SEPANGGAR: The government will allocate RM7.5 million to build a Bajau Sama Cultural Centre in its effort to uphold the identity of the ethnic group in Sabah.
Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Mohd Noor said that the centre will be built on 3.5 acres of designated land in Kampung Lok Batik, Tuaran.
“The groundbreaking ceremony is planned to take place in February and will be officiated by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman.
“I implore the Bajau Sama community not to forget their identity even after achieving success in life.
“We must practice unity, cooperation and solidarity to defend our nation,” he said in his opening address at the launch of the Bajau Sama Sabah Association (PBSS), Kota Kinabalu City branch.
Hajiji emphasised the need for a platform to uphold the identity of the second largest ethnic group in Sabah, so that it is up to par with all ethnicities in the State.
He also said that it is important for the Bajau Sama children to be highly educated and learned so that they can compete in the world, adding that knowledge should only be used for good and never to stir up their community.
“I hope the Bajau Sama community in Sepanggar and the Kota Kinabalu City PBSS branch will put this community in the main stream of national development,” said Hajiji, who is also PBSS president.
He said PBSS would continue to extend full support to the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman
Hajiji stated that Malaysia in general and Sabah in particular have made tremendous progress to the extent of standing tall even among developed and Western countries.
“Sabah has also gained much under the leadership of Najib as Prime Minister, with his numerous visits and announcements of major projects.
“The biggest and lasting legacy that Najib will leave behind for Sabahans is the multi-billion ringgit Pan-Borneo Highway, by far the single largest project that he has launched in the State,” he pointed out, adding that Najib is one PM who listens.
On Musa’s role, Hajiji said under his leadership Sabah also made progress by leaps by bounds.
“Under Musa as Finance Minister, the State coffers has reached an all-time high in terms of State financial reserves.
“Not only that, the administration of Sabah’s finances has even gained praise and recognition from national and international bodies,” he pointed out.
Hajiji also thanked Musa for his support for PBSS since Day 1, saying that the Chief Minister was the one who launched PBSS at the state level a few years ago in Tuaran.
“Musa also kindly approved a piece of State land for the construction of a Bajau Sama Cutural Complex in Tuaran. Apart from that, he also approved RM7.5 million for the construction of the complex.
“God willing, Musa will perform the ground-breaking ceremony for the complex at Kampung Lok Batik next month,” he revealed.
Present at the function were PBSS deputy president Datuk Musbah Jamli, vice-president Datuk Jumat Idris and secretary-general Kassim Razali.
The KK City branch of PBSS is led by Shamsuddin Awang Aman with Masri Mansor as his deputy.
Also present were the Inanam chief of KDCA, Datuk Steven Awit Beliku, KK Berunai Association chief Ahmad Mahmood and PBSS district heads from eight areas.
Meanwhile, Sepanggar member of parliament cum PBSS vice president Datuk Jumat Idris also approved a RM100,000 allocation for PBSS Kota Kinabalu.
According to him, the allocation is to buy musical instruments and traditional garb of the Bajau Sama community, among others, for the association.
He said that with today’s globalised development, the Bajau Sama people face socio-cultural challenges such as struggling to preserve their mother tongue.
Jumat said that parents need to pay serious attention to passing down their people’s mother tongue to their children, otherwise it will become a lost art.
“Our culture, including music and crafts, needs to be passed down to the younger generation because it shows the origin of our community,” he said, before adding that many in the Bajau Sama group also endure economic setbacks as not all of them are able to keep up with its advancement.
“We have to change in order for our people to prosper and for that to happen, hard work needs to be done,” he said.
Source: Borneo Post