VIENTIANE, Laos: Angkatan Zaman Mansang Sarawak (AZAM Sarawak) has won the prestigious 2nd ASEAN Leadership Award on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication.

AZAM Sarawak Chief Executive Officer, Datu Aloysius Dris received the award on Friday night from Le Luong Minh, ASEAN Secretary-General at the gala dinner held in conjunction with the 9th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication and Related Meetings held at Lao Plaza Hotel here. The award comprised a certificate and a trophy.

AZAM Sarawak, which represented Malaysia at the award ceremony, was one of the two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) nominated by the Sarawak state government at the state-level for the award. At the national-level, it was identified by the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development as the most qualified NGO to receive the ASEAN Rural Development and Poverty Eradication Leadership Award.

Present at the award presentation ceremony here were Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi, Deputy Secretary-General of the ministry Datuk Rahim Abu Bakar and Deputy Undersecretary (Strategic Planning Division) Mohd Ali bin Sebran and Principal Assistant Secretary (Strategic Management Division)  Farah Felinda Hanim binti Razali. Also present were the AZAM Sarawak general manager Rosalind Yang Misieng, board member Adeline Liong and member Sim Ah Hua, who is also general manager of Sarawak Development Institute (SDI), a sister body of AZAM Sarawak.

Besides AZAM Sarawak, nominees from other nine ASEAN countries also received the leadership award at the gala dinner hosted by Bounheuang Douangphachanh, Minister to the Government’s Office and Chairman of the National Committee for Rural Development and Poverty Eradication in Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (PDR).

The dinner was for the ASEAN Rural Development and Poverty Eradication Ministers and delegates. Guests at the event were entertained to Laotian dances and songs as well as Western songs and feted to Laotian cuisines. The dinner concluded with the guests joining their friendly Lao hosts in the traditional Laotian dance called Lamvong Lao Dance.Yesterday, Prime Minister of Lao PDR, Thongsing Thammavong declared open the 9th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting at Lao National Cultural Hall here.

Datu Aloysius Dris (left) receiving the prestigious ASEAN Leadership Award from ASEAN Secretary-General, Le Luong Minh (right) as others look on.

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