Norikoh Saliwah who died on Nov 25, 2012 at the age of 16 just hours after she went to the town in search for a job together with an older sibling and a relative was remembered at a memorial organized by NGO Solidariti Rakyat Sabah (SORAK).
Members of NGO’s together with several political leaders gathered at around 7pm at the old Welfare Department for a two-hour vigil prayer bringing flowers and lighting candles to pay tribute to Norikoh whose body which was discovered by a passers-by near Kg Ranau, about 2km from Kota Marudu town three years ago.
Organising Chairwoman Liza Ayusai said the memorial for Norikoh is an opportunity to highlight the plights of youths in rural areas who are forced to venture out to the city in search of better opportunities but face stiff competition for jobs with the presence of foreigners and illegal immigrants. She hoped that training and education will be provided to rural children and youths.
“Poverty,lack of education, poor infrastructure and high cost of living are among factors which lead to their migration to the city to look for better jobs and education. We hope what happened to Norikoh would act as a reminder to everyone to double efforts to prevent similar incidents from taking place again,” ” she said.
Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee who was also present at the memorial said Norikoh is a symbol representing the young and the poor in Sabah who are vulnerable.
“Norikoh went out to look for a job and along the way, she lost her life in circumstances, the facts of which are still being disputed, but we know it is tragic, we know she is a victim of poverty and what happened to her should not happen to any young Sabahans in Sabah,”he said.
Sorak Chairman Jamain Sarudin also joined the call that more be done to aid the many youths from rural areas who are migrating to the city in search of job opportunities so those who may not succeed in finding jobs will not fall victim of social ills.
“I propose the government provide a training centre to facilitate education,skills training and opportunities that can be engaging and productive to local youths, particularly those from the rural areas,”he said.