Saturday, May 23, 2009

‘Pelah Daleh’ rituals to ensure smooth construction of transmission towers

TRADITIONAL RITUALS: The elderly from the Orang Ulu community offering prayers during the ‘Bungan’ ceremony as Abit (second right) and others look on.

BINTULU: The sub-contractor of the 275kv Bakun-Similajau transmission line project- Trenergy Infrastructure Sdn Bhd- Sunday held a ‘Pelah Daleh’ ceremony at Belaga Bridge, about two hours’ drive from here.

The ceremony was based on the local Orang Ulu belief to get consent and good fortune from the land’s ancestor for their safety before commencing works on transmission towers in the area.

The ceremony was officiated by Hulu Rejang MP Datuk Billy Abit Joo.

Abit said the tradition was very important to the Orang Ulu community.

“By organizing this event, Trenergy Infrastructure Sdn Bhd shows it recognizes the significance of the event to the Orang Ulu and for the company’s safety,” Abit said.

“This ceremony is to ensure that the construction of the transmission towers could be done smoothly and things would go as usuak for the community and the workers,” said Abit, adding that similar events were held before the start of the Bakun project.

The project to construct the transmission towers comes under Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB).

A spokesman for SEB said the project was awarded to Sinohydro-Naim Joint Venture, who is the main contractor while Trenergy Infrastructure Sdn Bhd is the sub-contractor for the project.

He said the project was divided into two packages – A and B – which was worth more than RM200 million each.

“The A package started in September last year and it is now 30 per cent completed and expected to generate its first line of electricity by May 2010,” he said.

Work on B package would probably start by early next year, he added.

According to him, the project would eventually benefit the longhouses folk in Belaga and the nearby areas once the Bakun dam is fully operational.

SEB senior manager Land and Wayleave Sipol Ambun, transmission project manager Robin Tigai, Belaga District Officer Abdul Halim Abdullah, Bintulu Deputy Resident (Development Section) Sirai Daha, community leaders and heads of longhouses were among those present.

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