MIRI: The Orang Ulu want to be given a major role in projects undertaken by the newly-formed Sarawak oil company, Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros).
They are seeking contracts in upstream exploration operations and downstream spin-off sectors.
These were among the views expressed during the closed-door biennial conference of the Federation of Orang Ulu Association of Sarawak, Malaysia (Forum) held here yesterday.
Forum president Antonio Kahti Galis, who chaired the conference, said all the resolutions adopted by the delegates would be forwarded to the state government.
“We in Forum will liaise closely with the Chief Minister to link the Orang Ulu in urban and rural Sarawak with the state government on issues concerning our people.
“Forum wants to be the platform for that,” he said.
Orang Ulu from the Kiput minority ethnic group seen here in Kampung Kuala Tutoh in Ulu Baram. – filepic
The Orang Ulu, made up of Kayan, Kenyah, Kelabit, Lun Bawang, Kiput, Saban, Lahanan and others, also want to be represented at the management level of Petros so that they will have a direct say in polices and decison-making.
A delegate pointed out that at present, the management of Petros did not have any significant representation from the Orang Ulu.
“Orang Ulu have people with capabilities in the petroleum upstream and downstream sectors but until today, we only get small sub-contracts.
“This situation must be looked into so that Orang Ulu can play a significant role in our own petroleum sector.
“This would hasten the socioeconomic development of Orang Ulu people who are way behind other races,” he said.
Forum secretary-general Dick Bala said they will compile a report on the matters raised to be forwarded to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
“The Chief Minister will be briefed on the matters raised by delegates including Petros.
“Other current issues affecting the Orang Ulu in terms of land and rural development will also be included in the report,” he said.
Forum was set up 10 years ago to function as the umbrella body for the Orang Ulu in the state and country.