By Dr Edwin Bosi, DAP ADUN for Kepayan
Samparita is famous for a wrong reason. The village is home to a teenage girl Norikoh Saliwa who was brutally murdered and dumped on the side of a road in Kota Marudu on 25th November 2012. How could I forget as her date of death is my date of birth? Norikoh who was only sweet sixteen was in town in search of a part time job in a furniture store. A Pakistani man is now charged with her murder and will soon know his fate when the case is up for mention in the High Court.
This is a high profile case because it involves a local girl and a foreigner. As DAP Secretary, I took the time to visit her parents and family at Kg Samparita to listen to their story (not just from the media), and also to convey our condolence and to hand over a little donation. Norikoh’s parents are down to earth simple folks, with a very simple house with basic necessity. She on the other hand had high hope to address this issue. She ventured and pursued her study in Kota Kinabalu and had a bright future for herself and to uplift her family from their present situation. Then the tragic accident happened and now we can only hope for justice to come her way. This is one murder case that must see the light of justice.
When DAP Malaysia mooted the program called “Impian Malaysia” and later extended to “Impian Sarawak” and “Impian Sabah”, I was a little taken aback when it was revealed that the first program of impian Sabah would be in Kg. Samparita Laut. The word “Samparita” rang a bell and that brought me back to the time my team and I visited Norikoh’s parents. When I got hold of the local newspaper upon returning from KL, I saw and read that her case will be up for mention in a few weeks time.
About 22 volunteers came to complete the task of assembling and commissioning a 3km gravity pipe system for the village of Samparita Laut. It took them 18 days to complete the project. There are at least 13 households that would benefit from this clean but untreated water yet the best for this community. Impian Sabah has given them a gravity pipe that will adequately satisfy the water needs of the villagers. It is a Christmas gift from the Rocket.
There are already more than 350 volunteers registered with impian Malaysia, and they come from all walks of life from students to working executives. For now, the majority of the volunteers are from West Malaysia. This is basically the true spirit of impian Malaysia, a brainchild of Sdra Lim Kit Siang where West Malaysians not only talk and sympathise with the level of development and progress in Sabah and Sarawak but they are coming over to help to do whatever that can be done to alleviate the sufferings and miseries of the people of Sabah and Sarawak especially in the rural areas.
On a straight line, Kg Samparita Laut (N06⁰ 54395’, E116⁰ 97442’) is about 23.5km from Kota Marudu. It takes about 45 minutes to reach the village by road and in this case a 4WD is required as some stretch is impassable to other vehicle. I saw electricity poles are hurriedly planted.
I took time to visit Kg Samparita Laut with MP for Batu Kawan Sdri Kasthuri P Patto a day before the launching of the gravity pipe on 20th December 2013 by Sdra Lim Kit Siang. I was impressed with the enthusiasm of the project leaders Kar Lye and Lilian and their volunteers who were able to sleep on mattress-less floor and some without mosquito nets. I was also impressed with how they handled themselves with the lack of proper bathing and toilet facilities. I saw some of them with their legs “ravaged” by insect bites while one of them came down with Malaria. Yet, during the launching they were able to show the bright side and high spirit with laughter, excitement, singing and dancing with the villagers.
The climax was when Sdra Kit Siang opened the tap and water started to sprinkle out of the pipe. A job well done, the people were so happy. Sdra Kit Siang must be hoping that the wish lists that the children have written on the flipchart papers could be realised too. Their wishes are about boat with engine, nice house, bridge, good roads, electricity and good education. Despite the DAP flags flying all over the village, I still wonder if the majority of the folks even realise that it is the DAP that has successfully provided them with a gravity piping system! I am certain however that DAP has made an impression upon them as one of their leaders has told Sdra Kit Siang that he wanted to open a DAP branch in Samparita Laut.
When I arrived at Kg Samparita Laut my thought went back to the time when I visited my grandparents at Kg Kiranau in Penampang. That was about mid 60s. The houses are made of timber and some are still made of bamboo. My grandparent house was made of timber with bamboo flooring and I can still remember the sight and bites of the bed bugs. They somehow disappeared as soon as the insect spray became commercial.
Here, I realised that a dugout log becomes their boat or sampan. They looked so small and clumsy indicating the small size of the timber found in this area. During low water, crossing the river is done with a boat with one person or even two holding both end of the boat and guiding it. I noticed bamboos are plentiful along the river and that surprised me they are not keen to make a raft that can help them cross the river more efficiently. It only takes a good wire cable and ropes to get a raft working. That was my grandparents “ferry” to get across the Moyog river then.
Samparita Laut folks are simple and predominantly Christian SIB living on a 5-acre village reserve perched high up on a hill. They have settled here in the 60s and have applied for land but like many of their native counterparts in various parts of Sabah, their applications have not seen the light of day. Then they were given a shock when a company started logging and planting oil palms just north to their village. According to the villagers, the company even bulldozed their ancient graves and pollute the river. There is totally no respect for NCR. I have a special officer dealing with NCR application and she would be back to assist them and prepare to take back their NCR land.
The folks at Samparita laut are planting hill padi, tapioca and rubber trees to sustain and survive. For now the river is still providing them with fish. I saw a fair number of small-size village pigs and chickens roaming freely in the village. The pigs are fed with tapioca and kangkong. I noticed a woman chipping off the tapioca to feed her chickens. With the pigs, chickens, dogs and cats roaming freely, anything edibles on the ground are gone when they are within sight. The river and the jungle backdrop are so beautiful. Kg Samparita has a huge tourism potential.
The impian Sabah water gravity project has not only provided them with water but at least for the pass 18 days there are lots of human activity with the presence of the volunteers. The best and most memorable for the village folks and volunteers alike is the presence of Malaysia’s iconic politician Sdra Lim Kit Siang. During the start of the project, MP Tony Pua was at Kg Samparita Laut to flag off the project.
Never before a rural village such as Samparita Laut see so many lawmakers in their village. This date 20th December 2013 will go down in history for Kg Samparita Laut where four MPs (Sdra Lim Kit Siang, Sdra Jimmy Wong, Sdra Stephen Wong and Sdri Kasthuri P Patto) and three ADUNs (Sdra Dr Edwin Bosi, Sdra Chan Foong Hin and Sdra Junz Wong) were presence to witness the launching of the impian Sabah water gravity project.
Picture shows Kg Samparita Laut perched on a hill.
Picture shows the slippery and muddy road to Kg Samparita Laut. MP Batu Kawan Kasthuri P Patto (left) is not amused with this road.
Picture shows a common uncovered bathroom, and two houses still walled with Bamboo.
Picture shows Sdra Kit Siang and Sdra Stephen Wong crossing the river in a boat assisted by two villagers.
Picture shows Sdra Kit Siang, Dr Edwin Bosi and Stephen Wong appreciating the “wish list” from children of Samparita Laut.
Picture shows the beautiful scenery at Kg Samparita Laut.