Uggah reveals HDA board line-up

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Uggah (sixth left) rolls up the mat at SIDS Sibu’s Ngiling Bidai 2017 event to signify the end of Gawai. He is joined by his wife, Doreen (seventh left), Alice (fourth left), Prof Dr Jayum (eighth left), Maurice (fourth right), Chambai (third right), Romeo (right) and others.

SIBU: The Highland Development Agency (HDA) tasked to oversee the development of the state’s highland areas has been formed.

This was announced by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas who has been appointed chairman of the agency.

He said members of the board were Lawas MP Datuk Henry Sum Agong, Baram MP Anyi Ngau, Mulu assemblyman Datuk Gerawat Gala and Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau as well as officials from the State Planning Unit (SPU) and various ministries.

“We are scheduled to meet on July 12 in Mulu to decide our direction and to work out our planning together with the Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda).

“This agency (HDA) is part of Recoda. I discussed with Chief Minister (Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg) few days ago on the names of the committee members and then we decided to have a meeting in Mulu (on) July 12,” he told reporters after officiating at Sarakup Indu Dayak Sarawak (SIDS) Sibu’s Ngiling Bidai 2017 event here on Saturday night.

While Upper Rajang Development Agency (URDA) will oversee the development of the upper Rajang, HDA will look into the planning and implementation of development programmes for the highland areas.

Among those present were Uggah’s wife Datin Amar Doreen Mayang, SIDS Sibu chairwoman and Ministry of Utilities Sarawak’s permanent secretary Datuk Alice Jawan, Department of Bilateral Affairs (Americas) undersecretary Datuk Kennedy Jawan, Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Prof Dr Jayum Jawan, who holds the Tun Abdul Razak Chair at University of Ohio, political secretaries to the chief minister Romeo Christopher Tegong, Maurice Joannes Giri, Petrus Igat Mathias, Dr Richard Rapu, and Cr Tapah Ata and Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) Sibu chairman Chambai Lindong.

Uggah, who is also Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Minister, also dwelled on the Non-Islamic Religious Unit which was set up during the late Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s time as chief minister.

He pointed out that the main objective of the unit was to look into issues involving Christians, Buddhists, Taoists, Sikhs and other non-Islamic religions.

“If I am not mistaken, this is the first one in Malaysia and we are really thankful. This unit now is also supported by CM Abang Johari. Recently, the (state) cabinet has approved 17 positions so that this unit can be functional.

“So now, we have appointed Datuk Dr Ngenang (Janggu) as head of the unit — a pensioner and very experienced and patient man. The issue of religious matters has to be dealt with by somebody, who is very patient.

“We hope we can fill up the posts and we will then provide services to the non-Islamic religious unit. And recently, CM has initially allocated RM15 million for us to provide services for our non-Islamic institutions,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, Uggah said the state is launching the transformation programme especially in rural areas to eradiate poverty and bridge the gap between urban and rural areas.

He said it is hoped by the year 2030, Sarawak will become a high income state.

SIDS Sibu’s Ngiling Bidai 2017 event’s working committee chairwoman Adina Sana also spoke at the function.

Uggah also contributed RM30,000 towards SIDS’ Pua Kumbu competition and another RM20,000 for its activities.

Meanwhile, the results of the Sarawak Pua Kumbu Weaving Competition 2017 were also announced at the function.

In the ‘Pua Kumbu’ category, Bayor Munan was adjudged the first prize winner and bagged RM2,000 and a trophy. The second place went to Pungo Sungang, who walked away with RM1,500 and a trophy.

Nora Enggong had to be contented with third place, winning RM1,000 in prize money and a trophy. Siam Eram and Mading Enggong were fourth and fifth place winners respectively, bagging RM500 each.

In the ‘Kain Kebat’ category, Kapit made a clean sweep, capturing the top five positions.

The first place winner Mading Enggong went home with RM2,000 and a trophy. In second place was Sebai Unggat, who bagged RM1,500 and a trophy, while Buyau Gelau came in third and pocketed RM1,000 and a trophy.

Kabali Saman and Langsi Jantai were in fourth and fifth place respectively and took home RM500 each.