KOTA BELUD May 18, 2012: United Pasokmomogun KadazanDusun Murut Organization (UPKO) division deputy chief Ewon Benedick yesterday claimed that villagers in Kampung Kiau are disappointed with the statement made by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan which was published in local newspapers.
Ewon who hails from Kampung Kiau, said he shared the sentiment with the kampung folks with regards to Pairin statement about the alternative road to the village after the main road was damaged by a landslide last week.
“I was in Kampung Kiau today (Thursday) to be with the villagers when churches and NGOs were sending their donations. They expressed their disappointment when they read Pairin statement,” said Ewon.
He added that while villagers appreciated the effort made by the government and its agencies to reduce the burden of the kampung folks, they were asking why Pairin did not spend his time to meet the villagers when he inspected the area by helicopter.
“Pairin could have taken a better approach. As the Huguan Siou, he should have met the villagers who are almost all Kadazandusuns. Now, knowing that he was there, they presumed that Pairin was not really concerned about the problems,” said Ewon in a statement.
According to Ewon who is UPKO Kampung Kiau branch chairman, the villagers sacrificed their village, Kampung Paka, and moved to the present kampung to make way for the new highway from Pekan Nabalu to Bundu Tuhan in the 1980′s.
He added that they were promised by the then Berjaya government of a better infrastructure, including roads and other facilities.
“Pairin should have known that Jalan Kaung-Lobong-Lobong is only accessible by four-wheel drive transport unless he, in his capacity, assisted in getting it improvised and sealed,” said Ewon.
Ewon added that students have to be temporarily put in a school hostel and villagers who required weekly review at hospital had also been relocated to as far as Tambunan to be with their closest family members.
“How do you feel sending these folks through an unstable road of Jalan Kaung-Lobong-lobong?” asked Ewon.
“It is true that food is not really a problem, but assistance from churches, NGOs, political parties and individuals showed their concerns. They met the villagers, yet the Huguan Siou never did. He could have taken a better initiative,” said Ewon.
“After a visit and a short inspection, we found that many areas in the school were not built in accordance with the specifications set, and this clearly showed the contractor was not doing a proper job,?
“No mosque building, guardhouse, wall for foodstalls and appropriate boundary to separate the male and female student hostels, and there are more deficiencies in the newly opened school,”
Assistant Rural Development Minister Datuk Haji Sairin Karno