KELABIT graduates who had benefited from financial assistance given by the Rurum Kelabit Association and the Government have been urged to ‘’return favour’’ by helping their community’s needy and poor students.
Batu Danau assemblyman Palu Paulus Gumbang said Kelabit graduates can play a bigger role in helping their community by contributing not only financial assistance but also their expertise and knowledge.
“Many Kelabits have made it to the very top in the corporate sectors and also in the Government. They even have a minister in the Federal Cabinet, Datuk Seri Idris Jala (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Key Performance Index).
“There are also a number of prominent corporate leaders who are Kelabit, for example here in Shell Sarawak. There are also many Kelabits who are handling top positions overseas. All of them have a vital role to play in helping the rest of the community come up and become successful, especially the children from needy families,’’ he said on Saturday during the annual Rurum Kelabit Education Unit dinner in Miri.
Paulus, who represented Second Planning and Resources Management Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, said the state government appreciated the contribution of the Kelabits in the development of the various socio-economic and industrial sectors in the state and country.
He praised the Kelabits for being hardworking and God-fearing and for their determination to succeed.
“The Kelabits had always placed great emphasis on education. This had proven to be the turning point in bringing the Kelabits out of poverty (in the late 1900s). I hope the other minority ethnic groups in Sarawak will learn from the Kelabits and also take steps to help their community prosper through active education,’’ he said.
During the dinner, the association handed over financial incentives to three dozen Kelabit students who had emerged top scorers in the UPSR, SPM and STPM exams last year.