Sunday, July 21

‘Serian qualifies for divisional status’

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KUCHING: The time is right for Serian district to be elevated to a division, says Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) vice-president Charlie Ungang.

Charlie in traditional Bidayuh costume during the interview.

“We have been waiting for this for quite some time. Other communities in Sarawak have had their district elevated to division status and it is Serian’s turn. We were filled with pride and joy when the chief minister mentioned this in his speech at the Bidayuh Symposium last Saturday,” Charlie said yesterday.

“We thank Minister of Infrastructure and Communication Dato Sri Michael Manyin for his tireless effort in proposing to and discussing with the state government to justify the status for Serian.”

Charlie from Kampung Bantang, Serian was commenting on the announcement by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem that the government was considering to elevate Serian to a division.

Adenan was officiating at the Bidayuh Symposium at DBNA headquarters last Saturday. It was attended by more than 1,000 participants comprising Bidayuh professionals and intellectuals, academicians, educationists, community leaders and business persons.

He told reporters he would discuss the administrative process involved with State Secretary Tan Sri Morshidi Ghani.

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

According to news reports, Serian division is to be carved out of Samarahan and Kuching divisions to encompass Balai Ringin, Serian and Tebedu to Teng Bukap, Padawan, Tapah, Beratok and Siburan — with a population of some 200,000 people.

The idea to elevate Serian into a division had been floated around for quite some time, but the talks intensified lately due to the general feeling that Serian can be turned into an administrative division due to its large population, many schools and facilities such as hospitals and public health clinics.