Open houses show unity in diversity
9 January 2024
By Nabalu News Journalist
KOTA BELUD: About 3000 people attended the Kadamaian Christmas and New Year Open House at Kadamaian Square Taginambur, Kota Belud yesterday.
The presence of diverse communities and religions in open house events is an indication that unity and harmony among different races and religions in the country continue to thrive, said Kadamaian State Assemblyman Datuk Ewon Benedick.
In his speech during at the open house which was also in conjunction with the launching Ceremony of Kadamaian Development, he said, “Let us show the world that behind our diversity and multiculturalism, we can still stand united, live harmoniously, and respect and celebrate cultural and religious festivities in a peaceful atmosphere.”
He added that this spirit was also evident in the leadership of the Unity Government where despite the uniqueness of political ideologies, they can still work together in governing and leading the country.
He said the togetherness in events like such as the open house was their best response to extremist rhetoric related to race and religion that cause anxiety among the people if left unchecked.
“Rest assured that the Unity Government always prioritises the agenda of unity, harmony among races, and political stability so that we can develop our country for the better.”
On the Kadamaian Development Master Plan 2020-2035 he said it was launched there in conjunction with the Christmas and New Year Open House celebration 2020 that he hosted.
“The facilities here are among the initial achievements of the plan, which is a documentation of the aspirations of the Kadamaian people produced through a six-month field study by the Sabah Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and my office once I was given the mandate as the ADUN here.”
“The Kadamaian Development Master Plan serves as a government document and guide to all ministries, agencies, and government departments to bring about faster and more systematic development in the Kadamaian area. It is my vision to develop Kadamaian based on two main economic sectors, namely agriculture and tourism, as well as the provision or upgrading of basic infrastructure facilities and rural entrepreneurship.”
He mentioned that the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who is also Minister of Rural and Regional Development launching the three major projects contained in this development plan, namely the upgrading of the Kadamaian Rural Road.
“The upgrading works of two Kadamaian Rural Roads, namely the Tengkurus-Lahanas Road and the Sayap-Mansulit Road, are currently being implemented, while the Tambulaung-Podos Road is in the process of appointing a contractor. The concrete bridge project at Kg Kaung Ulu is also in the process of appointing a contractor. The implementation of these road upgrading projects further highlights the success of the Kadamaian Development Master Plan,” Ewon elaborated.
“I am confident that when they are completed, they will transform the landscape of economic activities in Kadamaian, which is well-known for its eco-tourism ventures in addition to agriculture,” he said adding that there are 130 eco-tourism communities and 117 homestays operated by village residents, in Kadamaian.
“As the Assemblyman in this area, I am delighted to provide the much-needed facilities for the village residents, namely the upgrading of the main roads in this area. It not only facilitates the marketing of their agricultural products but also provides comfort to tourists and visitors who come to Kadamaian,” Ewon who is also the Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative said.
He stated that the development effort must be continued and multiplied due to the numerous development needs. Other main roads and village connectivity roads to schools and community economic centres need to be given attention and priority for upgrading. Treated water supply, construction of PPRT houses, and rural entrepreneurship facilities need to be increased.
In line with the government's efforts to provide basic facilities to rural residents, in line with the MADANI spirit, as a representative of the Kadamaian people, he also requested additional allocation to upgrade other main roads in Kadamaian, including village connectivity roads to schools, village connectivity roads, and allocation for village amenities such as community halls in several villages in the Kadamaian area.
Also, present during the event were Sabah Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Datuk Phoong Jin Zhe, Secretary General of the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Cooperatives Development Dato Sri Suriani Dato Ahmad, Assemblyman Datuk Seri Salleh Tun Said, heads of state and federal government departments and agencies as well as state leaders.