Notes from Sri Aman
YB Encik Francis Hollis, the Assistant Minister for Land Development Sarawak kicked off the early morning with the Berambeh Ceremony at the SMK Sri Aman on 2 Aug 2008
VIPs trying a hand at the famous Poco Poco Kenyalang dance at the old KPSU Field in Sri Aman
It was a bloodless battle and the message was clear - crime does not pay
An anti drug K9 by the name of Suai shows the Sri aman folks how it is able to detect drugs in packages and concealed bags
The main event for the Youth Gathering celebration was held at the Dewan Suarah where the YB Minister Dato Sri William Mawan officiated the event including presenting the Tokoh Belia awards
The audience were thrilled by the programmes especially the dances performed by the youths - the younger kids showed their ability to do the 'shuffle' whatever that is
Like any Daddies, I also tried to get my daughter to come along to witness the more exciting events (Futsal competition) - being so used to City life I wanted her to get used to my routine in Sri Aman away from the television and on line computer games and Internet
Well - she slept throughout the whole game amidst the cheers and noises created during the competition...zzzzzzzzzzzzz
Turun Padang (Ground Visits)
Ground vists or turun padang is a norm ~ its part and parcel of the Resident officers' duties. My officers and I wasted no time in doing our rounds in this vast Sri Aman Division. We do so with the knowledge that the momemtum of development is in full swing with the Wawasan 2020 goals set by our National leaders just 12 years away. One can either look at that timeline and lament that it's just impossible to achieve with their neverending 'chicken and egg - which comes first' argument. For me I do not know how long I will be serving Sri Aman but I stress to my officers that we should work hard and make incremental improvements in moving forward and not backwards - Wawasan 2020 is a goal to work towards to and not shy away from. The first in the list for us would be the restoration of Fort Alice and the rest of our development efforts will follow. We will normally have our critics but I advice them to filter the constructive criticism from the vindictive ones. By the way I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Indai Mau another blogging Government Officer serving as Sibu Resident Office - currently she is the Acting Deputy Resident as indicated in her blog. Girl power :)
The officers here work in trying conditions doing their best to serve the people of Engkilili while the new office is under construction
The new Engkilili Sub District Office under construction and expected to be completed by the middle of next year
One of our few rounds was Lubok Antu Town
Posing in front of Lubok Antu District Office which used to be Fort Arundell - Paul, Me, Rickson and our driver Abang Yusof
This goes in my list of observation - the undergrowths at the fences are not part of the deco at the Lubok Antu Playground area
Bird's playground ~ another point to discuss with the relevant agencies is the state of the observation tower at the playground which was full of yeechy bird droppings
Its the other end now - at one time we used to write and vet speeches. Now I have to deliver them and sometimes impromptu ones too. Something I have to get used to. The view from the stage is always a lonely one as public speaking is never my forte.
Reading competition in Bahasa Malaysia organised by the Lubok Antu Distict Council for primary school students in Lubok Antu/Engkilili closing ceremony (The District Officer Mr. Nelson Mujah and the Lubok Antu Disctrict Council Secretary Mdm Lolita looks on).
Sometimes site visits to check on the progress of our social projects and programs in the rural areas are necessary. This is the dicey part - we time our visits so that all the government agencies are able to make it to the longhouse in what we term as 'Civic session' where we explain the Government policies
Longhouse hospitality is something I have to note in the Lubok Antu area. I would not have mind if I can just drop by at the Tuai Rumah's house and discuss about development issues but 'ouch' I forgot that being a Deputy Resident, 'dropping by' is a big item for them as our office has been coordinating a lot of social amenities and village road projects to the area and it terms of official hierarchy I am the head of that delegation. I only realised that too late - I can't drop by anytime unannounced according to my whims and fancies. The longhouse folks will not like it if they are caught unprepared for the occassion.
The Penghulus of the Engkari and Lemanak area and Tuai Rumahs of nearby longhouses came in when they heard of our 'familiarisation tour' and a simple visit turned into a full scale Gawai reception session involving several longhouses - I have to say being the Deputy Resident does not allow much freedom of movement. A point to note - once the party has started its hard to leave quietly.
I was fortunate to have the support of the Lubok Antu Distict Office staff including the District Officer who made the 'introduction' session less painful for me. Bearing in mind my knowledge in 'ground level' administration is still shallow and my familiarity with the area is still scant. They even guided me in the poco-poco dance steps
Ngajat session - Other than poco-poco, the Iban ngajat its something that I will have to learn and learn it fast because the end of the discussion sessions are always performed by the guest of honor..... I'll say i was terribly embarrassed for not performing it properly.
Ole Sri Aman!
The pulut panggang - Sri Aman's secret recipe
Yummy yum yum - super delicious and juicy that it was completely taken up in just 15 minutes by the participants. Definitely it was the preferred choice though other dishes were served.
The ijok tree - my brother-in-law Johnady who hails from Lubok Antu himself insists this is the unique product of Sri Aman especially the Lubok Antu side and that I include it in this blog post. This is where the famous ijok drink originate and I have to attest to its ability to knock me out after two glasses. My Uncle Umpang enquired of the possible economic value it can reap in to Sri Aman Division's GDP. I am open to such ideas - after all Cuba was able to export their Cuban Cigars.
The new craze (or old?) for the younger generation in Sri Aman -Young kid doing the shuffle. In my time it was the breakdance. Kids here nowadays are into this 'shuffle' thingy. I would love to try it but i am afraid that I may break a few bones as I turn 40 years old soon
Finally ~ that 'shuffle' kid actually won something!