Work commences for FORUM headquarters

An artist’s impression of FORUM’s headquarters in Miri.

KUCHING: The construction of the Federation of Orang Ulu Associations Sarawak Malaysia (FORUM) headquarters in Tudan, Miri has started and is expected to be completed by the end of next year or early 2022. 

Mulu assemblyman Datuk Gerawat Gala said the project which sits on a five-acre land was approved and tendered recently.

Gerawat, who is advisor to the federation, said the building will cater for all the needs of its nine associations.

“This is what we hope to become — an iconic building that will be the pride of the Orang Ulu community since we have lost our ‘Rumah Orang Ulu’ in Kuching some years ago,” he said during a ‘Pemung Keja’ie’ (Get Together) dinner jointly organised by the Sarawak Kenyah National Association (PKKS) Kuching Branch and Peng Leto Kenyah Sarawak Kuching (PLKS) at Telang Usan Hotel on Saturday evening.

He said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has accepted FORUM’s request to build the headquarters, thus a piece of land in Miri has been given and he has approved a grant of RM25 million to build it.

“Out of the RM25 million grant, we have already received RM10 million (last year) for the construction of the building,” he said.

He added a ceremony will be held once the building is completed and Abang Johari will be invited to witness the official launching of the building.

FORUM comprises nine Orang Ulu associations — PKKS, Sarawak Kayan Association, Sarawak Lun Bawang Association, Rurum Kelabit Sarawak, Sarawak Tipun Penan Development Association, Sarawak Berawan Association, Saban Miri Society Association, Sarawak Lakiput Association and Sarawak Bisaya Association.

For the record, the construction of FORUM’s headquarters got the green light after Abang Johari announced an allocation of RM25 million and a piece of land at the closing of the seventh Orang Ulu Cultural Symposium in Nov 2018.

With the headquarters, large-scale events can be held and it will act as a venue to showcase the Orang Ulu culture and to generate economic revenue for the growth of the centre and community.

On top of that, Gerawat said Abang Johari has also allocated RM10 million to the Orang Ulu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OUCCI).

“We have got the OUCCI registered (with Registrar of Societies) and all Orang Ulu businessmen and businesswomen are encouraged to apply to be members,” he said.

On another note, he also pledged to give a grant of RM7,000 each to Sarawak Kenyah National Association and Peng Leto Kenyah Sarawak Kuching next year.