SANDAKAN: The gotong-royong practice needs to be re-emphasised as part of the local culture or customs, said Sabah Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Datuk Frankie Poon Ming Fung.
He said the gotong-royong practice is losing its importance, especially among the urban community, and fears that the increasingly individualistic attitude would hamper the government’s efforts in creating a developed and high-income nation.
“We do not want the people to be individualistic, materialistic and lose the neighbourhood values where people show care and concern for their surroundings.
“Therefore, it is important for the people to practise gotong-royong to raise awareness on the importance of looking after health, family and the surroundings as well as to strengthen the friendship and cooperation among the community members,” he said at a community health programme in Kampung Sim-Sim here today.
Poon, who is also the Tanjung Papat assemblyman, said the authorities are developing the tourism sector in Sandakan and want to launch a large-scale project that will boost the development of Sandakan.
In realising this target, he hoped that the people of Sandakan would understand the importance of cleanliness and help to check the spread of diseases such as dengue.
Meanwhile, Sandakan Municipal Council president Wong Foo Tin said the council was planning to establish a community development section to educate the people on the importance of maintaining cleanliness, health, unity and community.