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Leave Penampang church grounds alone: Ambrose
Published on: Saturday, February 24, 2024
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Leave Penampang church grounds alone: Ambrose
Ambrose said he was concerned that the cemetery project would diminish the historical value of the church because it would be surrounded by graveyards. - Credit (Pic right): stmichaelparishpenampang.com
Kota Kinabalu: There is a need for the Penampang District Council, which will be upgraded into a municipal council soon, to take the lead in promoting the district as a tourist destination, said Gagasan Rakyat Supreme Council member Datuk John Ambrose.

“Heritage sites like the St Michael’s Church should also be promoted as a tourist destination and protected,” he said.

Ambrose said the church which is the pride and joy of the Penampang people should be left as it is.

“But it disturbed me that the District Council has given its consent to the proposal to build a cemetery around the slope of the church.

“I was made to understand that the process to change the status of the land use on the less-than-half-acre land did not go through the process such as the Natural Resources Department and Town Planning Department.

“As the land is for use of mission purposes only, it should be left as such,” he said, adding the church has a few pieces of land in the district which can be converted to cemetery.

Ambrose said he was concerned that the cemetery project would diminish the historical value of the church because it would be surrounded by graveyards.

“The project will involve the relocation of the old graveyards located at the left wing of the church. It was mostly our forebears who built this church who are buried there.

“They have been resting there for more than 100 years,” said Ambrose.

He hoped the parish council would leave the dead alone because he was told they want to put them in a crematorium.

Ambrose hoped the Penampang District Council would instead assist in beautifying the landscape of the church.

“There is also a need to upgrade the internal facilities of the church for tourism purpose and convenience of the churchgoers,” he said.

Ambrose said there are no shortage of burial grounds in Penampang for the Catholics as the dead were buried in Lampaki cemetery near Inobong or the respective villages.

“Most villages in Penampang have their own cemetery and we should leave it as such,” he said.

He said the upgrade of the district to a municipal council should also mean an upgrade of infrastructures and places of interest, as well.

“Streetlights not working as is the case now should be a thing of the past. 

“The Tamu in Donggongon is an eyesore and needs urgent repair or upgrade. Cleanliness should also be seriously looked into,” he said, adding there are endless issues that need to be looked into by the Council.

He said Penampang should come alive at night, especially during the various festivals, by putting up lighting of the various races, to lure more visitors to the district.

“Penampang has a lot to offer and the Council as the local authority should take the lead in doing so and not just award contracts, collect revenues or issue compounds,” he said.

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