Friday, May 2, 2008


Expensive properties won’t slow down Keningau’s growth


Escalating prices of building materials have resulted in expensive properties in the interior areas but this will not slow down Keningau’s growth and development. District Officer Zulkifli Nasir is confident with Keningau’s potential to become the interior area’s commercial and housing hub as development of shop houses and residential properties in the district has been mushrooming. “With the District Council’s rating area increased from 500 acres to 3,000 acres, Keningau will be the centre of economic activities in the interior and this will lead to migration to the district,” he said. “Even though the cost of living is high because of the hike in goods, it has not prevented residents in the district from purchasing houses,” he said and predicted that property prices will continue to increase, especially in the District Council’s rating areas. Zulkifli who is also the Keningau District Council Chairman, also believed that the Government will ensure infrastructure such as roads, water and electricity supply in the district will be in tandem with its rapid growth for the comfort and convenience of the people. The Government, he said, will carry out its responsibilities in this aspect and this will encourage more investors to the district. He assured residents that the District Council will ensure that any development carried out in the district will be planned properly so that there are no cases of congestion and the town will be able to grow properly. Zulkifli said presently there are 3,175 units of houses in 43 residential estates in the district which were developed since 1983 by several private developers and the Town Planning and Housing Board. The National Housing Department also constructed 300 units of houses at Mile 27, KeningauTenom Road. Some of the houses are occupied while some have been completed and waiting for the Occupational Certificate (OC) to be issued. There are 723 commercial units in the district, most completed and some are also waiting to have their OC issued. “The road links between Keningau-Kimanis, Keningau Tenom-Sipitang,Keningau-Tambunan–Ranau-Sandakan, Keningau-Nabawan, KalabakanTawau will also attract and encourage more investors both local and foreign to come to this district and the interior,” Zulkifli added. He however said that the district needed more development, especially housing estates, commercial shopping complexes, hotels, recreation centres, agriculture and industrial estates as this would open up more job and business opportunities.


Keningau Unduk Ngadau participants make charity visits


Twelve district- level Kaamatan Festival Unduk Ngadau participants visited the Sabah Society for the Deaf home and Children Ward of the Keningau Hospital here on Wednesday. The visit was organized by the Sabah Women Association, Keningau branch led by it Chairwoman, Nancy Datuk Angian. The participants will compete in the beauty contest on May 4 at Arked hail here. The winner will represent Keningau at the State- level Kaamatan Festival on May 30 and 31. Also with the group during the visit was last year’s District Kaamatan Festival Queen, Alcy Muji, 22. In conjunction with the visit, two occupants of the Home, Jaydan Corllos Jamal and Neily Josplay, celebrated their birthday. At the Keningau hospital, the Unduk Ngadau participants and the organizing committee distributed food and drinks to more than 20 children.


Tower collapse affects life of 3,000 villagers


Three thousand villagers are having difficulty going to the City after the closure of a road to allow investigations into the collapse of a power transmission tower at Suang Parai here. The road linking Kampung Kibagu, Numbak and Selimbangun was temporarily closed by Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) and the police to make way for investigations into the collapse of an emergency repair tower (ERT) on Tuesday which killed a technician and seriously injuring three others. Sabah Umno Youth Secretary Mohd Joh Wid said the villagers were given two alternative roads, but both of them were now inaccessible. “When the SESB and police closed the usual route, the villagers were diverted to an alternative road but it has become very muddy and inaccessible. “We then sought approval from Universiti Malaysia Sabah to allow the villagers to use another alternative route and they agreed. But that road is also now damaged and could not be used by ordinary vehicles,” explained Joh, who is also the Sepanggar Umno Youth Chief. Joh said that the villagers were now totally cut off from the City and were seeking help from the relevant authorities to overcome the problem. “The villages are still considered within the City area but the road condition is very bad. It is even worst than the roads in the interior areas,” said Joh who blamed the iron thieves for the collapse of the tower. “They stole the steel pieces causing the tower to collapse. And now a young man was dead while fixing the ERT ... the iron thieves should be blamed for all this. “Besides affecting the State’s economy, SESB for the materials and consumers for power disruption, it is also disrupting the life of the 3,000 villagers who are having problem getting to the City,” he pointed out. “The relevant authorities must take immediate action to help these people as they have nowhere to turn to,” he added.


Preserve culture to maintain unity : CM


History has proven that any race that practised and preserved their own culture could maintain unity among themselves. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman pointed this out when launching the Kaamatan Festival 2008 at Dewan Pa’ Musa here yesterday. “Therefore, all Sabahans should practise their own culture so that we are able to keep the peaceful and harmonious lifestyle, and able to build a better future,” he said. According to Musa, Sabahans should be thankful as they are still able to hold various cultural events. “We should use the opportunity to promote and preserve our cultures that have been inherited from our ancestors,” he said. The Chief Minister added the people from the various ethnic groups in the State should be given the opportunity to contribute and directly involve to ensure the success of any event or festival. “The Government intends to give all the districts in Sabah a chance to host the State- level Kaamatan Festival so that they can expose their tourism potentials. “It is in line with the Sabah Development Corridor which is to focus the effort to turn the State into, an interesting and appealing tourism destination. I believe that such effort can attract more foreign tourists to come to Sabah,” he said. Musa added he feels proud the cultural identities of the State were being emphasised in this year’s celebration which were shown by people wearing their own traditional costumes. “Therefore, to choose Beaufort as the host for this year’s celebration is very symbolic to the chosen theme which is ‘Peace Through Culture’, as the people come from different background and culture and live in peace and harmony,” he said. Meanwhile, the Organising Chairman of the event, Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan, urged all Sabahans to bequeath their skills and heritage from their ancestors to their children so the invaluable experiences and knowledge will not disappear. Pairin, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister, said that it is a loss to the future generations if the skills that they inherited such as the ‘puisi sundait’ and ‘tangontangon’ disappeared. “I am thankful to the State Government for making the Kaamatan Festival one of the important celebrations in this country,” he added. During the launching of the celebration, guests were entertained by traditional performances by the Sabah Cultural Board, Unduk Ngadau and (Sugandoi competitions and Hominodun show.


Check all power towers: CM
Something is not right after collapse of third structure, says Musa


Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman yesterday directed all related agencies to conduct a thorough examination on power transmission towers in the State to prevent further collapses. The directive came after another pylon along the Kayu Madang Universiti Malaysia Sabah power line came crashing down on Wednesday evening, bringing the total number of tower collapse along the same line to three in just 10 days. Just a day before the 132kV tower in Kampung Lokub, Kuala Menggatal collapsed, an emergency pylon in Suang Parai, Inanam, toppled to the ground while being installed, killing a technician and severely injuring four others. The first incident occurred on May 21 when a Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd’s (SESB) high tension cable tower in Suang Parai crumbled to the ground after some of its support crossbars were carted away by thieves, causing hours of blackout to 90 percent of the State. “This is the third time this has been happening. It looks like something is not right. It is important for the relevant quarters to conduct an examination. “We will know whether there is any criminal element involved because people may be stealing the structural members of the towers. I want the police to keep a watch on these areas,” said the Chief Minister when met after launching the State- level Kaamatan celebration in Beaufort. Musa said that since the areas where the towers collapsed were occupied by squatters, the police should investigate whether those people had a hand in the theft of the structural members. “Stealing structural members of towers is unhealthy and can result in loss of lives (when the towers collapse). This is most disappointing,” he said and expressed his regrets on the chain of incidents that have caused over a million Ringgit in losses to the State’s sole electricity provider, SESB. Musa said the Government was viewing this matter very seriously and would discuss it at the next State Cabinet meeting to seek the best approach to address the problem. Meanwhile, SESB Managing Director Jr Baharin Din said the second pylon located near the UiTM campus in Menggatal also collapsed due to missing structural members of the tower. “We estimated over 60 steel crossbars were taken from the lowest part of the tower, causing it to be unstable and collapsed under the weight of the cables,” he said to reporters when visiting the latest collapse site located just over a kilometer from the one in SuangParai. “SESB realised the structural members were missing during an examination of power transmission towers after the April 21 tower collapse and had lodged a report,” be said. Baharin added SESB workers immediately started to replace the missing structural members of the tower and had installed 40 of the 60 missing members by yesterday afternoon. However, the tower was found to be unstable and it was deemed dangerous to continue the repairs. “As expected, the members were unable to hold up the tower and it collapsed. However, there was no disruption in power supply as power to that line had been de-energised since the April21 incident,” he said. He urged the public who came across anyone behaving in a suspicious manner to make a police report or contact the SESB at 088-282455r the emergency line 15454. There are a total of 39 towers along the Kayu Madang-UMS power line that stretches for roughly about 16 kilometers. Some of the other towers were vandalized, but their damage were minimal and they had been fully repaired, according to SESB.