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Hidden gems of Long Tanid

by Joanna Yap, reporters@theborneopost.com. Posted on September 21, 2014, Sunday

THE monotony of long-distance travel was beginning to numb our minds and weigh heavy on our eyelids as our Isuzu pickup stoically rumbled along the rough gravel and dirt road that wound its way up the undulating landscape of Long Semadoh in rural Lawas District.

We were about three hours drive from Lawas town, on our way to the Lun Bawang village of Kampung Long Tanid, one of 11 villages situated in Long Semadoh just before Ba Kelalan.

As our trusty ride crested the hilltop, the sparse wall of shrubbery that lined the road parted to reveal emerald green rice fields, bordered by mist-crowned mountain forests that marked a beautiful contrast to the crystal blue skies overhead. Sitting serenely in the centre of the patchwork of fields was our destination.

“This view is what Long Tanid is known for. Many people stop at this spot to take photos of the rice fields and mountains,” said our driver, local resident and homestay coordinator Balan Berauk, as he slowed the Isuzu down to allow us to soak up the postcard-perfect landscape.

Compared with Bario and Ba Kelalan, the highlands of Lawas tend to not feature as much in the travel plans of tourists and visitors passing through the northern regions of Sarawak — which is a shame as they have much to offer.

Life here harks back to simplier and kinder times where everyone seems to know everyone else on a first name basis. Being a good neighbour is a way of life.

Hospitality is not just reserved for blood relations as the local Lun Bawangs tend to pride themselves on being warm and generous hosts. It’s not uncommon for anyone who drops by for a visit to be invited to stay for a meal.

The landscape is still scarcely touched by the visceral scars of logging and oil palm plantations, in turn, supporting a wide range of wildlife and biodiversity and acting as water catchment areas for the many clear rivers and streams that cascade down the hills.

“What’s so special?” some may ask.

After all, it could be argued these things can easily be found elsewhere in the state without having to travel as far inland as Long Semadoh, where modern conveniences like mobile telephone and Internet communications are practically non-existent and most locals still rely on generators and micro-hydro dams for electricity.

But take a closer look, and you might be very surprised at what you may discover hiding in plain sight.

Local ingenuity

First-time visitors to Long Tanid may find themselves doing double takes when they see the European-style houses dotted throughout the village. In fact, a few of those houses would not look out of place on the slopes of the Swiss Alps.

Amidst the green grass fields, grazing buffaloes and wooden houses with the traditional roofs in the shape of a wooden mortar used to separate rice grains from their husks, one can find brick houses with French-style windows, plastered ceilings and solid hardwood doors.

According to Balan, this unique situation came about when one of the village’s sons – a lawyer who lived in Lawas – built a house there that incorporated a European style design.

It didn’t take long for the idea to catch on in Long Tanid and other residents began following suit. This was also helped by the fact that a number of the locals are skilled carpenters and construction workers.

Many of the designs were inspired by pictures, published in a particular home magazine and those found on the Internet. However, the westernization is limited mostly to outside appearances, Balan shared, adding that the insides of houses tend to follow local conventions.

“More people are building new homes that follow this style but we still have a lot of houses that follow the normal styles. Other villages are also starting to copy the designs but Long Tanid was the first to do so,” he said.

The Borneo Evangelical Mission church at Long Tanid was one of the first buildings in the village to adopt a western-inspired design with a low spire, large windows and distinct wood panelling, according to Balan.

The homes and church are a testament to local creativity and ingenuity, made all the more extraordinary when one considers the relative isolation of the village and the fact that there is no telephone reception here and electricity is only possible with the aid of invidually owned diesel generators and a nearby micro-dam.

Ties to the past

Although the outside world is slowly making its way into Long Tanid, many reminders of the local people’s rich heritage and traditions still exist but a number of them are no longer being practised.

Udang Ukab and Kapit Barok are the only two remaining people in Long Tanid to bear unique tattoos called arit belipid which have a twisting design, usually on the inside of the forearms and which carry significant meaning in their Lun Bawang community.

Udang, a lovely lady with a sweet smile who laughingly refused to disclose her age, said she got the tattoos in her late teens.

“It wasn’t a compulsory practice. It depended on the individual,” she shared in Lun Bawang, speaking through Balan who acted as a translator.

This type of tattoo was only reserved for the women, but Udang says she is not sure why it was so.

“It would normally cost one tajau (a large jar prized among Sarawakian native communities) to get the tattoo artist to come to tattoo both arms but I got mine at no cost as the tattoo artist was visiting at that time,” she remembers.

“He started tattooing in the morning and did not stop until the tattoo was finished hours later. I did not feel any pain although my arms become swollen,” Udang said, adding that she also did it just for fun.

The ink used in the tattoo was derived from the smoke of a particular type of resin as it was burnt. It was believed the tattoo would help to light the way like a torchlight into the afterlife when the owner passed away.

Kapit, distantly related to Udang through marriage, also got her tattoos when she was in her teens but for a different reason — Lun Bawang maidens who had these tattoos were seen as more attractive and could command higher marriage dowries.

“I followed in the traditions of my mother and grandmother who also had these tattoos. My mother’s  were different though with more straight lines while my grandmother was more heavily tattooed than both of us,” she shared, with Balan acting as translator.

Her tattoos are different in design compared to Udang’s as they were done by different tattoo masters.

“I didn’t feel scared but getting tattooed was very painful. I remember the blood coming out. I didn’t encourage my children and grandchildren to follow what I did,” said Kapit who told thesundaypost she was born in 1916.

Udang and Kapit are all too aware they are the only ones of their generation left who have these unique tattoos.

“Everyone of my age (who has these tattoos) has passed away. My daughters and granddaughters do not have them,” said Udang who still has a sharp memory and an almost fully-black head of hair despite getting on in years.

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2014/09/21/hidden-gems-of-long-tanid/#ixzz3FKvZTy5z

Dodging potholes for 75km

Posted on December 31, 2013, Tuesday

MIRI: Regular travellers along the Long Luping– Ba Kelalan road in Lawas are calling on the relevant authorities to repair the 75km road as the number of potholes along the stretch is increasing by the day.

One of them, Balan Berauk, 41, of Kampung Long Tanid in Long Semadoh Lawas said the once-muddy logging track which was upgraded to a tar-sealed

road by Royal Engineering Regiment of the Malaysian Armed Forces under the ‘Jiwa Murni’ project was now in dire need of maintenance.

“I am one of the regular road users as I transport people from Lawas town to villages almost every day.

“As I drive from Long Luping up to Ba Kelalan, I see a lot of potholes and it has become worse lately due to the weather and overloaded vehicles passing through the road,” Balan claimed when contacted by The Borneo Post yesterday.

He said the road only gave them a smooth ride for about three years after it was upgraded, and possibly could last longer if it was of better quality and standard.

Meanwhile, another road user who requested anonymity agreed that the road needed urgent repair as it posed danger especially to those travelling at night.

“It is very dangerous at night as there are no street lights, making it difficult to avoid the potholes,” she said.

She alleged that the tar sealing was thin, which might have caused the road to be damaged easily.

She and her family travelled on the road to Ba  Kelalan on December 24 to celebrate Christmas.

Concurring with her was Ukab Tuie, a 61-year-old villager from Kampung Long Semadoh A.

“We were told before the project took off that the tar sealing would be double layer, but from what we have seen, it could have been a layer only,” he said when contacted yesterday.

Ukab said although the authorities filled the potholes from time to time, the problem persisted because the road was heavily used.

“At first, they used soil to fill the potholes, but after we complained, they are now using either cement or rocks,” he claimed.

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2013/12/31/dodging-potholes-for-75km/#ixzz3FKuDrLz5

Jalan Long Luping-Ba’Kelalan perlu dibaik pulih

by Mohd Norhadie Sahari. Posted on December 31, 2013, Tuesday

MIRI: Pengguna jalan raya yang sering menggunakan Jalan Long Luping-Ba Kelalan di Lawas menggesa agensi berkaitan membaik pulih jalan sepanjang 75 kilometer itu.

Pengadu, Balan Berauk, 41, dari Kampung Long Tanid di kawasan Long Semadoh, Lawas berkata jalan di bawah Projek Jiwa Murni kelolaan Rejimen Askar Jurutera Diraja itu berlubang dan rosak.

“Saya hampir setiap hari menggunakan jalan raya ini untuk menghantar penduduk kampung ke bandar dan keadaan jalan ini semakin rosak dengan jumlah lubang yang semakin bertambah,” katanya ketika dihubungi semalam.

Beliau memberitahu, jalan raya berkenaan siap dibina dalam dua fasa iaitu fasa pertama pada 28 Februari 2010 dan fasa kedua pada 1 April 2011 namun ia hanya bertahan selama tiga tahun.

“Jalan raya ini dapat bertahan lama jika dibina dengan kualiti dan mengikut standard seperti jalan-jalan raya lain dan kita berharap agensi berkaitan membaik pulih jalan raya terbabit secepat mungkin,” ujarnya.

Dalam perkembangan sama, keadaan jalan raya yang berlubang juga boleh membahayakan pengguna lain terutama pada sebelah malam.

“Ini sangat berbahaya apabila memandu sebelah malam kerana jalan raya ini tiada lampu jalan dan pada masa sama pemandu terpaksa mengelak melanggar lubang sedia ada,” katanya.

Berkongsi masalah sama, Ukad Tuie, 61, dari Kampung Long Semadoh berkata jalan raya berkenaan hanya diturap namun tidak kekal lama.

“Sepatutnya jalan raya ini diturap dua lapisan supaya tahan lebih lama namun apa yang kita lihat hanya diturap satu lapisan dan cepat rosak,” ujarnya.

Ukai berkata, beberapa lubang pernah diturap oleh pihak berkaitan namun ia tidak bertahan lama kerana jalan terbabit sering dilalui pelbagai jenis kenderaan.

“Kami menggesa agensi berkaitan tampil segera menyelesaikan masalah jalan raya yang rosak ini, kerana ia hanya satu-satunya jalan menghubungkan tanah tinggi dengan bandar Lawas,” ujarnya.

Nurturing eco-tourism in Lawas

by Joanna Yap, reporters@theborneopost.com. Posted on September 7, 2014, Sunday

WHEN it comes to going off the beaten track in Northern Sarawak, Lawas is usually not the first on many people’s list of destinations.

Better known for its logging, timber and agriculture industries, the undulating hills of this small district which shares borders with Sabah, Brunei and Kalimantan, Indonesia, has been often overlooked by tourists and backpackers in favour of the highlands of Bario and Ba Kelalan.

However, the improvement of the road connecting Lawas town to Ba Kelalan in recent times has been a boon to the fledgeling local homestay and ecotourism industry, cutting down travelling time between the two destinations and opening more economic opportunities for locals as they take advantage of the improvement in road connectivity and increasing traffic.

Among them are operators of Metalan Homestay, Tom Imang Anyi and his wife Mariana Palong.

Originally, the thought of setting up a homestay business did not cross the couple’s minds. In fact, it was more by chance they came to acquire the property on which now stands a modest two-story building large enough to house up to 16 guests at one time.

“The previous owner was very insistent on selling the land to us, even after we had turned them down a number of times. The land was swampy and there wasn’t anything there which appealed to me at first,” Mariana recalled.

However, when the husband and wife team had the opportunity to take a closer look at the property, she fell in love with it, particularly the scenic clear water Matalan river which runs through it.

“The atmosphere by the river is so peaceful and beautiful. Our visitors have told us they like to sit by the riverbank to soak their feet in the water as they find it calming listening to the sound of riverwater running over the rocks,” she said.

They bought the property a few years ago, filled out the flooded and swampy areas and slowly began adding to it for their own use – first a small resthouse right next to the river then a garden.

Mariana, a traditional handcrafts maker, added a small workshop which also doubles as a small convenience store selling toiletries, snacks and souvenirs to tourists and visitors.

At first, it was just friends and family who stayed there but as word began to spread, more and more people approached the couple about renting the place.

Seeing the interest and after learning more about what a homestay is and what it would entail, they decided to set up Metalan Homestay, less than two hours’ drive from Lawas town.

The river is not the homestay’s only attraction. The surrounding area is teeming with wildlife, ranging from hornbills and macaques which often come out to feast on fruit trees in plain view just a stone’s throw from the front porch, to wild pigs and deer, so favoured by hunters.

Even though the homestay is not officially opened for business yet, the couple have already had a number of enquiries – from visitors from Brunei wanting to stay for the weekend, and church groups and government agencies, interested in conducting retreats, to outstation workers working on nearby oil and gas pipelines interested in renting rooms for a few months at a time.

This has convinced Tom and Mariana to continue expanding their property. Among projects in the pipeline are planting a greater variety and number of trees in their fruit garden and building a longhouse, public toilets and a hall to accommodate larger groups of visitors.

The husband and wife are also attending as many courses as they can to improve their knowledge and offer more services.

Tom, who works full-time in the civil service, has attended a homestay course while among the many Mariana has attended include entrepreneurship skills and aromatherapy and massage skills courses.

“Our goal is to offer products, services and experiences which other homestays don’t offer – like grapes and buah salak, cultural performances, fishing and hunting, padi planting and even buffalo riding. But we still need to train the buffaloes,” Tom shared with a grin.

“We are in a good location as it is only half an hour’s drive from Limbang and three hours from Brunei. I believe they are attracted to come here for the cool weather and also the activities such as wildlife watching and jungle trekking.

“Lawas’ biggest assets are its natural attractions,” he said.

Natural attractions

Indeed, there is more to Lawas than just its beautiful mountain panoramas, lush rice fields which produce the fragrant adan variety, and scenic riverside villages.

Just a short drive from Metalan Homestay is the Merarap Hotspring Lodge which has long been a popular stopping point for travellers seeking to soak away the aches and pains which come from long hours of travelling over bumpy gravelled roads.

Just over an hour’s drive from Lawas town is Kampung Long Lidong, known for developing a unique tagang system which has successfully tamed the expensive wild ikan semah to feed from a baby’s bottle (see thesundaypost May 5, 2013 for a more detailed feature).

Further away, about two hours’ drive from Lawas town is Payeh Maga, a veritable but as of now, still relatively unknown treasure trove of biodiversity.

Initial findings from the first big expedition to the area in 2010, organised by Forest Department Sarawak (FDS) together with local and researchers, suggested high levels of biodiversity of flora and fauna. This has sparked a number of scientific expeditions, surveys, studies and field trips in the four years since then.

It has been discovered that out of 52 endemic bird species found in Borneo, so far 27 of them have been confirmed to be in Payeh Maga. In fact, the area is widely known within the Bornean and international bird watching community as presently the only place where the black oriole (Oriolus hosii) can be found.

Many challenges

For the past two years, Balan Berauk from Kampung Long Tanid has been coordinating homestay visits to Long Semadoh — an area made up of 11 villages before Ba Kelalan, including Kampung Long Tanid, about three hours’ drive from Lawas town.

Among the many cultural and historical attractions found in the area are earth crocodiles (buaya tanah) and ancient graveyards.

Balan sees much potential for Long Semadoh to play a larger role in the local tourism and homestay industry because of its close proximity to Long Pasia in Sabah and the improved road connection to Ba Kelalan.

Local homestay and tour operators can coordinate with each other to ensure there is continuity in travel, accommodation and tour arrangements along certain routes, he suggested.

“For example, the Sabah side can coordinate activities for tourists coming from as far away as Kota Kinabalu up to Long Pasia before handing over the visitors to our side in Long Semadoh, where we can then show them our local attractions and they can stay a few days if they wish.

“If the visitors are planning to go all the way to Ba Kelalan or Lawas, we can coordinate with the homestays there. That way, all have their part to play and will be able to share in the benefits,” Balan said.

However, the concept of homestay is still something new to many villages here and many do not really understand how it can benefit them, he opined.

“I have been trying to get more people to open their minds to the idea but it has been a slow process so far.

“I find the younger generation more open while the older generation more reluctant. Lack of knowledge of the standards expected by visitors as well as lack of professionalism can also form barriers.

“Some people do not understand why they need to make certain renovations or expansions to their houses to meet requirements set by government agencies like the Ministry of Tourism,” he noted.

Poor infrastructure

Perhaps the biggest challenge to Lawas’ growth as an eco-tourism destination is the need for better infrastructure. While there is no lack of natural, historical and cultural attractions in the area, poor roads and practically non-existent telecommunications outside of Lawas town are definitely weighing progress down.

Raut Kading, who helped to pioneer Long Lidong’s tagang project and remains one of the key figures in its continued success, said the road between Lawas and Ba Kelalan needed to be further improved as does the small Lawas airport to cater to greater numbers of travellers and to facilitate the creation of more eco-tourism products such as jungle trekking.

“It would also be of great help to have more funding for government agencies like fisheries and also agriculture so that they can offer more allocations to projects like ours to build more facilities and infrastructure. Sometimes we have to wait for years before enough funds can be obtained for certain upgrading work.

“For our tagang, we also need greater protection and safeguards from logging and oil palm activities – which include the gazettement of our water catchment areas and surrounding areas to protect the water quality of our river,” he added.

Meanwhile, homestay coordinator Balan lamented the lack of telecommunication and high-speed Internet.

He operates a small canteen just outside SK Long Semadoh with a limited open wifi network which he uses to check his Whatsapp for messages.

“It can take up to three weeks, sometimes more, to coordinate a single visit as I can only freely return email or receive calls when I am in Lawas town,” he said.

Room to grow

Heart of Borneo (HOB) programme coordinator and FDS executive forrester Michael Ngelai would like to see more local communities benefit from tourism activities in Lawas and play a more significant role in the development of the state’s eco-tourism and homestay industry.

While he was optimistic about Lawas’ potential to establish itself as an ecotourism destination, he pointed out that there is still a lot of ground work to be done to lay the foundation for the industry to grow.

“The homestay and tourism industries are complex and one must seek to understand the needs of the market and how to cater to the different target groups.

“It’s not enough to just build the facilities and infrastructure to attract visitors – there must be products and services to sell which complement its natural and cultural attractions. The local operators must also be keen to improve their knowledge and skills,” he said.

Building connections and relationships with reputable tour operators and agencies who have wider networks of contacts will also help local homestay operators to increase access to bigger markets, especially those overseas, he added.

“Right now, many homestays only use the Internet and Facebook to promote and market their services. It’s not a bad thing but because their capacilities are small, their reach is limited. They should think about either marketing or promoting themselves as part of a group or to work with tour operators and agencies,” he said.

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2014/09/07/nurturing-eco-tourism-in-lawas/#ixzz3FKv0KGjG

A disaster waiting to happen

by Joanna Yap, reporters@theborneopost.com. Posted on September 3, 2014, Wednesday

SK Long Semadoh pupils living in fear of collapsing roof, villagers and staff forced to do repairs themselves

 

LONG SEMADOH, Lawas: The students and staff of SK Long Semadoh are living in fear that the roof may come crashing down on their heads.

This rural primary school of 101 students and 16 teachers located about three hours’ drive from Lawas, has long been in need of funds to repair crumbling buildings and infrastructure as well as construct new staff quarters.

The school’s dire straits was first highlighted to state media in September last year when Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian expressed disappointment over the Malaysian Education Blueprint (MEB) 2013-2025 claiming that it marginalised rural schools in the state.

The Borneo Post also learnt that since then, Lawas MP Datuk Henry Sum Agong as well as various state and federal figures representing various government agencies have also visited the school.

However, until now, almost one year later, no visible progress has been made despite initial promises to find funds and bring relief.

“The school has been asking for funds to replace these buildings for many years but was told there was no allocation,” said teacher Sophia Pengiran, when met at the school recently.

“Since I joined the school 11 years ago, the school has gone through five headmasters but the situation remained unchanged until (present headmaster) Cikgu Jonathan (Labo). He felt that he could not stand by and let the students’ safety be compromised, so he took matters into his own hands and started to make changes where he could. Past administrators were uneasy to do any changes directly as it is frowned upon by the Education Department.” Some of the improvements which the headmaster has implemented included small scale fundraising and volunteer projects involving parents and well wishers to carry out repair work, and getting various villages to adopt classrooms to carry out minor improvements such as painting the walls.

However, despite the school’s best efforts to make the best of their situation, the extensive construction and renovations necessary to make the school safe again will require a lot more funds and resources than what it currently has at hand.

The school hall is the worst off. Several of its cement supports are crumbling and can no longer support the building on their own.

A number are worn right down to their metal skeletons and are in danger of giving way.

Tree trunks and wooden beams propped on top of large stones have been used to provide additional support but these are at best, temporary measures to stop the hall from collapsing.

Due to safety concerns, only a limited number of people are allowed in the hall at any one time, meaning that students and staff are forced to conduct school activities elsewhere.

Water tanks next to the school hall are also left empty incase their cement supports should also topple over and hit the hall causing it to collapse.

The wooden walkway outside the hall which connects it to the kitchen is also in need of repair, as are the leaking roofs of the hall and kitchen.

Covered walkways between buildings have to be supported with additional beams to prevent the roof and pillars from collapsing.

It is ironic that a traditional longhouse staircase hewn out of a single log leading up to the administrative block was made out of necessity as a creative solution, rather than for show, to replace a set of old wobbly wooden stairs.

“This had to be done for the students and staff safety,” said Sophia.

The school is also facing a shortage of staff quarters, forcing some like school clerk Regina Buaya to pay out of her own pocket for accommodation.

“Currently, I have to rent a small house for RM200 per month. For those who are from this area, it is at least not so bad as they have their own homes,” she said.

The headmaster himself is forced to stay in an abandoned Kemas building nearby which itself is in need of repair, Regina added.

The school’s Parents-Teacher Association (PIBG) had initiated a new building for additional staff quarters but could not get beyond constructing the basic frame support and roof due to lack of funds and resources.

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2014/09/03/a-disaster-waiting-to-happen/#ixzz3FKws88NI

Union: Speed up repairs on ‘crumbling’ SK Long Semadoh

Posted on September 13, 2014, Saturday

SIBU: The Sarawak Bumiputera Teachers Union (KGBS) is urging the Education Ministry (MoE) to give priority to repair projects for schools in rundown conditions, notably SK Long Semadoh in Lawas.

KGBS president Ahmad Malie said yesterday this was because there are still many buildings, including school facilities in the state, in rundown shape.

“KGBS’ call stems from each tabling of budget where, the government approved a big chunk of allocation in particular, for improvement and repairs of school buildings and facilities that are no longer in good condition,” said Ahmad.

He added: “With this allocation, KGBS’ fervent hope is for the ministry to expedite the repairs of these rundown buildings and facilities in Sarawak.”

He was asked to comment on the conditions of SK Long Semadoh in Long Semadoh, Lawas, which is in dire need of urgent repair.

The plight of the school was highlighted in The Borneo Post recently.

According to the report, students and staff of the school were living in fear that the roof might come crashing down on their heads.

It reported that the school hall was the worst affected where several of its cement supports were crumbling.

The rural primary school, which has 101 pupils and 16 teachers, is located some three hours’ drive from Lawas.

A teacher, Sophia Pengiran, reportedly said the school had been asking for funds to replace these buildings for many years but was told there was no allocation.

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2014/09/13/union-speed-up-repairs-on-crumbling-sk-long-semadoh/#ixzz3FKxLKDZd

Baru claims education blueprint ignores state’s rural schools

Posted on September 11, 2013, Wednesday

KUCHING: Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian has expressed disappointment over the Malaysian Education Blueprint (MEB) 2013-2025 claiming that it marginalised the rural schools in the state.

He cited that schools such as SK Long Semadoh, which was under his constituency, was among those that were neglected as the parent-teacher-association (PTA) and teachers had to fork out their own money to construct a teachers’ quarters at the school.

According to him, this was because the government did not respond to their request for proper `buildings to house their staff, students and classes.

“Besides SK Long Semadoh, there are many other schools and hostels in rural areas which are in dilapidated conditions, some with no proper facilities or books.

“In fact, many rural schools have not been provided with even the most basic facilities so that the students will have environs conducive to learning and study,” he said at a press conference here yesterday.

PKR vice-women chief Voon Shiak Ni and committee member Boniface Willy Tumek were also present.

In view of this, Baru who is also state Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chairman, questioned the effectiveness of MEB 2013-2025 in alleviating the hardship faced by the state’s rural students and teachers.

He also reminded the federal government not to forget that one of the reasons Sarawak agreed to join in the formation of Malaysia was that Sarawakians would be helped to close the economic and developmental gap between them and Peninsular Malaysia.

However, he said that after five decades, rural schools in the state had not progressed much.

As of June 30, 2013, there are 2,347 secondary schools and 7,744 primary schools in Malaysia with a combined enrolment of 5,255,488 students.

Meanwhile, Voon highlighted a news report published in a national newspaper yesterday that children from various villages in Padawan had to trek for miles to go to school.

“This involved children from Kampung Kiding and Kampung Sapit, which are located just 50km from Kuching but as yet, no tar road has been constructed at the ‘kampung’ and thus the children have to walk for two hours just to reach the main road to go to their school,” she said.

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2013/09/11/baru-claims-education-blueprint-ignores-states-rural-schools/#ixzz3FKyeSvQC

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