Three longhouses, one traditional village proceed to national-level competition

Dr Rundi (standing tenth right) and Nanta (standing ninth right) with all the participants and those involved in organising the state-level award. — Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: Three longhouses – Rumah Along Ikang, Rumah Bengau Ng Sut and Rumah Satu Kuala Mendalam – and a traditional village, Kampung Rajang, take top honours in the Premier Rural Village Award or Anugerah Desa Perdana 2017.

The three longhouses and the traditional village will now be representing Sarawak at the national level where they will compete with other villages that have won at their respective state-level competitions.

All the top winners in the state-level competition won RM12,000 each plus trophy and certificate.

The longhouse category finalists, which were champions at district levels, were divided into three zones. Rumah Along Ikang, Sri Aman is the champion of Zone 1, defeating Kampung Belimbing Besi, Samarahan which has to be satisfied with second place.

Rumah Bengau, Kapit is the champion of Zone 2, beating Rumah Nyuka, Sarikei and Rumah Lembang, Betong which were second and third respectively.

Rumah Satu, Limbang took the top honour for Zone 3, while Rumah Majang, Bintulu was second and Rumah Michael Selengkor, Miri third.

In the traditional village category, Kampung Cina Sg Tulai, Sarikei and Kampung Niup, Samarahan were second and third respectively. The second and third placing in each category received RM10,000 and RM8,000 respectively plus certificate and trophy.

Twelve finalists in the traditional village category and nine in the longhouse category vied for the top honour at the state level and four slots for the national-level competition.

Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom presented the award to the winners at a ceremony held at the Old State Legislative Assembly here yesterday.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Rundi lauded the initiative taken by the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development in organising such an award to change the landscape of the economy in rural Sarawak.

He believed that the award would spur the villages and longhouses to develop their infrastructure, leadership quality and achieve progress in many other aspects.

“To me this award is very important as it motivates the village and longhouse security and development committee (JKKK) to upgrade their performance in the aspects of patriotism and social work, leadership and administration, education and training, economy and entrepreneurship, improving youth’s functions, information technology and telecommunications, cleanliness, health and joy and also basic infrastructure monitoring.

“I hope the winners will help motivate the others by sharing their achievements and experience in driving their villages to achieve success in several aspects,” he said.

Earlier, Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi said Anugerah Desa Perdana is an initiative under the Rural Transformation Programme of the Village Development and Safety Committee.

He said the programme involves a competition which is carried out to encourage community empowerment and also serves as training for leaders at the grassroots level to improve their leadership skills.

He said the national-level competition which would be held on August 22 would be launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.