KUCHING, 5 Dec 2008: The Sarawak Government will convince 308 Penan nomads at nine areas in Belaga, Murum and Sungai Plieran that a programme to resettle them was to improve their livelihood.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu said the resettlement was set to be implemented by next year, once a proposal on its economic viability and sustainability was approved by the state cabinet.
He said if the Penans were receptive to what the state government was doing, then the resettlement would be faster.
Jabu, who is also state rural development minister, was speaking to reporters after Japanese consul-general to Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan Masashi Kono called on him at his office in Petra Jaya here today.
He said it was the government’s responsibility to ensure that minority groups were given same opportunities as others to rise above the poverty line.
Jabu, who heads the task force committee to assist in the resettlement from areas affected by the construction of the Murum hydro-epectric dam, said he and 43 Penan volunteers would meet with community leaders in Miri on 10 Dec on how best to help the Penan understand the need to relocate. — Bernama