BAU: National diving star Pandelela Rinong Pamg received RM59,000 cash and a scooter during a dinner organised by the Bung Bratak Heritage Association (BBHA) at the Dewan Suarah Bau here.
Of the total cash amount, the BBHA contributed RM25,000, Musyati Sdn Sdn gave RM20,000 and former Tasik Biru assemblyman Lee Nyan Choi presented RM5,000, while RM9,000 were contributions from guests attending the dinner held on Saturday.
The scooter, worth more than RM6,000, was courtesy of Demak Marketing Sdn Bhd.
Pandelela was also celebrated by a group of 20 Jagoi Babang clans led by Kepala Desa (village head) Bapak Kasianus Anyiu, who came all the way from West Kalimantan, Indonesia to attend the dinner.
During the function, Pandelela was also honoured with the “Wirawati Bung Bratak” title from the association, in honour of her bronze medal achievement in the 2012 London Olympics recently.
Pandelela’s arrival at Dewan Suarah Bau here was met with the Bidayuh traditional welcoming.
Later, the guests were entertained by four popular Bidayuh singers; Claudia Geres, Emil Emlin, Fiona John and Liza Chong.
They were also treated to a special appearance by the former Kumang Gawai winners and a performance by three cultural troupes from Bau and Serian.
The golden voices of Pandelela’s father, Pamg @ Paeng Joheng and BBHA president Datuk Peter Minos had successfully raised RM9,000 during the dinner.
Pandelela, who spoke at the function, thanked all Malaysians who had given her moral and financial support.
She said their support would further inspire her to perform better in upcoming tournaments including the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Minos, in his speech, said Pandelela was a great inspiration to all Malaysians, particularly the Bidayuhs.
“The happiness you gave us is indescribable and I wish you will go and get that gold medal in the future,” he said.
Kasianus said the Jagoi Babang clans in Kalimantan Barat were also proud of Pandelela’s achievement in the Olympics.
“She is from the Jagoi community and the first Bidayuh to win a medal in the Olympics,” he said.
Today, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek is expected to visit Pandelela’s family home in Kampung Jugan here, where some 5,000 people are expected to be present.
On Aug 31, Pandelela will be a special guest at the Merdeka state-level celebration in Sibu.