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MATUNGGONG; A call was made to the Warisan-led government to continue rebuilding and repair works of longhouses, traditionally lived by the Rungus and Murut communities in Sabah.

Member of Parliament here, Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, in disclosing this said at least another 24 more longhouses are in dire need of repair or reconstruction in both Tandek and Matunggong.

“Over the last eight years period, the previous government has reconstructed and repaired 33 longhouses here, of which 24 longhouses were reconstructed and four repaired in Matunggong, and three rebuilt and two repaired in Tandek,” he said.

He said funding for these projects were obtained from the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU), which was under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Department, the National Security Council and the Rural Development Ministry.

Kota Marudu Member of Parliament, Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili inspecting the affected fire site in Kampung Tuid, Matunggong, on Tuesday. SNT Pix/Credit PBS

“The previous government has approved allocations to improve the livelihood of the these communities, so we believe that the current government must prove that it can do better than Barisan Nasional,” said the Parti Bersatu Sabah President after visiting fire victims at the Kampung Tuid Longhouse, here.

At least nine families lost their homes after the seven-door longhouse were razed to the ground two days ago.

Ongkili also urged the State Government to immediately approve funding for reconstruction of the affected longhouse adding that previously, they were able to secure allocation within seven days from relevent federal agencies after the incident.

“The current government should emulate, if not do better, to relieve  the sufferings of fire victims,” he said.

On another development, Ongkili again urged the Housing and Local Government Ministry to set up a Fire and Rescue Services Department station in the sub-district of Matunggong.

Kota Marudu Member of Parliament, Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili presenting aid to Kampung Tuid fire victims after visiting the affected area, on Tuesday. SNT Pix/Credit PBS

“This is has been requested over and over again, and the reply has always been that Matunggong can be serviced by the fire station in Kudat.

“But the recent Kampung Tuid fire incident proved that Matunggong is indeed too far from Kudat.

“By the time the fire engine arrived the scene, the long house, it was already burnt to ashes,” he said.

“We cannot afford to have more longhouses turning to ashes, and that is why we are convinced that a fire station is needed to serve the sub district,” he saie.

Ongkili led the PBS leaders in extending assistance in the form of food stuff, kitchen utensils, plywoods and zincs to fire victims.

Affected families also received cash aid of RM500 each.-SabahNewsToday