Despite decades of BN rule, there has been little development in the Penampang district.
KOTA KINABALU March 3, 2012: Upper Moyog, in the Penampang district which covers 466 sq km, has a 10,000-strong population and no secondary school. It’s Kadazandusun turf and has been a Barisan Nasional stronghold for decades.
The closest secondary school is St Michael, which is a RM3-bus ride (return trip) away from Upper Moyog.
According to Sabah STAR party’s central committee member Willybroad Missi, some 500 children from Upper Moyog travel to the secondary school each day and others whose parents cannot afford the ride stay home.
“Building a school for Upper Moyog should have been a priority for Penampang leaders since a long time ago, but for some reason it was overlooked.
“Just imagine: the nearest secondary school for them is St Michael’s Secondary School and the distance is putting a lot of strain on them.
“From Pogunon, the one-way bus fair is RM1.50, hence RM3 is spent daily on transport alone. This does not include other expenses for food and drinks.
“If this is tough, imagine what it is like for those staying in areas which are much further such as Babagon, Kivunut, Moyog and Togudon.
“Let’s remember that these students are from poor farming families,” said Missi
He said there was an urgent need for a school and a hostel to accommodate the children from remote villages.
“The school should be equipped with a proper hostel to cater to the needs of those students who come from remote areas like Kampung Terian.
“If necessary, I will personally lend a hand to help find a suitable site for such a secondary school, which, I feel, should ideally be located in Pogunon or Madsiang. ” he said.
The MP for Penampang is Bernard Dompok. Dompok is also the president of Upko and a federal minister. The Moyog state constituency is represented by Donald Mojuntin.
Mojuntin is in his third term as state assemblyman and, according to Missi, has done nothing.
Missi took to task both Dompok and Mojuntin, who have been re-elected term-after-term to represent Penampang parliamentary and the Moyog state constituencies.
He said it is most likely that these leaders were not even aware of the needs in Upper Moyog or the other areas in the parliamentary constituency.
He added that it was ironical that Penampang, whose closest border is 10km from Kota Kinabalu, is seen as a suburban and progressive area when most of the remote villages in the district are still crying out for development.
“As the BN MP of Penampang and Upko (party) president, Dompok has failed to look into this pressing need of his constituency.
“He has had held so many important posts, but he has never got a single school built in Penampang.
“I also take to task Mojuntin for failing to look into the problem. He has served three terms, but what has he done for Upper Moyog?” asked Missi.