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Water remain a big issue on World Habitat Day in Sabah

By Ezra Haganez

KOTA BELUD : Supply of treated piped water remains one of the biggest issues faced by many Sabahans, 50 years after it freed itself from the clutches of British colonialism and enjoyed "prosperity" within a federation of states called Malaysia.

This was made out by speeches of local leaders at a World Habitat Day gathering hosted by local NGO, Gindol Initiative for Civil Society Borneo at Kampung Sumbilingon, Kelawat in Kota Belud yesterday.

World Habitat Day was started by the United Nations 1986 in Nairobi Kenya and it has been since observed worldwide, mostly by civil society groups and the UN, on every first monday of October to reflect on issues affecting human habitat.  

The small gathering of schoolchildren and native elders here yesterday was graced by Kadamaian assemblyman, Jeremmy Ukoh Malajad. Beside water, they also called for saving big trees in order to stay green, and for communities to continue practicing good neighbourhood or harmonious co-existence.

Malajad in his speech agreed with the observation that on World Habitat Day, many communities worldwide still continued to be denied access to clean water and other basic amenities.

"We in Sabah, and in this kampung included, continue to long for treated clean water, and this is a very sad story. The Malaysia's government, after 50 years we are in its prosperity, should have given us clean treated water," he said at Bethesda Height, the residence of the NGO founder, Kanul Gindol.

Also present were Sabah human right activist, Patrick Sindu, who was recently appointed United Nations rapporteour for human right for Asia-Pacific region, and local lawyer Peter Marajin.    

Sindu in his speech said there were so many issues plaguing Sabahans today and that such gathering on World Habitat Day served to remind the people and the government of the ever need to fulfill their obligation to the people for a better habitat for all.

"This programme is empowering our people and it should be carried out in bigger scale next year," he said.

Marajin in his speech meanwhile called on the natives to struggle to rise above partisan politics and unite in facing what he called a new colonial who seek to Malayanise all the non-muslim natives, which he said was an uncalled for remarks.

He was referring to the recent call made by Sabah islam Mufti who proposed a programme to Malayanise, or islamise, all non-muslim natives in the state which had since drawn flaks from all spectrum of the society.

Pictures show various scenes at the function. Malajad (front row fourth from right) and Sindu (third from right with cap) were seen in a group picture with some of the celebrants holding a World Habitat Day banner beneath an old durian tree to signify one of their calls to to save big trees to mitigate climate change everywhere.



  2. Kesiannya rakyat Sabah diperbodohkan Malaya dan Umno sehingga sekarang 50 tahun selepas merdeka

  3. In democracy good government gets elected by good people. What actually happened in Sabah and Sarawak? Who elected those in power?

    Can anyone enlighten me what actually is happening in those two Borneo states. Thanks in advance to those who share with us what happened.


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