Donors stave off Penan starvation
2,300 on verge of famine assured of at least a bag of 10kg rice each
BINTULU: A total of 2,092 bags of rice are to be airlifted by a military helicopter as relief to Penan community facing food shortage in several Penan settlements in remote Belaga District in Kapit Division.
SUPPLY ASSURED: Dahim (fourth right) receiving the donated rice from Andrew and members of PRS Bintulu branch.
Kapit Resident Dahim Nadot when met yesterday said the rice, each bag weighing 10kg, Area along Sungai Murum and Sungai Linau.
According to Dahim, there are eight settlement areas in Sungai Murum, namely, Long Wat, Long Malin, Long Tangau, Long Luar, Long Peran, Long Singu, Long Jarik and Long Menapa whereas the other five settlement areas in Long Linau are Lusong Laku, Long Abit, Long Kajang, Long Tanyit and Long Liden.
Door count is 523 in all while total population is put at 2,300.
Dahim said the Penans were not facing starvation as reported but food shortage.
“Unlike the Dayak and Orang Ulu community, the majority of Penans do not carry out the customary practice of planting padi,” he said.
Dahim flew here yesterday to receive the donation of rice from the public sector, a political party and local non-government organisations and individuals at the Bintulu Airport.
The Bintulu Welfare Department donated 1,046 bags of rice, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Bintulu Branch chipped in 523 bags, Bintulu Che Ein Khor Moral Uplifting Society and Bintulu Tua Pek Kong Temple Progressive Committee each contributed 100 bags while Datuk Tay Chin Kin of Kuching made a personal donation of 200 bags, businessman Allan Eng Wing Hua and Major Hii Toh Hing each donated 123 bags.
Each of the 523 doors in the 13 Penan settlement areas will receive four bags of rice, according to Dahim.
Unfortunately, Dahim said, the hazy weather had compelled the postponement to bring the rice to the designated areas yesterday.
The military helicopter was supposed to fly from Kuching ti pick up the rice now kept at Bintulu Airport.
Meanwhile, Deputy Bintulu Resident Sirai Daha witnessed the handing over of the donated rice from the respective donors – Allan Eng, who represented Bintulu Tua Pek Kong Temple Progression Committee, Bintulu Che Ein Khor Moral Uplifting Society and Tay, while PRS Bintulu Branch was represented by permanent chairman Andrew Kalom.