MATUNGGONG (JULY 20, 2012 ): Malaysians have shown that the spirit of 1Malaysia is a reality as they once again proved they are always caring and giving to those in need, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili.
The Kota Marudu MP said that the July 7 Kg Minikodong longhouse that rendered 87 people from 24 families homeless and suffering from loss of belongings and valuables had shown that Malaysians were quick and ever-willing to extend help to ease the lives of the fire victims.
Within days of the disaster, the MP and Matunggong assemblyman Sarapin Magana with the help of various departments have collected donations and aid as well as initiate an exercise to assist the victims to replace their important documents loss in the fire.
The next day after the fire, the MP and assemblyman together with the Welfare Department had distributed aid to the victims. Dr Ongkili contributed RM500 cash, 50kg bags of rice, cooking utensils and stove to each of the families. And four days after the fire, the Prime Minister approved a RM1.5million allocation to rebuild the longhouse, to the joy of the villagers.
Today, the elected representatives coordinated a mobile operation comprising several government departments and Mobile Court led by Session Court Judge Duncan Sikodol to assist the villagers to obtain their personal documents destroyed in the fire.
The exercise conducted at SK Panudahan near the longhouse site included the National Registration Department (NRD) led by Sabah director Ismail Ahmad for the victims to replace relevant documents such as identity cards, birth, marriage and divorce certificates.
The Land and Survey Department was on hand for them to report loss of their valid land title documents, Health personnel were there to offer health checks and services and Bank SimpananNasional was available for them to reapply for their bank books.
At the exercise, Foundation of Rotary Clubs in Malaysia trustees Datuk George Ginibun and Philip Chong also presented 38 disaster relief boxes filled with food supplies and essential items, while the Rotary Club of Likas Bay president K.P. Lu presented sets of school bags, uniforms and school shoes for the 13 students who lived in the longhouse, aside from 20kg of rice and toiletries for each of the families.
The Welfare Department also presented school bags and clothes donated by Kim Guan Tyre Station in Kota Marudu while several other donors had also donated items such as clothes. Dr Ongkili’s political secretary JulitaMajungki presented RM2,000 as the first round of collection by the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry among its staff members.
SK Panudahan also assisted to produce proof of the identity documents, those which were in their record, of the 13 students and their parents who lived in the longhouse.
“The departments were there to help them obtain their documents as quickly as possible because they know that it is crucial. “The Prime Minister had immediately responded to my request for allocation under the National Security Council to enable rebuilding of the longhouse soonest possible to ensure the fire victims do not remain homeless for too long. The MKN will visit the site next week to determine what should be done.
“The generosity of Malaysians is evident as seen and they did not need much convincing to extend help. However, the needs of the fire victims are still many and I hope aid will continue to come from everyone,” said Dr Ongkili, adding that with the aid and more to come, the fire victims could look forward positively to rebuilding their lives.