Sarawak rural elected representatives in parliament are committed, consistent and unobtrusive in speaking on the problems faced by their constituents.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Seri Pandikar Amin Mulia said since assuming his position 15 months ago, he had yet to know of anyone of them not speaking up.

He said this Thursday at a gathering in Lusong Laku, a very remote Penan settlement in the Belaga district and about nine hours by four-wheel-drive on timber tracks from here.

Pandikar Amin was here on a two-day visit to see for himself the problems faced by the Penan which have been raised countless times in parliament, as well as the rural development needs in the state.

Today, he left the settlement to visit the nearby Bakun hydro dam site. Accompanying him were Deputy Home Minister Jelaing Mersat, Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Joseph Entulu and former Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Samad.

The others were Aaron Dagang (MP for Kanowit) and Alexander Nanta Linggi (Kapit), both coordinators of the visit, and host MP Datuk Billy Abit Joo (Hulu Rajang).

“What I observe is that rural representatives from Sarawak are akin to the turtles which come secretly to the beach at night to lay eggs.

“They lay hundreds of eggs unnoticed unlike a chicken which lays just one egg but the whole neighbourhood will know about it,” he said metaphorically.

Pandikar Amin said it was very important that all representatives continue to speak about the expectations and welfare of their constituents.

“You must not grow tired or get frustrated,” he said, adding that their requests (to the government) might not be 100 per cent successful but they would still get some assistance.

On the trip, he said it was a succesful one as the National Registration Department’s mobile team managed to approve MyKad applications for 227 Penan and another 125 applications for late birth registration.

The Rural and Regional Development Ministry also approved grants totalling RM100,000 to buy housing materials for three Penan settlements, namely Lusong Laku (RM50,000), Long Abit and Long Kajang (RM25,000 each).

He said Telekom Malaysia too approved the setting up of an Internet link for Sekolah Kebangsaan Lusong Laku, while the other problems would be looked into immediately. — BERNAMA