TUESDAY, 24 MAY – ‘Rentas Borneo 2016’ (RB16) which enters its third consecutive year this time will venture into the interior of Sabah with a mission to be involved in community engagement, which is synonymous with the goal of this expedition.
The destination covers Kg. Puun Batu, Nabawan and will be participated by 100 staff of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), and will start on 27 May and ends on 30 May.
Besides the participation from UMS, RB16 will also be participated by Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) crew, State Health Department (JKNS) and Keningau FM.
26 four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicles will be used, assisted by UMS Four Wheel Drive Volunteers Club (UMS4WDVC).
RB16 Chairman, Professor Dr. Ismail Ibrahim said, Rentas Borneo programme became one of the official activities of the university as it involved a large number of organisations with the aim of bringing people living in the interior with the outside world.
“RTM’s participation for example would bring a huge impact to this programme as the people throughout the nation would be able to see the socio-cultural and community life of this minority group from an isolated area, including a glimpse of the beautiful flora and fauna of the village.
“Similarly, the involvement of JKNS bringing their doctors, nurses and medicines joining the RB16 convoy would ease the need for villagers to visit the nearby health clinic due to the road condition and unavailability of vehicle,” said the Dean of the Faculty of Psychology and Education UMS.
He added that a number of activities with the residents of Kg. Puun Batu would be held during the two days there such as health and medical screenings, drawing and colouring competition for school children, four-wheel drive demonstration, cultural performances, Unduk Ngadau competition, football and volleyball competitions and the donation of clothing.
“A recce team has already been assigned to have discussions with the villagers about our intention of holding RB16. Based on the response of the recce team, the last 10 kilometre stretch of the village was the most challenging and more so when it rains,” he said.
He also stressed that the members of UMS4WDC was all prepared to face the challenges ahead going through this route.
For the record, the last RB2015 went through Pagalungan, Pensiangan, and the expedition members had a tough time returning to Kota Kinabalu because of landslides which closed the main route.
The RB convoy lost contact with the outside world but armed with the know-how, they managed to overcome the situation through teamwork.
“For RB16, the convoy will be flagged off on the grounds of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences UMS by a member of the Board of Directors UMS, Datuk Dr. Hj. Yusof Hj. Yacob and the opening of RB16 at Kg. Puun Batu will be officiated by the Minister in the Prime Minister Department, YB Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Kurup, who is also the Member of Parliament of Pensiangan, on 29 may,” said Professor Ismail. – (fl)