The appointment of Professor Datuk Dr Kamaruzaman Haji Ampon as the new Vice Chancellor of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) effective June 18 is an honour to Sabah people and Keningau in general. Assistant Rural Development Minister Datuk Haji Sairin Karno described the appointment as a special gift from the Federal Government to Sabah, especially for education development. “I believe it is a proud moment for Sabah, especially the Keningau people in its mission to improve and upgrade the rural education excellence,” he said when officiating the thanksgiving on the victory of BN candidates for Liawan and Keningau at Kampung Skim Pamalan and Kampung Gaulan here on Sunday. Sairin said as a local from Keningau, Kamaruzaman could become an example to academicians and students here to continue to achieve excellence in education. “Professor Dr Kamaruzaman is the son of Sabah soil and I believe more academicians from the State will follow his footsteps,” he said. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced in Kota Kinabalu on Saturday that Kamaruzaman will replace Professor Datuk Mohd Noh Dalimin. In another development, Sairin urged the Federal Government to build the UMS Campus in Keningau in the Ninth Malaysia Plan. He said a 40-acre site for the campus had already been provided at Apin-Apin. According to him, the campus will enable rural students in the interior areas to further their studies without having to go to Kota Kinabalu. On the RM1 billion additional allocation announced by the Prime Minister, Sairin said part of the money would be used to build water supply project and widen the roads in the town areas in this district.