Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

Take care of longhouses, Sabah govt urged

KOTA KINABALU: The Warisan-led state government must continue to upgrade longhouses, traditionally occupied by the Rungus and Murut communities in Sabah.

Parti Bersatu Sabah president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said at least another 24 more longhouses were in dire need of repairs or reconstruction, in both Tandek and Matunggong in his northern Kota Marudu parliamentary constituency.

Over the last eight years, the previous government reconstructed and repaired 33 longhouses here, of which 24 longhouses were reconstructed and four repaired in Matunggong, and three rebuilt and two repaired in Tandek, he said.

He said funding for these projects were obtained from the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU), which was under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Department, the National Security Council and the Rural Development Ministry.

Dr Maximus said this after visiting victims at the Kampung Tuid longhouse in Matunggong that was destroyed in a fire.

At least nine families lost their homes after the seven-door longhouse was razed to the ground.

Dr Maximus also urged the state government to immediately approve funding for reconstruction of the affected longhouse.

He also urged the Housing and Local Government Ministry to set up a Fire and Rescue Services Department station in the sub-district of Matunggong.

“We have asked for this over the years and each time the reply we get is that Matunggong can be serviced by the fire station in Kudat, he said, adding that the Kampung Tuid fire incident proved that Matunggong was too far from Kudat.

“By the time the fire engine arrived at the scene, the long house was completely razed, he said.

“We cannot afford to have more longhouses destroyed, and we are convinced that a fire station is needed to serve the sub district, he added.

Dr Maximus led the PBS leaders in extending assistance in the form of food items, kitchen utensils, plywood and zinc to the fire victims.

Affected families also received RM500 each.

Source : TheStar