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Some background to the Tamparuli land controversy
Published on: Wednesday, June 28, 2017

By Jackie
Like many friends of Tina Rimmer, I was very upset to read the untrue statements towards the end of the report “Linggi praised for donating house to Govt” in your paper.

It is completely untrue that the Centre on the Tamparuli land “did not happen”.

The Tamparuli Living Arts Centre (TaLAC whose renovated building you show in a photo from a distance) has been in operation for a few years now although it only had a soft opening last year.

It has several artists and musicians in residence (including one of my nephews), and contains a gallery and artist workshops. It is becoming a local tourist attraction for Tamparuli like other private galleries in the area.

Also, its NT land and was never owned by Tina, a non-Native).

Back in 1990/1991 when Tina was recuperating at the flat of her friend Patricia Regis after the attack on her life in the old house, she and Patricia drew up the plans for the Centre (I was there).

The Native owners of the land (who no longer wanted it) transferred the land to Patricia, a Native (who spent a lot of her life in Tuaran), according to the express wishes of Tina.

Since then, Pat has used her own money to pay all the expenses on the land, included staff salaries, etc.

She set up the official Tamparuli Living Arts and Cultural Heritage Association (TaLACHA) several years back to maintain the Centre in Trust, so that all Tina’s wishes will be fulfilled –– yes, before she passed away, Tina stipulated in film clips which of her things are to be placed there.

As for caveats and such talk, I find it hard to believe that the Minister (trained in Law) would contemplate such an unethical move against the wishes of Tina who wanted the Centre to be a private operation, not a govt one.

So, please in future I hope that DE can just publish the facts, without unfairly treating private local Native efforts to promote local art and culture, especially the one encouraged by Tina.

Jackie

IT is surprising that this version of how five acres of Native Title land went out of the hands of the Rimmers into a private individual surfaced only now – after the icon’s passing – and not from the person who should be explaining it.

True, the Rimmers were not entitled to own the land because they were not natives.

But please don’t disgrace her in death with the ridiculous suggestion that the native owners of the land did not want it and so transferred it to the person you mentioned.

Please refer to pg174 of her book “A Life On Two Islands” in which she stated clearly: “Had I known that the family that had the title to the land were prepared to take over soon, I might have hung on for a while.”

Besides, which landowner would be a fool to give away five acres of prime land beside the Jambatan Tamparuli to whosoever Tina wished for free?

Truth be told that the land was bought by the Rimmers, who built two structures on it, and a relative of Tan Sri Thomas Jayasuria, named Patricia Jayasuria, agreed to hold it in trust until such time that the land problem could be solved and the land donated to the State Government for an Arts Centre to be realised.

However, this Patricia was about to get married and leave Sabah and it so happened that Tina happened to know another person she stayed with following the assault incident who convinced her that she would ensure her (Tina’s) wishes would be realised and so it was transferred to her name. DE understands that Tina even coughed out the money for the transfer at the legal firm of Jayasuria and Kah.

DE understands it was supposed to have been transferred to four names, including the person holding grant now.

Truth also be told that the late icon related to DE personally how disappointed she was in making a hasty decision in transferring the land since her wish never materialised even 30 years later.

She specifically wanted it to be a centre for art, not music.

DE also wish to put on record that tears flowed whenever the late icon spoke about the Tamparuli property.

Because she sought the help of DE in finding a solution, we took the extra step of referring the matter to the Land and Survey Director for guidance.

In this regard, DE wish to convey the highest appreciation to Jennifer Linggi for donating the Likas residence to the State Government.

Linggi actually didn’t have to because she must have willed it to Linggi out of love and affection for caring for her.

In the late icon’s conversations with DE, she only expressed regret about the Tamparuli property. – Ed

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