KUCHING: With the state government’s progressive economic policy, the number of successful business entrepreneurs and professionals within the Orang Ulu community has been steadily growing over the years, says State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Deputy Speaker Datuk Gerawat Gala.
He said the state government’s economic policy had created more business opportunities and a more conducive ecosystem for the growth and development of Bumiputera entrepreneurs.
As such, he said the launch of the Orang Ulu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OUCCI) was indeed timely in the ever-competitive business environment.
“The OUCCI is certainly the appropriate platform to bring together our Orang Ulu business community to build business networks with like-minded organisations such as SCCI (Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industry), DUBS (Sarawak Chamber of Bumiputera Entrepreneurs), DCCI (Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry), and the Chinese Chambers of Commerce.
“OUCCI will serve as a bridge for its members to hold dialogue with policy makers such as the government and government agencies for business-related policies to take into account the peculiar interests and needs of the OUCCI members to enable them to grow and contribute towards the economic prosperity of the state and nation,” said the OUCCI advisor.
He said this at the launch of OUCCI, which was officiated at by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at The Waterfront Hotel here on Tuesday (July 27).
Gerawat, who is also Mulu assemblyman and Federation of Orang Ulu Associations Sarawak Malaysia (FORUM) advisor, said OUCCI should advocate for the success, advancement, and sustainability of Orang Ulu businesses and professionals by collaborating with like-minded organisations, government ministries, departments, and agencies, as well as industry bodies.
“OUCCI members should know when to be competitive and when to collaborate to grow their businesses.
“You need the assistance and collaboration of others who are more experienced and of the government and agencies to give you a helping hand as you are relatively a latecomer or late entrant.
“It is through your success that you will be able help build up and give back to the Orang Ulu Dayak community and other communities in the state.”
He said OUCCI needed to grow its membership so that it would have a stronger voice and become a force to be reckoned with, building a community of professionals, entrepreneurs, and companies collectively working towards common success.
He said in its role of supporting and building a community of progressive, successful, and respected Orang Ulu entrepreneurs, OUCCI must guide its members to build their businesses and business practices upon good common traditional values.
“These include values of integrity, honesty, responsibility, fairness, courage, perseverance, accountability, and community.”
Gerawat said the Orang Ulu community had come a long way in terms of business awareness and participation, pointing out that the previous generation were brought up in the longhouses, most likely as farmers, fishermen, or hunters.
“Thanks to the educational opportunities afforded to us by the government coupled with good government policies, a fair number in our generation had the opportunity to prove ourselves as capable and successful corporate leaders.”