Julaihi (seated, third left) with participants of the Interdisciplinary Field Course programme during the closing ceremony.
SEBUYAU: Local universities and institutions of higher learning are urged to conduct more field studies and research projects in the rural areas in order to assist the government with its rural transformation programmes.
In making the call, Assistant Minister for Rural Economy (Coastal Areas) and Fisheries Datuk Julaihi Narawi said the studies could provide additional information and data to help the government in transforming the rural areas.
“While the government has data and information about the rural areas, more studies and research on the landscape and rural community are very welcome to assist the state government to bring development and increase the socio-economy of the rural people in line with our ‘Go Rural’ policy,” he told reporters on Sunday after officiating at the closing of an Interdisciplinary Field Course programme here.
The programme held from March 2 to 13 was organised by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), University of Copenhagen, Denmark and Roskilde University, Denmark. It was participated by 43 students comprising 18 from Denmark, Spain and other European countries and 25 from Unimas, who are pursuing their Master of Environmental Science (Land Use and Water Resources) in the respective universities.
The programme covered five villages in Sebuyau – Kpg Tanjung Pisang, Ensenger Iban, Tungkah Manta Hilir, Tebelu and Entangor.
Julaihi, who is Assistant Minister for Industrial Development (Investment and Promotion), stressed that the studies and research in the rural areas would give extra inputs and data for the government to plan future rural transformation programmes.
“Therefore this programme by Unimas and its counterparts from Denmark is very much welcome and should be extended to other rural areas to provide additional information on how to further develop rural areas…because it is the ultimate aim of the government to develop rural areas,” the Sebuyau assemblyman asserted.
He added that such programmes by higher learning institutions would help to motivate rural school children and folks to strive harder and become successful in life.
Unimas deputy vice chancellor (Academic and International) Prof Dr Wan Hashim Wan Ibrahim, said the findings of the study would be submitted to Julaihi.
He pointed out that similar programmes had been carried out in Miri, Lundu, Sri Aman and Betong adding that the programme conducted with their counterparts from Denmark had been going on for 20 years and funded by Denmark government during the first five years.
Also present were Associate Professor University of Copenhagen (Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management) Torben Birch Thomsen and University of Copenhagen (Department of Anthropology) Assoc Prof Quentin Gausset.