By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
NABAWAN: The road linking Pensiangan and the surrounding areas were cut off when riverbank erosion washed away part of the road crossing the Kerilin river, after a heavy downpour caused flash floods last week.
The heavy rains on February 18 also caused several landslides along the route making the road impassable to all vehicles.
A concerned villager from Kg Sabinait posted several pleas to their elected representatives for Nabawan and Pensiangan to take urgent action.
“Schools will re-open after the Chinese New Year holidays; how can we send our children to schools in Nabawan and Sapulut?, they lamented.
“How will the teachers go back to teach at our schools if the road is cutoff?”
The road to Pensiangan has been cut off many times last year, leaving villagers, teachers and medical workers stranded for days, every time a landslide or floodwaters wash away sections of the road.
Mathius Endim, a villager from Kampung Piowou, when met at the site where a group of people were busy labouring away to make a section of the road passable, asked how long they would have to suffer.
“What happens if there is emergency and we need to go to hospital but the road is cut off? Does the government just leave us to die,” Mathius said.
He has a daughter with heart complications and needs constant medical attention in Keningau as well as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu.
There are many stories and comments that surfaced recently on social media when the posting by DAP Pensiangan on the road condition went viral.
One of them, who was a former Medical Attendant who had served in Pensiangan for five years, shared his experience of being stranded in the middle of nowhere with his patient with acute asthma waiting for help.
The ambulance driver had to walk for miles to get help as the road was inaccessible. He claimed the patient later died because the supply of oxygen eventually ran out before help arrived.
He also shared several occasions where they had to be forced to turn back to Pensiangan and take the arduous three-hour boat ride to Salong when accompanying patients needing emergency medical attention that had to be referred to Keningau Hospital.
Meanwhile Adrian Lasimbang, the DAP Pensiangan coordinator, in his statement lamented the lack of action by the government to seriously address the recurring problem.
“The Barisan Nasional government have made so many empty promises to the people. They promised to upgrade the Sapulut-Pensiangan and Sapulut-Salong road since GE12; that is already 10 years and still no action.
Maybe the BN want our people to suffer. How long should this continue? We are amazed with all the lavish spending for mega projects by Najib Razak and the BN government but yet they cannot even build a decent road to link rural areas in Sabah.
“This is criminal neglect by the government which has failed its obligation to the people of Sabah,” added Adrian.
Adrian, who is also DAP Sabah Political Education director and Pakatan Harapan Sabah Information Chief, said the people in the rural areas yearned for a responsible government.
“That is why in GE14 we have to vote BN out. Pakatan Harapan is the best platform to replace BN with its New Deal for Sabah manifesto, and many of the pressing issues faced by the people can be addressed,” he pointed out.
Pakatan Harapan, through PKR and DAP is expected to field young and dynamic leaders as candidates in Pensiangan to face veteran incumbents like Joseph Kurup, Ellron Angin and Bobbey Suan.