Tourism Activities, Facilities to Empower Mesej Villages
The State Ministry of Rural Development will continue to intensify efforts to empower the villages of Mini Sejahtera Estates (Mesej) with tourism activities and facilities.
Its Minister, Datuk Ewon Benedick said there are many Mesej villages that can be operated as rural tourism centres to generate additional revenue for participants.
“So far, we have 52 Mesej villages across Sabah and of that number, we have selected two Mesej villages namely Mesej Kaingaran, Tambunan and Mesej Kinolosodon, Papar to be developed as a tourist attraction by providing it with related facilities.
“For the Mesej Kaingaran, the location is very strategic as it is located between Tambunan and Mount Trusmadi. That is why we have allocated funds for the construction of a rest house known as Walid Tundorongon, an accommodation facility for tourists in the area, especially for Mount Trusmadi visitors,” he said when officiating at the Walai Tundorongon Rest House at Mesej Kaingaran recently.
Ewon who is also Kadamaian Assemblyman said the initiative to establish a tourism centre in the respective Mesej village was part of his proposal to increase income among Mesej participants.
“Last year, I have expressed my vision for the tourism Mesej villages to be created either through the development of existing Mesej or through the creation of new Mesej village.
“Today, I personally visited the Mesej village that provides a variety of activities and tourism facilities in Kaingaran. A few weeks ago, I also visited Mesej Kinolosodon in Papar for similar purpose and I am glad that the rest house is now accessible to visitors,” he said.
The construction of the rest house included an allocation of RM160,000 from the Ministry to Tambunan District Office.
In addition, the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) has also allocated RM20,000 to build a porch which is connected to the rest house for the convenience of the visitors.
“I also hope that tourism activities in Mesej Kaingaran will be strengthened in line with the main activities of rubber plantations there.
“There villages like Kg Lobong-Lobong in Kota Belud which offers rubber tapping experience package to tourists especially from abroad is becoming very popular. I believe with the cold weather, geography and strategic location, Mesej Kaingaran will continue to rise as one of the premier popular tourist attractions in Tambunan.
Ewon said several Mesej villages in other districts that were built on islands and coastlines were developed for “balat” and seaweed enterprises there.
“I feel the true potential of Mesej village is on the beach and sea. This is what I want to see being developed next year.
During the event, Ewon also approved an allocation to upgrade the concrete road leading to the rest house and also for the construction of several freshwater fishponds around the rest house for fishing, buying and cooking activity for the visitors.
Ewon expressed his confidence that the initiative would help increase participants’ income to enable them being lifted out of poverty.
Meanwhile, Tambunan District Officer Jumain Abdul Ghani said Mesej Kaingaran Cooperative was set up to manage the rest house and grocery store in that village.