I read an interesting post from blogger Parochial Sarawakian this morning about a young Sarawakian lady, who’s now a lecturer at Sarawak’s public university.
What makes this news newsworthy is that this lady, Azuriaty Atang, happens to be from the Penan community, and with her achievement, she actually marked a very significant milestone in being the first among her people to become a lecturer at a public university.
I congratulate her, and her family, and her community for grabbing the opportunities that are available for all Sarawakians to pursue higher education and improve the standard of living and quality of life for herself and her family.
It is really heartening to read stories like hers, especially as it involves the future of the Penan community and the role they can play in society at large.
Let’s not believe all the propaganda saying that the Penan would like nothing better than to just stay put in the jungle and to be left alone, isolated from the rest of Sarawak and Malaysia.
Rather, let’s look forward to more uplifting stories about more Penan joining the ranks of professionals and helping our State and country to develop and progress.
Because, like Azuriaty, they will not be viewed just as Penan, but as members of society contributing towards a better life for our society, as a whole.
How The Borneo Post posted it:
Lecturer aims to improve her community via education
Posted on November 12, 2011, Saturday
The 26-year-old from Kampung Baru in Suai, some 100km from Miri, is the eldest of four siblings, dreamt of becoming a Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) lecturer and finally achieved it when she became a management lecturer in Unimas.
She is determined to achieve her goal to prove that Penans could also be successful in many areas including academically.
“In fact, plans are in the pipeline, with the co-operation from Unimas, to hold a study on the involvement of the Penan community in business and education activities. Unimas also plans to adopt a Penan village.
“I am unable to provide further information as it is still in the discussion and planning stage,” said Azuriaty during a press conference on Thursday evening.
She revealed that she was motivated by her supportive parents, father Atang Sanai a Forest Department staff and mother Zuliana Abdullah a housewife, as well as her friends.
She has three younger siblings, Azmilhisyam, 22, who is currently a diploma student in UiTM, Afreeza, 16 and Anastasia, 13, both who are still in secondary school.
On her early education, Azuriaty said she went to SRK Temenggong Datuk Muip in Miri from 1992 to 1997 and SMK Riam Taman Tunku in Miri from 1998 to 2004.
After completing her STPM, she furthered her studies at Unimas at the Economy and Business faculty and graduated with a Bachelor of Administration in Tourism in 2008.
The following year, she pursued her masters degree in Human Capital Management at Universiti Malaysia Sabah and graduated in 2010.
Before joining Unimas, she was attached to a private company for a year.