KOTA MARUDU: The people of Matunggong needed the Barisan Nasional rulling party to bring continuous development to the area and take care of their welfare, said its’ Member of Parliament, Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Maximus Ongkili.
He said this was evident from the many requests received to replaceand repair dwellings and longhouses in the area.
Maximus said the people in the opposition-held state seat in Matunggong knew that the opposition could not fulfill their needs for better standard of living and thus cooperation with the Barisan Nasional was still needed.
Matunggong had the biggest of number of traditional longhouses in Sabah and many have existed since the 1970s.
During a site inspection at the newly completed double storey semi concrete long house earlier today at Kampong Toporoi, he said there were more than 50 long houses here in Matunggong and more than 20 applications have been submitted by the community asking for new long houses to be built here.
Thus, Dr. Maximus who is also the Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water had undertaken to replace the dilapidated longhouses since 2012.
The district currently had a total of 19 wooden long houses made into semi concrete, three traditional wooden long houses have been refurbished throughout Matunggong and Tandek, while two more long house upgrading projects were currently at the stage of awarding open tender.
He said there was a lot of requests from the people in Kota Marudu constituency, especially in Matunggong, to rebuild their long house into modern, semi-concrete type as the Rungus tribe there prefer to live as a close-knit community.
Maximus remarked that building semi concrete long houses that come with modern look are cheaper than to build individual houses and People’s Housing Project (PPR).
Thus, he welcomed the move by the Federal government to provide an allocation of RM20 millions as interest free loan for construction of community long houses in Sabah for next year.
The allocation would be provided through the Technical Committee of the Cabinet Committee on Bumiputera Minority which is jointly chaired by himself and Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
The loan facility he said will assist to improve long houses in the state and enable the village people to have a better standard of living.
For this, Dr. Maximus also said they have requested State Ministry of Rural Development to formula the mechanism for the loan disbursement.
Meanwhile, the new double-storey semi concrete long house of 20 rooms here in Kampong Toporoi will be officially launched on the coming December 7.
The long house, “Rumah Panjang Kampung Toporoi” is the 19th semi concrete long house in the district that has been rebuilt to replace the old wooden traditional long house in the village.-Sayangsabah