TENOM: Melalap, a sub-district near here with a population of about 5,000, will be getting a new township, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.
He said the project would take a substantial period to complete as the area was presently an oil palm plantation belonging to Sime Darby Bhd.
“We appreciate Sime Darby chairman Tun Musa Hitam’s gesture to let us have the site for rebuilding the town. I suppose it is also part of Sime Darby’s corporate social responsibility,” he noted.
He said the new township would have various amenities such as an administrative building, shops, a recreation area and a school.
Musa said the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government is committed to defending fate and future of the people of Sabah.
He said the creation of a new Melalap township is a promise fulfilled to reciprocate the commitment and cooperation of BN leaders here wanting to see the people enjoy progress.
Musa said the role played by BN leaders in developing Tenom, especially Melalap was a responsibility they must fulfill to enable the people to enjoy the fruits of development brought about by the BN government.
“I believe that without cooperation, we would not be able to develop the Melalap town,” he said in his speech at the Melalap town’s ground-breaking ceremony here yesterday.
“I am confident that this new town will be equipped with various facilities that can provide comfort to the community, especially the increasing pace of socio-economic development which means better living standard for the people,” he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Infrastructure Development, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitiangan told reporters that the creation of the Melalap town showed the commitment of the BN government.
“Pledges and promises are kept,” he said, adding that Pairin and the elected representatives in Tenom had submitted a plan to realise Melalap town a long time ago.
Eventually Sime Darby had agreed to give 200 acres of its oil palm land to the state government for the purpose of rebuilding Melalap town.
Meanwhile, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Datuk Radin Malleh, who is also Melalap state assemblyman, said the first phase of the project would involve 23 acres while the second, 20 acres. The following phases would involve 20, 65 and 60 acres.