Malaysia’s first Orang Ulu Cultural Centre set to be built in Miri City

MIRI: The first-ever Orang Ulu Cultural Centre (OUCC) in the country will be constructed in Miri City with the objective to be a centre of Orang UIu cultural performances, events and an icon of the community unity.

The Federation of Orang Ulu Association of Sarawak Malaysia (Forum) advisor Datuk Gerawat Gala said the building plan for OUCC had been completed and endorsed by Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg for submission to State Planning Authority (SPA) for approval before tender for the OUCC could be issued.

“Construction works will start after award of tender/contract, the estimated construction period to complete the OUCC is 18 months from the date of award of contract,” he told Bernama, adding that OUCC would be the latest tourism attraction for Miri City once completed.

Gerawat, who is Deputy Speaker for the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly, said the estimated timeframe of when the construction of the OUCC would commence would be dependent on the date of approval of the OUCC by the SPA.

“The OUCC design combines the traditional Orang Ulu building design incorporating various Orang Ulu motives and also modern design to optimise utilisation of the building spaces partly for office as well as for formal functions,” he said.

In addition, he said the open spaces outside could also be used for cultural performances, traditional games and the landscape would also incorporate some traditional Orang Ulu crafts and motives too.

As for OUCC main attraction, he said once completed, the building itself could be the centre of attraction, in that it would have both traditional and modern designs, with Orang Ulu motives and artworks. He said there was a possibility of a gallery showcasing towering Orang Ulu personalities as well as important Orang Ulu cultural and historical artefacts.

For the record, the construction of OUCC was given the nod after Abang Johari announced an allocation of RM25 million for building the centre with a piece of land, which had already been set aside, during the closing of the seventh Orang Ulu Cultural Symposium in November 2018, and Abang Johari had set a target of two years for the proposal to be materialised.

Forum comprises nine Orang Ulu associations, namely the Sarawak Kayan Association, National Kenyah Association of Sarawak, 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. — Bernama

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