Dennis (seated second right) and Hassan (seated right) with other officials and some of the scholarship recipients.

MIRI: Members of the Penan community have been reminded to be always vigilant.

They should not let irresponsible non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to mislead and exploit them with negative agenda to go against the government.

“These people often make promises which they are not able to fulfil to the Penans, and at the end of the day, it is the government that is credited with bringing development into Penan community and rural areas,” said Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau.

Speaking at the presentation of the Sarawak Tipun Penan Development Association (Petipun) scholarships on Saturday (Sept 26) to 25 Penan students at Telang Usan PBB’s service centre in Luak, Dennis said, gone were the days when Penan community was vulnerable to those kind of agenda as the community’s younger generations are better educated. This has helped to protect them from any form of misleading agenda brought by those unscrupulous NGOs.

“Some time ago, the Penan community was very much vulnerable and easily became target and exposed to negative agenda brought by these irresponsible NGOs which had promised the stars and moon but never fulfilled them. They simply cannot do so with the promises, because they are not totally honest in wanting to help the community,” he reckoned.

On Saturday’s event (the presentations of the scholarships), those 25 students are currently studying in various higher learning institutions in the country. These include Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (UPM) Bintulu; Universiti Putra Malaysia; UiTM Shah Alam; Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI); Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS); Institut Perguruan Batu Lintang (IPG); IPG Kampus Sarawak Miri; Georgetown Ministry of Health Training Institute (Dental); IBS College; UiTM Samarahan and Polytechnic Kuching.

From 2011 until Saturday (Sept 26) a total of 222 Penan students have been granted scholarships.

Three were for PhDs, six for master’s degrees; 140 for bachelor degrees and 73 for diploma studies.

Also present was Penan community leader Temenggong Datuk Hassan Sui.