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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pricey Islamic training centre rotting away in Sabah


Tall grass line the fields almost obscuring the football goalposts, the buildings seem to be in urgent need of maintenance, birds nest in the roof, drains are clogged with overgrowth and the grounds are infested with rats and snakes.

To those passing the site, the multi-million ringgit Islamic Training Centre (ITC) at Lahad Datu, Sabah is nothing more than a white elephant 10 years on.

Puzzlingly, the centre was given a fresh coat of paint recently.

The centre which sprawls over 20 acres off the Tungku road at kilmometre 24, consists of an administrative building, staff quarters, two hostel blocks that can accommodate 500 students, a canteen, mosque, a hall that can seat 1,000 and includes basketball and badminton courts, outdoor sepak takraw court, a football field as well as a 60-seater bus.

Critics say the ITC, whose construction began in 2000 for an estimated RM20 million, has never been fully utilized more than five years since its completion.

Newly formed Silam DAP branch chairman Tajuldin Abdul Rahim is among those questioned the senseless wastage of facilities and funds.

“During our visit last Saturday we learned that the centre has become a white elephant because there is no piped-water. Surely the planner of this project should have foreseen this problem. Why did this project get the go ahead in the first place?” he asked.

“This stinks of corruption. As a temporary measure, why can’t they use a water-tanker to transport water from Lahad Datu town to the centre?”

Heads must roll

He added that it was clear that whoever conceived the project was only interested in making money from it.

He described those responsible had dragged the good image of Islam through the mud and should be fully held accountable for the diabolical decision.

Taljudin wants Tungku assemblyman Suhaili Said (BN) to explain why the centre had fallen into such a deplorable state.

"Being an ustaz and living just about 6km from the centre he should know better the importance of this centre."

The assemblyman, he said, "should have the courage to reprimand Jakim (Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia) who have allowed the centre to become uninhabitable".

Taljudin also wants Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman to reprimand the United Sabah Islam Association (USIA) for failing to speak up on the wastage.

“What is shocking is that though they have been aware of this situation for the past five years they have remained silent.

“I am serving one month's notice to USIA and Jakim that they should do whatever is necessary to beautify the whole centre and bring it up to par with any other such centres in Malaysia, failing which I shall lead a campaign to make our view heard,” he warned.

Also present at the inspection were DAP officials Jimmy Hee, Charan Singh, Maliki OT Lahani and Anthony Teo.

courtesy of FreeMalaysiaToday

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