‘Ethnic bodies platform to preserve culture, heritage’

Dr Penguang signing an event banner when officiating at the gathering.

MIRI: Ethnic organisations such as Persatuan Masyarakat Ideah Bakong Miri are not just platforms to unite and bring the community together to bring socio-economic development to their respective community and area.

Assistant Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil yesterday said these bodies could also serve as a platform to revive, preserve and conserve their culture and heritage such as their mother tongue which may become extinct due to modern living and technology advancement.

Speaking at Suduun Rayak Aidilfitri — a Hari Raya Aidilfitri gathering organised by the Ideah Bakong Community at SK Anchi here yesterday, he commended the effort made by the association to publish a dictionary to preserve and conserve the mother tongue of the Ideah Bakong community.

“Although you are encouraged to have the ability to speak and understand other languages apart from Bahasa Malaysia and English, you should not neglect or forget your mother tongue which is part of your culture, heritage and identity. I fully support your effort and it is a noble effort,” he said.

He noted that there is a tendency for ethnic communities, especially among the younger generation, to lose fluency in their mother tongue as they transform and embrace modern society through urban rural migration.

Pengguang also encouraged the community through the association to come up with a profile of the community living in Miri, Beluru, and Kuala Baram including Bekenu.

In other developments, the assistant minister disclosed that a District Office Complex has been proposed to be built next to SMK Bakong in the district. Pengguang was confident that the complex and RM66 million to develop treated water supply will be catalysts for socio-economic change in the community in Bakong and nearby areas.

At the function, he announced a grant of RM10,000 for the association to run its activities and programme.

Also present were Bakong community leader Abdullah Samad and organising chairman Isa Sahar.

Source: The Borneo Post

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