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New elected reps looking into Penampang issues
Published on: Saturday, May 19, 2018

Penampang: Flooding and natural disaster preparedness are some of the issues affecting the district which are being looked into by the new MP and assembly members.

According to Moyog Assemblywoman Jennifer Lasimbang, the briefing Friday with Penampang District Officer (DO) Luvita Koison at the Penampang District Council (MDPG) was to understand the challenges and issues faced by the District Office.

"After the briefing by the DO and MDPG Chief Executive Officer, we learned that there were a lot of issues (in the district) and have to work together to solve them.

Jennifer said most of these issues related to the Moyog area such as worsening floods, hill cutting and mitigation of issues that affect the local community.

"I feel we cannot also continue to rely on the limited resources that the DO and Council have and my goal is to ensure that the local communities become more responsible themselves.

"They must have their own initiative to carry out cleanliness, waste segregation and other programmes in their villages."

Jennifer said she would strongly push for the waste segregation programme in the district, adding that she was following closely similar efforts in Selangor.

"If we can segregate our organic and non-organic waste, for example, we can already help lessen the burden of MDPG disposal-wise.

"At the same time, it can also generate income for the community once waste segregation is carried out and they start turning the organic waste into fertilisers. This is an example of a win-win situation for all the parties concerned.

When asked when it would be carried out, she said immediately, if possible.


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"We would start first as a community initiative to get the word out to people to segregate their waste.

Whatever can be recycled in each household should be done so.

"Most important is it comes from the people's own initiative because even if you have laws people may choose to ignore. You must start from their heart and that's why it is important to segregate their own waste at home.

These are simple everyday things they can do by themselves (to help save the environment) and Sabah."

She said there were other issues as well where the communities need to handle by themselves such as disaster mitigation which can also include special safe areas for children for example and young mothers and where is the evacuation centre and how do they evacuate.

"These are things the community already need to know during an incoming disaster as they cannot depend on the directive from the DO's office."

In order to achieve this awareness, she said, programmes will be organised together with natural disaster units such as the UMS disaster unit, adding that other targets of such efforts would include schools, especially secondary schools, where the younger generation can be made aware so that they will spread the message to their homes and the community at large.

"When I do programmes with the youths, they always complain to me why they are not given responsibilities and a chance to be a voice to the family and community.

"Many of the youths bemoan the fact that they are not given training and thus lack the skills.


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During natural disasters such as floods, for example, they are instructed to simply stand aside and are not able to assist.

"Actually the youths are the ones who have the physical strength and energy and are fit to carry out work such as moving OKU and old people and also their belongings into a rescue boat or vehicle to be moved to safe areas.

But in order to do that effectively, they also need to know what to do and be trained.

"Unfortunately, whenever there are such briefings, we always leave the youths behind where they should be the first in line to assist."

Meanwhile, Law and Native Affairs Assistant Minister cum Kepayan Assemblywoman Jannie, when met, said the briefing was only at the preliminary stage and a glimpse at the situation and issues in the district and what can be improved.

"We will look at what can be done in the short term and long term in future discussions."

On other issues linked to her ministry, she said she also looks forward towards seeing the Sabah Native Courts (Ilman) functions being given a boost with the setting up of her ministry.

"I also see as important to ensure that villages in Kepayan can also benefit from proper local planning and prosper and develop rather than being sidelined.

"As far as district administration is concerned, it seems to be good at least financial side and this to be translated into improvement for the villages and towns in the district which have been waiting for development.


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"I am happy to note that local by-laws will be tightened to comply with international standards as per the PH and Warisan Manifesto.

"We are looking at a lot of flooding nowadays for example and increasing (traffic) congestion as well, so we have to look into ways to address these issues instead of just revamping roads.

A lot of this has to do with better transportation solutions and services.

Certainly it is something that can be looked into in the district," she said. - Neil Chan

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