Barbara Mendu Bay Education Fund in the works

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SIBU: Serakup Indu Dayak Sarawak (SIDS) is planning to set up an education fund, namely, the Barbara Mendu Bay Education Fund to improve the education of Dayak students throughout the state.

This was revealed by its President Datuk Alice Jawan when officiating at the SIDS Mother’s Day cum Pre-Gawai celebration at a hotel here on Saturday (May 22).

Speaking on behalf of Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, she said that the education fund will be used to help native children who will enter secondary schools, matriculation studies or universities.

“The SIDS committee has been set up to discuss the criteria needed. Previously, the government has given grants. Therefore, part of the grant will be spent on this education fund,” she explained.

Alice said the money will also come from SIDS members because each member is asked to contribute to top up the fund.

“We have about 10,000 members in Serakup throughout Sarawak, if each of us (members) gives RM12 only once, our fund is more than RM120,000,” she said.

Alice who is also the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Utilities said that Barbara Mendu Bay was an Iban woman who was most active in politics in the 60s and 70s.

“She was then a member of the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), that’s why I also talked to Deputy Premier, Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

“I ask SUPP to support this fund, in the name of their former Bumiputera member (SUPP) Barbara Mendu Bay and he (Dr Sim) has agreed on this matter. I cannot disclose it … wait for him (Dr Sim) to announce it,” she said.

Alice also revealed that SIDS had established the Tan Sri Empiang Jabu Research Chair (TSEJRC) in collaboration with Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) to research the development of Dayak women in various fields such as politics, social and economics.

“The first task of TSEJRC is to close the development gap, the second is to provide scholarships.

“This means that the Serakup’s children have the opportunity to be assisted in their studies at private universities in Sarawak or UPM in particular,” she said.

At the ceremony, Alice announced a grant of RM20,000 from Uggah to SIDS Sibu for educational development and the organisation’s activities.

Also present were SIDS Sibu Chairwoman Angelyn Uchi Maseng, Organising Chairwomen Monica Giri, Temenggong Stanley Gramong Bandang, and others.

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