Monday, March 19, 2007

Promote Sungai Asap as tourist attraction

The Sungai Asap resettlement scheme, home to some 1,500 Orang Ulu families relocated from the upper reaches of the Rejang River, should be promoted as a state tourism attraction, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu.

He said the Orang Ulu resettlers still practised their customs and traditions even after they were “uprooted” from their settlements in the interior.

“Their rich cultural heritage could be an attraction,'' he said when closing the Sungai Asap Festival to mark the 10th anniversary of the Bakun Trust Fund at the resettlement scheme’s sports centre last Saturday.

Jabu urged the state Urban Development and Tourism Ministry to find ways to include Sungai Asap, which is about two-and-a-half hours drive from Belaga town, on the state’s calendar of tourism events.

The three-day festival featured traditional games and sports, cultural shows, health screening and an educational and agricultural exhibition.

The resettlers from 15 traditional longhouses were shifted out a decade ago to make way for the development of the ongoing Bakun hydro-dam project, which will generate up to 2,400MWs of power.

Bakun Trust Fund chairman Datuk Seri Dr James Masing said that the fund – set up with a RM5mil contribution each from the state and federal governments – had provided financial aid to more than 1,500 students.

The recipients included 771 in local higher learning institutions, 68 in technical colleges, two in tertiary institutions abroad and 745 primary and secondary students.

Source : STAR
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