KUCHING: The Bidayuh community has been lauded for the success of one of their own – entrepreneur Henry Harry Jinep, whose company Putra Sentosa Enterprise was bestowed the Malaysian Construction Industry Excellence Award 2013 by Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Malaysia.
The heaps of praise came from none other than Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, who was the guest-of-honour at the dinner to celebrate Henry’s success at a local hotel here on Tuesday.
“It is a long time waiting for this kind of event and now we witness it ourselves. Better still the success story comes from the Bidayuh community,” he said at the dinner themed ‘Majlis Malam Gemilang Putra Sentosa 2014’.
Taib recalled that before independence, Sarawakians were weak economically, but there were some among them who were far-sighted.
“I am one of the leaders who were far-sighted and wanted to make this country a success, but it took 50 years. Henry’s father was also one of these leaders in Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) who was far-sighted and strove to work hard for it,” he said.
At the same time, he emphasised that no race was left behind now; saying poverty was 2.2 per cent in Sarawak compared to more than 66 per cent just after independence.
“We must never be jealous of one another but be united, help one another, learn to succeed and control our own destiny,” he stressed.
“SCORE will benefit us economically and it is for everyone in Sarawak,” he added.
However, he pointed out that the next stage of development would be more complicated, stressing that we must have greater skills to stay on course towards achieving a high income economy and becoming a developed nation by 2020.
On Henry, Taib said he should be the inspiration for the Bidayuh community, pointing out that being an entrepreneur was not just about qualification but the character of a person and his willingness to take challenges confidently.
“Each success story among the Bumiputera entrepreneurs will be used as a gauge for others in the country. Economic success is what they see beyond politics,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communication Dato Sri Michael Manyin said Henry should be the icon of the Bidayuh community for his achievement in business.
Therefore, he called on Bidayuhs to emulate Henry’s success.
“We (the Bidayuh) should remain humble and leave your ego behind when you climb the social ladder,” he said.
Reminding Bidayuhs not to look down on themselves, he said Henry would not have achieved success if he had thought of himself just as someone from a peasant community.
Henry himself said it took him 14 years to succeed in the construction industry and the award he received on Sept 18 this year was the second Best Contractor Award in Category G6 bestowed by CIDB on his company.
“The success of the company is also due to the hard work of my 138 staff and the support of the finance company and the government,” he said.
“I am thankful to all the Bidayuh leaders who inspired me to do better and I always remember an adage by one of them – to succeed we Bidayuh have to have ‘thick face but white heart’,” he added.
He said during his tenure as chief minister, Taib had brought many success stories to Sarawak and contributed to Putra Sentosa Enterprise’s success.
Among those at the dinner were Taib’s wife Toh Puan Ragad Kurdi Taib, State Legislative Assembly deputy speaker Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn, Public Health Assistant Minister Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, Mas Gading MP Anthony Nogeh, Opar assemblyman Ranum Mina and Balingian assemblyman Yussibosh Balo.
Another special guest Dewi Liana Seriestha, a Bidayuh lass who was recently crowned Miss Malaysia 2014 and her father Yudhi Sariestha, added to the merriment of the evening by rendering songs.