Sarawak Energy’s CSR Journey for the Penan Community in Murum


Sarawak Energy Berhad

 
“As a socially responsible corporate citizen, Sarawak Energy is committed to bringing transformative improvement to the indigenous Penan community in Murum through enhancement of education and literacy, poverty eradication, socio-economic development and preservation of the indigenous culture and heritage.”

INTRODUCTION

Other than managing and utilising Sarawak’s natural resources in a sustainable and responsible way, Sarawak Energy is also committed to honouring the trust from the people, acknowledge and respect them and contribute to their well-being.

Sarawak Energy delivers this through a robust Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) vision built on a firm foundation of sustainable development. This is in line with its exponential growth and strategic transformation – from a traditional electric utility towards a modern and agile corporation.

Our CSR programmes on education, literacy and handicraft development is designed to bridge the education gap for the rural indigenous community and to develop skills to improve income and living standard while preserving culture and heritage of the community.

FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGY

Education and Literacy Programme:

Our flagship CSR programme ‘Murum Penan Literacy Our flagship CSR programme ‘Murum Penan Literacy Programme’ began in 2012, implemented in partnership with Society for the Advancement of Women and the Family, Sarawak (SAWF). Under this programme, 31 Penan villagers are trained as facilitators to set up and conduct literacy classes at their respective longhouses.

Sarawak Energy also assisted to set up two national primary schools, SK Tegulang and SK Metalun, in partnership with the Ministry of Education. Prior to resettlement, only about 20% of these 300 students were receiving regular formal education.

In addition to that, a ‘Special Education Fund for Penan Communities in Belaga’ is set up to provide further education support for the Penans in Belaga district, especially the Murum resettled community.

To support students who are lagging behind with their reading skills, our ‘Literacy for Social Inclusion’ is specifically developed in collaboration with Dyslexia Association of Sarawak (DASwk), the United States Embassy of Kuala Lumpur and Sarawak Education Department.

Penan Handicraft Development Programme:

Our Penan Handicraft Development Programme is designed to address issues in particular on poverty eradication, women’s empowerment and to create sustainable socio-economic development opportunities for the community. This has evidently improved their household income through handicraft development focusing on producing commercially viable products while maintaining the Penan cultural identity. It also creates a platform for the transfer of skill from skilled artisans to the younger generation.

ACHIEVEMENT AND IMPACT

A total of 266 Penan students now have bank savings accounts. Their educational incentives are deposited in these accounts.

Since 2014, Sarawak Energy has purchased over 2,000 units of handicraft products from Penan artisans as corporate gifts to both local and international visitors. The artisans have also generated an income of over RM40,000 from handicraft purchased by Sarawak Energy and exhibition sales held in Kuala Lumpur, Miri, Bintulu and Kuching. This has boosted the production of the handicrafts and improved their household income.

Some have started small businesses selling jungle produce, tuck shops and handicrafts.

A total of 13 Penan youths are currently undergoing Advanced 6G Welding course and practical training at Petra Energy, Labuan.

FUTURE DIRECTION

Sarawak Energy continuously engages with the resettled communities to ensure they benefit in a sustainable manner in order for them to be included into the mainstream of development. We will continue to pursue this through our support for the community in capacity building, skills upgrading, entrepreneurship development and advancing tertiary level education through the ‘Special Education Fund for Penan Communities in Belaga’.
Sarawak Energy Berhad (Sarawak Energy), is both an energy development company and a vertically integrated electricity utility with a vision to achieve sustainable growth and prosperity for Sarawak by meeting the region’s need for reliable, renewable energy. With a multidisciplinary workforce comprising about 4,600 employees, Sarawak Energy serves more than 640,000 customers across the State.