Squatter resettlement needs thorough planning, says Karambunai assemblyman

KOTA KINABALU: The relocation of squatters needs to be planned thoroughly with scheduled monitoring in place, especially in the case of those from coastal villages.

Karambunai assemblyman Datuk Yakubah Khan (pic) said that without proper planning and follow-up monitoring from the authorities or security forces, these relocation settlements could turn into a place of social and economic problems.

He was not accusing any settlement of these things, but mentioned how history proved that these areas could turn into squatter colonies and spiral uncontrollably.

"Take the Tanduo intrusion over 10 years ago. When security forces needed to hunt for remnant terrorists, one of the places they went in was the Telipok settlement," he said at the State Assembly debate session here on Tuesday (April 23).

He added that locals would be the one bearing the brunt of these negative effects, such as seen in other settlement areas including the Kg Numbak area near the 1Borneo Hypermall.

Yakubah said it was also vital that people who were relocated were moved to areas with the lifestyle or economic activities they were used to, citing the example of coastal villagers were used to living on the sea and carrying out sea activities economically.

"If you take them out of the sea and put them on land, it is akin to a fish being taken out of the water," he said.

On other matters, Yakubah suggested that the RM80mil allocation for the setting up of Sabah Cardiology Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital II, be channelled to the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) hospital.

He said the UMS hospital had more modern facilities and it would make more sense to utilise the facilities and manpower there.

This way, more students could be trained and more heart specialists can be moulded locally, he said.

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Squatters , Yakubah Khan , Sabah , Relocation


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