Dwindling population a cause for concern

MIRI: The Orang Ulu community should be concerned about the future of Telang Usan area as rural-urban migration has caused the population to decline.

Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau said education and job opportunities available in urban areas are drawing people away from rural areas, leaving mostly the older generation to live in places like Telang Usan.

The decreasing population in Telang Usan should cause its people to think about its future, he said when launching a sports carnival at Lio Mato, Ulu Baram on Sunday.

Dennis said the traditional way of making a living might not fit in with todays world, so those who want to see Telang Usan progress must support the government plan for the area.

He was happy to see many young people return to their villages during the festive season.

They should return to the longhouse at least once year, especially for Christmas.

The young generation exposed to modern living in cities must bring back to their longhouses good ideas, and they can organise events to get village folks to come back, Dennis said.

Telang Usan is a vast and remote area as big as the state of Pahang with longhouses and settlements scattered all over.

A British MP who visited Telang Usan said it was a huge and daunting task to develop rural Baram such as connecting longhouses with good roads and creating modern living.

Our great grandparents generation built from scratch these settlements we inherit today. In the process, they overcame the odds to bring our living standard to what we have today. We must strive to build on what we had inherited to make Telang Usan a vibrant, resilient and dynamic society, Dennis said.

At the function, he presented a minor rural project (MRP) grant of RM5,000 to finance activities.

Others present were village head Peter Adam, PBB Telang Usan exco member Peter Usang and organising chairlady Annia Selalang.