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“Nilakrisna: Restore Interior’s Former Glory”

Keningau, Sabah—Lawyer and activist Nilakrisna James, also the Founder and Patron of the Borneo Youth Premier League (BYPL), made a call to restore the former glory of Sabah’s rural interiors when it comes to national development.

“During the colonial days, the Chartered Company’s native administration centre was in Bingkor where OKK Sedomon was made responsible for running the pilot local government scheme. It was an important town in British North Borneo. Today, Bingkor is a shadow of its former glory and left pretty much behind in national development. We need to refocus our efforts as a country in distributing equitable development across all major towns in this State so that our rural youths can expect decent employment in rural towns instead of having to migrate and flood major cities where the cost of living for them will exhaust their wages and where they will face intense competition for the same jobs with their urban counterparts. Rural youths should be encouraged to participate in agricultural enterprises as well as have the choice to engage in lucrative employments in their own home towns. Villages can be conserved for their natural beauty but every major town should by now begin to see the same quality of development as Kota Kinabalu,” she said in a press statement.

Saying this at the BYPL 2011 Football Tournament finals held over the Malaysia Day weekend at the Keningau Sports Complex stadium she also highlighted that the Keningau Sports Complex should be upgraded and renovated with a greater level of cleanliness. “They had exhibitions over the weekend and I understand that they had the crowds but if we had tourists visiting at that time, they will leave with memories of the filth in the toilets and the overall ‘tiredness’ of the building. If that is one of Keningau’s source of pride and landmark, we need to upgrade it.”

The BYPL’s ‘O.K.K Sedomon Cup’ made its debut into the Keningau football scene after BYPL was founded and launched April this year by Nilakrisna. Originally named Bingkor Youth Premier League, BYPL changed its name soon after the launch to allow teams from all over Sabah to participate, boasting the participation of 31 teams in this year’s tournament.

The four semi-finalists were the champions of the 4 rounds that took place between May to September this year and in the final placing 4th place was BYPL FC from Bingkor N.33; 3rd place, Facebook FC from Kg. Bunga Raya; 2nd place, Berungis A FC from Kg. Berungis and champions, Denggiluang FC from Kg. Denggiluang Bundu.

“We have decided to name the BYPL cup in OKK Sedomon’s honour. He was a great leader who believed in empowering his people for political leadership and economic autonomy. It is therefore apt to end our tournament on the Malaysia Day weekend. Every single person in this team believes in carrying on the spirit of his struggle and where football may be a community project under our NGO, Gerakan Belia Dinamik Pedalaman, we intend to venture into other types of community projects. I have passed the baton of leadership to the President, Juse Reoyston, who is permanently based in Keningau to ensure that we complete all projects as planned to their final conclusions and achieve our desired objective of uniting and empowering rural youths through sports and healthy community activities,” said Nilakrisna.

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