KENINGAU: Sabah Foundation’s North Interior Zone office here has implemented and completed 94 small projects for the people here.
Its director, Tan Sri Datu Khalil Datu Haji Jamalul, said these comprise 41 houses for the hardcore poor under the people housing program (PPRT), 33 bridges and 20 gravity piped water system.
“These projects are for all members of society regardless of race and creed,” he said in his speech at the Sabah Foundation programme with the people (YSBR) in honour of the elderly and single mothers for the coming Chinese New Year at Perkasa hotel here yesterday.
The programme was officiated by Assistant Rural Development Minister cum Liawan assemblyman Datuk Haji Sairin Haji Karno.
He said for this year, a total of 37 projects have been identified and are in the process of implementation. Many of these projects will be implemented through joint efforts of the villagers.
“Through this YBSR program, efforts will be intensified to ensure that each programme or project undertaken will be optimized in all aspects of socio-cultural and socio-economic.
“We hope in the socio-cultural aspect, it would be able to produce a caring society, always in agreement and united in the development of village and community. This could indirectly preserve the culture and traditions of the people,” he said.
Khalil added the Sabah Handicraft Centre hopes to realize the state government’s desire to improve and accelerate the production and marketing of handicraft products and for training courses in handicraft production to be conducted in faraway villages.
He said further training on forest yields, wood and batik is being undertaken centrally at the Sabah Handicraft Centre and so far, the Sabah Foundation Group through its zone offices and Sabah Handicraft Centre had trained 15,000 people in the handicraft industry.
“Such being the case, the production and marketing of handicraft products will provide economic returns to the people, especially the villagers involved in the manufacture of handicrafts. Economic activity will open many employment opportunities, such as the supply of raw materials and transportation,” he said.
The objective of the program, according to Khalil, was to promulgate the actual roles, dedication and contributions of Sabah Foundation Group to the people. He noted that the Sabah Foundation group was already known to society in the state, especially of its role in education.
Since its inception in 1966, he said the programme had become the priority in the development of education to complement the efforts of the state and federal governments in the development of human capital.
From this effort, he said many of the people in the state were extended the benefits of education in the state or in a foreign country and those who graduated have returned to serve the government or private sector.
“In addition, our children who are in secondary schools, have also received assistance through scholarships. This helped to ease the burden of parents in their children’s school spending.
“Apart from the aspect of education, through YSBR program, Sabah Foundation Group also helped the government to manage poverty in the state, particularly in building houses for poor families.
“This effort is consistent with the Sabah Foundation Group mission to reduce poverty in the state,” he said.
Khalil added the Zone Office would always work closely with the district offices and the offices of the people development leader unit to identify families that have been prioritized based on the e-kasih lists, apart from the small projects for the benefit of rural residents being implemented such as bridges and gravity water pipes.
Meanwhile, Sairin in his speech urged the people here to be thankful for the assistance provided by the government through its agencies, including the Sabah Foundation.
“I believe that through the aid granted, it provdes some form of comfort to people living in the rural areas,” he said.
During the programme, Sairin presented ang pows contributed by Sabah Foundation to 222 people comprising elderly and single mothers.