PENAMPANG: The Rural Development Ministry will build homes for selected participants in three Sejahtera Mini Estate programme (Mesej) projects this year.
Its minister, Datuk Ewon Benedick, said these three Mesej areas were Kampung Timpangoh Laut, Penampang, Kampung Tukar in Pitas and Kampung Mansalu, Ranau.
“These houses will be built this year, the latest by August, complete with water and electricity supply,” said Ewon, after a briefing on the development and progress of MESEJ Timpangoh Laut, situated about 20km from Donggongon town.
He hoped housing for participants would enable them to generate income with MESEJ, whether it is through rubber or oil palm plantation.
At the same time, the ministry would cooperate with other departments such as the Wildlife and Agriculture Departments and Rural Development Corporation (KPD), to introduce additional economic activities in MESEJ areas, so that participants could generate extra income, he added.
“After this, we will visit MESEJ Tukar, Pitas and Mansaru, Ranau to assess the sites there as well as number of participants, before a similar residential project is initiated.
“The number of participants must be appropriate with the number of trees, whether it is rubber or palm oil. This is because too many participants would interfere with revenue. For example, housing for 20 to 30 participants in an area of 70 hectares would not be conducive, which would ultimately hinder the original purpose of MESEJ.
“Hence, we calculated the expanse of trees which could be harvested as well as number of participants, taking into consideration the houses to be built for them there,” said Ewon.
He assured that committees were established at the district level to maintain strict intake of participants, while participants were estimated to be able to generate minimum income of RM1,700 in 20 days.
Also present at the site visit were Assistant Minister of Education and Innovation cum Moyog assemblywoman, Jenifer Lasimbang; Ministry of Rural Development permanent secretary Fedian Gan; Penampang district officer Hendry Idol and Sabah Rubber Industry Board officer Julkifle Sahimi.