Our story begins with a handful of rubber seeds.
In 2012, Centre for Strategic Engagement (CENSE), a private research outfit, began Operasi Tataba in Sabah. This project was conceived with the aim of growing useful skills and productive self-reliance to eventually blossom into socioeconomic sustainability for the many communities of Sabah, especially those deep in the interior.
Research had shown that a large number of Kadazandusun and Murut communities were living in severe hardship. Between land ownership complications, eroding traditional heritage and the large number of immigrants threatening the security and sovereignty of Sabah.
Meticulously designed and carried out by a group of dedicated individuals, the Tataba Project began with the distribution of high-quality rubber seedlings and germinated palm-oil seeds to over 400,000 Kadazandusun and Murut people living in the deep and remote interior of the state.
The saplings and seeds came with lessons on how to bud-graft and set up nurseries. The goal was to enable each family to use their land to grow rubber for valuable timber or palm-oil for fruit to eventually improve their living standards. Today, Tataba is witnessing the growth and spread of cash crops like pepper and pineapple.
The project has also seen the emergence of a group of enthusiastic individuals who are encouraging their kin and neighbors to develop the entrepreneurial spirit — to grasp the foundational idea introduced by Tataba and run further with it!
Alongside this empowering agricultural project, the story also celebrates rejuvenating community work in the interior of Sabah carried out with help from community leaders, school teachers and farmers and their families.
Many pre-schools, hostels and community halls have been restored, expanded and equipped with material to improve and enrich the lives of Sabahans across the state.
A number of private companies and foundations have assisted the Tataba project with training of young KDMs as house painters and young women as pre-school teachers.
To date, the Tataba Project has touched the lives of 75% of the communities and it is still going strong.
To reach further into the interior and find new ways to unite the many communities, it was decided that the most cost-effective method with far-reaching impact would be a community radio.
With that, Kupikupifm was brewed.
The station, run by a team of young, enthusiastic Sabahans, offers listeners news, useful information and fresh ideas to shape and strengthen their collective identity.
Listeners will be entertained and educated on topics ranging from customs and traditions to social-economic development, global and social trends, health and nutrition as well as agriculture.
Of equal importance will be the promotion of local entertainers, giving them the chance to showcase their talents.
For now, MCMC/Telekom Malaysia has allocated Bukit Kratong as the transmission site. This allows for coverage from Kuala Penyu to Kota Belud.
Ultimately, Kupikupifm’s goal is to become a sanctuary for Sabahan songs, stories and heritage. It hopes to become their go-to station to lighten the heavy heart, to allay their worries and concerns and to listen to when they yearn for home.