A year ago, after the sun sets the two scenic villages of Kitapol and Tibabar in Kiulu located near the foot of the majestic Mount Kinabalu disappears into darkness.
More than 500 people living in both villages were totally dependent on kerosene and dry-cell batteries to light up their place.
But these days, thanks to the 1Malaysia’s National Key Result Area (NKRA) initiative taken by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, both villages have electricity with the people there enjoying their activities at night including browsing the Internet.
“For more than 40 years we have endured a very challenging life without electricity. I remember back when I was 9-12 years old…during school days I have to finish my homework as early as 5pm and sleep early because there was no electricity in my village.
“Now we have electricity, we can sit outside and chat longer, watch our favourite television show – Akademi Fantasia – and need not go to bed so early.It never crossed my mind that one day both villages would have electricity. It’s just like a dream come true,” said a Kitapol villager, Kanduman Gopong to Bernama recently.
He said the people in Kitapol had waited for decades for the electricity supply and now finally they have electricity.
“I believe this would not have been possible if not for the NKRA, and the good news is that two of our neighbouring villages Tiong-Tiong and Maingob will also be enjoying 24-hour electricity supply soon,” he said.
Kanduman, who is also the Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) chairman, said the rural electrification projects were consistent with the aspirations of the 1Malaysia concept which prioritised the interests of th epeople, particularly in rural areas.
“I really admire the speed and the way our Prime Minister transformed the country in terms of development. Within a short period of time, many perennial problems including the lack of electricity supply faced by the rural people have been solved,” said the soft-spoken Kanduman.
Not long after assuming the premiership in 2009 Najib announced big plan sfor Malaysia through the Government Transformation Program (GTP).
In achieving the objectives of the GTP, six National Key Results Areas (NKRAs) have been identified by the government for implementation.
They are enhancing quality of education, upgrading public transportation, reducing corruption, reducing crime, upgrading rural infrastructure and upgrading low income household.
Kanduman said apart from the four villages, there were other remote villagesin Kiulu which benefited from NKRA through the provision of electricity supply such as Kampung Gonipis Baru, Borombon, Tudan and Poring.
“On behalf of the Kitapol and Tibabar folk, I’d like to thank Kiulu assemblyman Louis Rampas for his relentless effort to map out blueprint on Kiulu’s transformation, especially basic infrastructures like electricity, clean water supply and roads,” he said.
Joos Galid and John Hussin, community leaders in Kiulu, in concurring with Kaduman’s views on the matter pointed out this helped to eradicate the negative perception about the NKRAs.
However, he said that even before this, the government had provided electricity to at least 10 villages along Tomis-Tiong Ratau-Lokos road, near Mount Kinabalu, benefiting about 5,000 people and five villages along Pukak-Mantob road, near the Crocker Range.
These stretches of roads have also been asphalted recently, much to the delight of the rural folks.
Meanwhile, the People Development Leader for Kiulu, Sami Bangud said therewere also plans in the pipeline to implement at least 14 other rural electrification projects in Kiulu soon.
“The government has already approved these projects and it is only a matter of time before these electricity projects are implemented,” he said.