Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Banggi Island of Sabah never benefited from Malaysia

Banggi had suffered under 75% poverty rate since Malaysia, which is
more than 53 years as so called Malaysians would like to call it or
rather Malayans. Actually only 47 years after Sabah formed Malaysia
and never joined Malaysia at all, because Malaysia never existed
before that date, not even the name.

And yet this article bother to tittle itself as Banggi the benefector
of Malaysia?

Poverty rate is still 75% and it will take another 10 years before
this half baked ideas will take in and if other Felcra and Felda
schemes are to be viewed as a guide, NEVER. They will just become
slaves in perpetual debt because they are not even allowed to work on
their so called "LAND".

As to Electricty? It is still only SOLAR POWERED, meaning, not

They don't even talk about water. There is no clean water supply in
Pulau Banggi and no road that you can think of. So you are still brave
enough to visit this island????

"Like many of the places that have undergone transformation since
Merdeka or after the formation of Malaysia, Pulau Banggi is finally
seeing light at the end of the tunnel with tarred roads, clean water
and electricity."

The tarred roads, clean water and electricty had existed even before
Malaysia or as this author like to state Merdeka which was in 1957,
when Sabah was still a British Colony.

In fact there are more of them under the British then after Malaysia.
It was not repaired properly and population had grown tremendously.
The water and electricity is still distributed around a small area of
Karakit, not throughout the island, and therefore will not benefit
most of the people. I never will expect poverty to drop significantly
below 75% in the foreseeable future, unless the government changed the
figures, just as 25% turned into 17% overnight.

August 18, 2009 14:28 PM

Residents Of Pulau Banggi The Benefactors Of Malaysia

By Kristy Inus

In conjunction with the Merdeka Month celebration.

KUDAT, Aug 18 (Bernama) -- About half a century ago Pulau Banggi in
Sabah was no more than a fishing enclave without any basic amenities.

However, after Sabah became part of Malaysia, Pulau Banggi located in
the waters of Kudat witnessed some transformation.

Pulau Banggi was officially declared as a district in 1975 but the
island of 14,000 people and 43 villages once had a dubious distinction
because 75 per cent of its population lived below the poverty line.

The majority of the people on the island is from the Ubian ethnic
group followed by the Dusun Banggi, Kegayan, Suluk and Bajau.

Previously the island dwellers were dependent on fishing and
subsistence farming but now they are making a transition into rubber
cultivation and working with Felcra Bhd, the agency entrusted with the
first agropolitan project on the island.

Like many of the places that have undergone transformation since
Merdeka or after the formation of Malaysia, Pulau Banggi is finally
seeing light at the end of the tunnel with tarred roads, clean water
and electricity.


Even up to two years ago the dwellers here were using generators that
can only provide electricity up to 12 hours per day and even that is
restricted to the Karakit town fronting the jetty. But now villagers
in seven areas enjoy electricity for the whole day through the solar
hybrid system costing RM21 million.

If previously there were no piped water to the villages, today a
network of 36km of pipes provide clean water to eight villages and
there are also tarred roads.

The first phase of the Pulau Banggi Agropolitan Project launched in
2007 to eradicate hardcore poverty has been completed. The initial
phase covers 700 hectares of rubber plantation while the second phase
involves 1,100 hectares with 980 hectares already cleared for

Recently 100 heads of hardcore poor families in the island were
offered homes under the local community housing project (PPMS).

One of the recipients, Talhaja Junaidal, 49, noted that she is lucky
to receive the house and believed that it would help in providing for
her children's future.

The single mother of four before this was farming and sewing where she
earned up to RM400 per month. But now she is also paid RM18 for a
day's work in the Felcra's agropolitan project.

Talhaja said her old house at Kampung Kobong has no clean water or
electricity supply and when they move into their new house, her 25
year-old eldest son would also be participating in the agropolitan

"I am more than happy. I am really thankful, this is a sign of good
tidings and hope they will continue.

"This time I got a job and more or less a permanent one, I hope to see
more benefits after the agropolitan project brings return to the
participants," she said.


Abdullah Sulaiman, 45, from Kampung Perpaduan, noted that the
residents of Pulau Banggi have always yearned for a better life by
getting into the mainstream of development.

"Before Sabah became part of Malaysia there was nothing here, almost
no facilities or employment opportunities...we lived hands to mouth.
Thus we are very happy looking at the situation now.

"We not only want to see the current generation benefiting from the
agropolitan project but also our future generations," said the father
of 10.

A civil servant from the Banggi People Development Leader's Unit
(UPKR), Amir Hamzah, 46, observed that the difference now and then is
evident to anyone living here.

Amir who was born and bred on this island stated that if previously
they had to depend on the sea for a living, including him, now they
are many employment opportunities on this island.

"I even started working with UPKR from this year, last year I was
still a fisherman. So we have to be thankful to Felcra for
contributing to the well-being of the people," added Amir.


Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal
during his recent working visit to Pulau Banggi conveyed another good
news to the residents, their request for a multipurpose hall in
Kampung Karakit has been granted.

He is happy with the infrastructure development on the island and
hoped that the islanders would soon be free from the shackles of

"Many years ago when I came here as a government official, Pulau
Banggi was not like this...the efforts to develop land and transform
the people takes time.

He pointed out that many of the agropolitan projects in Peninsula are
already bearing fruits with the project participants increasing their
income from RM200 a month to RM1,000 and RM1,300 per month.

He advised the residents here who find it difficult to make a
transition from sea base economic activities to land based activities,
not to give up halfway because there is a greater reward in the long-

The people in Pulau Banggi now have every reason to smile as they are
slowly coming out from the vicious cycle of poverty, all within the
spirit of Merdeka that promised a better future for everyone.


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