Stanley (third left), Augustine (left), (from eighth left) Ting, Izkandar and others during a ‘miring’ ceremony before the launching of Gawai Dayak Bazaar Sibu 2023. – Photo by Peter Boon
SIBU (May 11): Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) market and petty traders standing committee deputy chairman, Augustine Merikan, is pushing the idea of converting the Permai Lake Garden Food Court here into Dayak Food Court Centre to become a reality.
He hopes that the idea can materialise either this year or next year.
“Having a Dayak Food Court Centre here can be another potential place of interest for tourists, especially food lovers visiting the riverine town. During our recent standing committee and full council meetings, I mooted this idea of converting Permai Lake Garden Food Court into Dayak Food Court Centre.
“We feel that it is about time for us Dayaks, especially with the rural-urban migration, there are many Dayaks in Sibu. So we have Taman Selera Harmoni meant for Muslim food, while Taman Selera Muhibbah mixture Chinese, Malay and Dayak (food).
“This is a place (Permai Lake Garden) of interest for the public. Somehow, we are lacking one community, that is why we are thinking of this place, it is so nice and big area, where this Gawai Dayak Bazaar (was held) last year, and we are hoping to have own (Dayak) food centre. That was how (the idea of) the Dayak Food Centre came about,” Augustine said.
He was speaking to reporters after the launching of the Gawai Dayak Bazaar Sibu 2023 at Permai Lake Garden here tonight, which was officiated by Temenggong Stanley Geramong.
The bazaar, organised jointly by Persatuan Artis Iban Sarawak (Parisa) and SMC, starts today until May 20 from 2pm till 11pm daily.
“I hope that this Dayak Food Court Centre will be one of the attractions for those coming to Sibu, where tourists can sample Dayak food.
“We create something for tourists coming to Sibu. I will push for the idea and want to make it materialise – if not this year, maybe next year. I hope this thing will materialise because the place (Permai Food Court) is ready,” he said.
Adding on, he recalled requesting the renovation of the Lake Garden with an estimated amount of RM600,000 to make the area more vibrant and livelier.
He revealed that the intended renovation will involve the structure, ‘terendak’ shaped structure and food court.
The ‘terendak’ shaped structure, he added, will be used for selling of traditional Iban costumes and handicrafts.
Augustine opined that with Permai Lake Garden being upgraded, it was about time to convert it to the proposed Dayak Food Court Center.
Touching on the bazaar, he recalled the inaugural edition was rolled out last year.
“Due to the encouraging response – this is the second time – we are organising the Dayak bazaar and it is participated by all Dayak NGOs (non-governmental organisations) to showcase their products for Sibu folk,” he said, adding that there are 30 stalls selling Dayak food, tidbits and handicrafts.
Also present during the launching were SMC chairman Clarence Ting, deputy SMC chairman Mohammed Abdullah Izkandar Roseley and Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) Sibu chairman Chambai Lindong.