KUCHING: The plight of the Penan and Punan living in the remote Linau area of Murum was not forgotten as the state government delivered food items to them on Saturday through Murum assemblyman Kennedy Chukpai Ugon and Hulu Rajang MP Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong,
The convoy delivering the food items had to travel five to eight hours by four-wheel drive vehicles to reach them at their resettlement areas at Long Tanyit, Long Abit, Long Kajang and Long Kidem.
Kennedy said the journey started from Bintulu town. The convoy had to pass through Sungai Asap, Belaga, the Murum hydro electricity dam and Tegulang before arriving at Long Tanyit where the 42-door Penan longhouse was located.
The distribution of the food items for 194 families from three longhouses — Long Tanyit, Long Abit and Long Kajang — was held at Long Tanyit.
“The journey there was very challenging but luckily, the weather today (Saturday) was great and we were able to reach our destination from Bintulu in eight hours,” said Kennedy.
Long Tanyit headman Mayau Emang said although they could still go out to the jungle and their farms, most of them were complying with the movement control order (MCO) to stay at home.
He said the Penan in the remote areas received updates on Covid-19 as well as information from the government through television as well as telephone and WhatsApp messages from their assemblymen and MPs.
“We received information from them and were advised to stay at home,” added Mayau.
The villagers themselves transported the food items for Long Abit and Long Kajang by small boats.
The covoy headed by Kennedy later proceeded to the Punan Budang Resettlement Scheme at Long Liden, a 42-door longhouse, for a similar mission.
Long Liden headman Nareu Pua thanked the government and Kennedy for the food aid and hoped they could receive more just in case the MCO was extended.
“It will lighten the burden of those who are residing in the interior areas,” he said.
Similar food aid was also delivered to families at Lepu Badeng, Sungai Koyan recently. Besides food items, Kennedy’s convoy also delivered milk for babies as their parents could not go to towns to buy it. There were also no stock in the village shops.