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PM to visit historic house in Sabah


KOTA KINABALU: It will be a nostalgic affair for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak when he visits Rumah Besar, literally the big house, in Bingkor, Keningau this weekend.

Located about 15km from the interior town of Keningau and about 130km from here, Najib's father, the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, had also stopped by the house for a meeting 50 years ago.

The late OKK Sedomon Gunsanad hosted the visit then to talk about terms sought by native leaders from interior districts before the formation of Malaysia.

OKK, or Orang Kaya Kaya, was a title given to district native chiefs by the British.

Sedomon was an influential leader at the time and was among a handful who opposed the formation of Malaysia because he felt the people of Sabah were not ready for the federation and proposed that it implemented gradually.

His son, Ricky Sedomon, was 8 when Razak came to the house.

Ricky said the only thing he could remember was the large number of uniformed men who came to secure the house before Razak came for the meeting.

Ricky, who is one of the 10 trustees of the iconic house, heads a committee formed to welcome Najib. He said it was all systems go for the visit.

Najib, who is expected to arrive on Saturday, is scheduled to visit Keningau, Sook and Tambunan over two days.

"This will be a significant visit for our extended family," said Ricky, adding that the 10 trustees were all children -- five sons and five daughters -- of the late Sedomon.

"We are now making preparations for the visit and many of our family members have returned to help."

Rumah Besar sits on a 5ha plot of land owned by the family and was built in 1937.

Other dignitaries who had visited the house included the first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, former Sabah chief minister and Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Fuad Stephens as well as Tun Datu Mustapha Datu Harun and British governor Sir William Goode.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will visit the Rumah Besar or literally the big house in Bingkor, Keningau this weekend.

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