Govt agrees to gazette 90 villages in forest reserves
Published on: Saturday, November 09, 2019
By: Bernama
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File photo from Bernama.
PENAMPANG: The Sabah Government has agreed to gazette all 90 villages that are in the State’s forest reserve area, said State Rural Development Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick (pic).

He said the decision was made two days ago at a State Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

The villages included in the districts of Kota Belud, Tamparuli, Tuaran, Tenom, Lahad Datu, Beluran and Pulau Banggi, he said after launching the Penampang Tourism Association, near here, Friday.

In another development, Ewon, who is Kadamaian State Assemblyman, said the Cabinet had also agreed to the setting up of a special committee on rural tourism.

The committee, to be represented by the Rural Development Ministry and the Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry, will look into improving relevant policies and infrastructure, as well as to help promote and market rural products, he added.

He said the committee would be chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew.

Also present were District Officer Henry Idol, representatives from the police, telecommunications provider and government agencies, homestay coordinator, community development officer, village chiefs and chairman of the village management committee or MPKK.

Meanwhile, the State Government is coming up with a special allocation to upgrade rural roads used for tourism.

Ewon said the allocation, which will be included in Sabah’s 2020 Budget to be tabled next week, is part of his Ministry’s initiative to help the rural community develop their tourism industry.

“I have received complaints that many roads connecting tourism spots operated by the rural community could not be improved and upgraded because of the lack of funds. As such, the State Cabinet has decided to set up a special committee to draw up policies to develop the tourism industry in rural areas which include infrastructure improvements,” he said.

Benedick said the 2020 budget will also include an allocation for water and electricity supply to rural areas.


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