MIRI – Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem today said that efforts will be made to have one more state seat specifically for the Penans so that each minority ethnic group is represented in the state assembly.
He said that now, it could be said that almost all minority ethnic groups in Sarawak had elected representatives, either in Parliament or the State Legislative Assembly.
“The Kayan have and also the Kenyah, Lun Bawang and Bisaya,” he said at a gathering with people from Telang Usan, Mulu and Ba’kelalan, here.
In fact, he said, for the 11th Sarawak state election, two new seat were created for the orang Ulu (minority ethnic groups) following requests by the state government, namely Mulu for the Kelabit and Murum for the Kenyah. Polling is this Saturday.
“This is your opportunity to have a voice in the State Legislative Assembly,” he said.
Also present at the event were Barisan Nasional candidate for Telang Usan, Dennis Ngau; Mulu (Datuk Gerawat Gala); and Ba’kelalan (Willie Liau).
According to Adenan, orang Ulu only comprised six per cent of the Sarawak population. But currently more than six per cent of state representatives are orang Ulu, he said.
Meanwhile, Long Kawa village chief Ting Gadong, a Penan, regarded the government’s efforts as a recognition, saying, the ethnic group never had any representative at a level that high.
“We are very happy because if it is true that we are going to have a representative, then guaranteed our community will have a bright future,” he said.
He said he and other Penans travelled almost seven hours from Long Kawa to meet Adenan here. – BERNAMA