Dump site turns into awards competitor

National 2 minutes, 34 seconds


WHAT used to be a dumping site is now a competitor at this year’s Excellent Village Awards.

Kampung Padnunok in Tutong district has entered the awards for the second time, banking on its Wasai Batu Mapan Recreational Park to bring honours to the village.

Sharing with The Brunei Times the history of how the park became what it is today, Village Chief Hj Matasin @ Hj Musa Hj Metussin said it used to be polluted with rubbish years ago.

After the construction of roads were completed in the village, many people went to the wasai (waterfall) and it turned into an eyesore before the park received a facelift.

When he and the village consultative council scouted the place, they found the _wasai _had potential to be an attraction where people can rest and spend their leisure time with their family.

The consultative council, of which the village chief is a member, then called on the villagers to clean the place in 2008 for months.

Hj Matasin said the consultative council decided to build huts as the place became cleaner.

When the attraction received good responses, Hj Matasin and his consultative council members decided to build a park, which was officially launched on June 3, 2011.

With encouragement from the Tutong District Office, he said the village entered the competition for the first time for the 2012/2013 Excellent Village Awards, but received only the consolation prize.

Alhamdulillah, we participated with our tourism and services as our main focus this year, but we also included other products on the side,” said Hj Matasin.

“Aside from that, we also planted coffee seedlings (at the park), which is more than just marketing the products, but also encouraging the younger generations who will succeed us to continue our efforts,” he added.

He said the planting of coffee would be able to foster unity and integration among the youths, as well as the villagers.

Hj Matasin said aside from a coffee plantation at the park, there were plans to plant local fruits such as asam aur-aur.

Moreover, Hj Matasin said unity through culture is also among the objectives of Kg Padnunok’s development plans.

He explained that in Kg Padnunok, there are three major ethnic groups living in the village; Malay Muslims, Dusuns and the Chinese.

“Despite belonging to different ethnic groups, we are always working together in unity, especially when organising cultural activities in this village,” he said.

He added that no matter what is being celebrated; Hari Raya, Lunar New Year or Adau Gayoh, the community would always work together to make the celebrations a lively one.

Hj Matasin said products such as kelupis (glutinuous rice wrapped in banana leaves), weavings and woodwork would be developed in the village.

“Currently these products are available only from certain individuals in our village, but we are making an effort to train villagers to make the products,” he said.

“In the future, it is possible that these products will become our main focus for the Excellent Village Awards,” he added.

The Excellent Village Awards ceremony is expected to take place tomorrow.

The Brunei Times