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Sleepy Paitan looking bright once new township is ready

Published on: Thursday, June 12, 2014

PAITAN (Beluran): Things are looking bright for this sleepy little 'town' once a new township is fully implemented in the near future.

The Sabah Housing and Town Development Authority (LPPB) has allocated RM1.5 million for site preparation works.

Out of this, RM750,000 has been spent this year on basic infrastructure while the balance will be spent next year.

The State Economic Development Corporation (Sedco), through its subsidiary Sedcovest, will also build a row of single-storey shophouse for a start. Other relevant government departments and agencies will follow suit as and when necessary.

This was revealed by State Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor when he launched the monthly Paitan Tamu, here.

Paitan, lying in the middle of nowhere between Beluran and the neighbouring Pitas district right in the middle of Sabah, is a sub-district under the Beluran district.

Existing government buildings include a sub-district office administered by an ADO.

Hajiji pointed out that the new Paitan township is one of the several planned or being implemented by LPPB in line with its objective of prompting the birth of new growth centres at economically feasible rural areas.

Earlier this year, he had also visited the sites for the Banggi Island, Merotai in Tawau and Sindumin (Sabah-Sarawak border town) new townships.

"Paitan is indeed ideal for a new growth centre as it is surrounded by oil palm estates and local farms, apart from its strategic position along the Pitas-Kanibongan-Beluran road," he stressed.

He praised Sugut Assemblyman Datuk James Ratib for initiating the Paitan monthly tamu as it would enable the local farmers to sell the produce, even if it is just once a month.

He expressed hope that the tamu will be eventually held weekly.

James, who was present, promised that he would be at the tamu on the 10th and 11th of every month to meet the people, barring any unavoidable circumstances. Hajiji urged the Paitan people not to belittle or underestimate the significance of the Tamu, pointing out that in the old days like British colonial time even the sitting of the Native Court coincided with the Tamu.

On request by the assemblyman to enlarge and improve the Open Stage and the community hall, he Minister said his Ministry will look into it.

Meanwhile, James, who is also Sedcovest Chairman, in his speech, appealed to the Government to 'take a look' at Paitan with a view to see what it could for the sleepy little hollow lying literally in the middle of Sabah between the West and East coasts.

"Geographically, the Paitan sub-district is as big as, if not bigger than, a small state in the peninsula; while the Beluran district is as big as, if not bigger, than a large state there.

"But look at us, we are the poorest district in Sabah. We have plenty of oil palm plantations but these are not owned by local farmers.

Our percentage of electricity and clean water supply to households is single digit.

"We still have a long, long way to go. So please help us," he appealed, to the applause of his constituents.

Present were Beluran District Officer Suhaili Riman and the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, Datuk Matius Sator, as well as Hajiji's political secretary, Kassim Razali.

Also present were LPPB General Manager Rosnani Asmat and Town and Country Planning Department Director Mursidi Sapie.