balai Ringin, Serian, and Tebedu to Teng Bukap, Padawan, Tapah, Beratok, and Siburan – and would involve a population of some 200,000.

The idea to elevate Serian into a division was said to have been floated around for quite some time, but talks intensified lately due to the general feeling that Serian itself fits the requirement to become an administrative division due to its big population, many schools, and facilities such as hospitals and public health clinics. Manyin, in his speech, also said that while the proposed Serian Division would be the first Bidayuh-majority division, he said the dream to see the elevation of Serian was shared by the Bidayuhs, Chinese, Malays, and Ibans in the area.

He said the inception of Serian Division would not just accelerate development in the areas, but would also create employment opportunities for the growing number of graduates there.

On another matter, Manyin, also DBNA chief advisor, said they were very happy with the assurance given by Adenan that individual land titles would be issued to Native Customary Rights (NCR) lands already documented by the association.

Manyin said DBNA had been requesting this ever since the association started its NCR Land Documentation Project in 2007.