BAU (Jan 15): The Sarawak government has allocated an additional RM3 million to the Bidayuh Cultural Village (BCV) located at Redeems Centre here to ensure its full completion, announced Premier Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg last night.
Speaking at the official opening of the BCV last night, he said the extra funds for BCV was approved following a request made by Association of Research and Development Movement of Singai Sarawak (Redeems) president Datuk Peter Nansian.
Nansian, who had spoken earlier, said the additional funds is needed to complete BCV basement car park, main drain, fencing and particularly the last ‘legacy’ block of traditional longhouse to showcase Bidayuh’s heritage to make it an authentic Sarawak tourism product.
“We see your centre. Of course, not adequate, you need some more money. Okay lah, if you need RM3 million, okay for you. Just pray that the revenue of Sarawak keeps on increasing,” Abang Johari said.
Abang Johari also said Sarawak is very lucky because the culture of Sarawakian family is still strong among its people irrespective of racial and religious background.
“That is something which is very valuable to us. Irrespective of our racial or religious background, we live in harmony. People say if you pinch us on the right side, the hurt is also felt on the left side.
“If you touch the Bidayuh, the Malays also feel it. You touch the Malays, Bidayuh also feel it. You touch the Iban, you touch the Chinese, Sarawakians will feel it. And that is the beauty that we have, which we must defend,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nansian said Abang Johari as the Premier has been very supportive of the BCV project by granting state grants totalling RM5.6 million for its construction.
He also said BCV is to be used for community development, social enterprise, cultural activities and tourism development events at local and international levels.
“It is called Bidayuh Cultural Village because it is situated at a Bidayuh area and built according to the Bidayuh Traditional Longhouse concept, but using modern construction method for durability and contemporary usage,” he said.
He added that even before BCV was fully completed last year, the International Spartan Run was held there and the organiser for this event series have booked to do their event for this year in October, this year here too.
“Secondly, we wish to propose to the state government that our Annual Gawai Carnival Redeems (GBR) for this year to be upgraded to the State Gawai Dayak for this year and further upgraded to the International Tribal Tech Festival next year 2024.
“Thus, this BCV is not only for the use of local community and all the races in Sarawak but also for national and international use,” he said.
The BCV sits on a three-acre site comprising 40 longhouse units, the ‘baruk’ stage with basement changing and waiting room, a VVIP grandstand, light and sound control room, basement car park for 155 cars, a 1.1-acre ‘tanju’ platform, and high-level water towers.
The BCV features a concept of Bidayuh traditional longhouse with modern characteristics for durability and contemporary usage for cultural activities and tourism development, as well as social enterprise and community development.
According to Nansian, also held concurrently last night were the 25th Anniversary of Redeems and the Gawia Bani which was he traditional house-warming blessing and celebration for declaring open a new building especially a significant one like BCV.
“To commemorate this 25th Redeems anniversary, we will be launching our 25th Redeems Anniversary Book tonight,” he added.
He recalled that the first major project at Redeems Centre in 2022 was its Baruk as its administrative centre which was launched by Abang Johari when he was the Tourism Ministers at the cost of RM500,000.
Also present were Food Industry, Commodities and Regional Development Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi, Education, Innovation and Talent Development Minister Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn who is also Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) advisor, and deputy ministers and elected representatives from the Bidayuh community.