KupiKupiFM — Sabah’s first community-driven radio station

Sabah Tourism, culture and environment minister Datuk Masidi Manjun (fourth right) with Fui (third right) and the crew of KupiKupiFm at the radio station’s launching Jan 28, 2016. — Picture by Julia Chan
Sabah Tourism, culture and environment minister Datuk Masidi Manjun (fourth right) with Fui (third right) and the crew of KupiKupiFm at the radio station’s launching Jan 28, 2016. — Picture by Julia Chan

KOTA KINABALU, Jan 28 — A “community-driven” radio station named KupiKupi FM has been launched in Sabah, which its operators said was aimed at nurturing local youths and communities in order to raise their socio economic status.

The “100 per cent for Sabahans by Sabahans” radio station is a “Sabahan Malay” language station, featuring the colloquial Malay and will play mostly Sabahan tunes.

Aside from promoting local talents its director, Fui K. Soong, said that the radio station launched on January 20 operated on a “community driven but profit-making” business model that will be a platform for sustainable local development programmes.

When asked for examples of such programmes, Fui said these may be commercial, such as highlighting employment opportunities in other states to locals, or philanthropic in the form of a water rehabilitation project.

“It’s ambitious and never been done before, but we believe that there is a huge market and we can help the local Sabahan youths enrich their lives through this new platform,” she said.

Evergreen Kadazandusun classics like “Jambatan Tamparuli” and newer ones like “Dari Kita Saja Bah Itu,” and even the Hakka-language “I love Sino Kadazan” are among the songs that will be on air 24 hours daily.

“We hope to reach all the youths of Sabah to really make an impact but at the moment we are technologically bound and restricted to the west coast strip between Kota Belud and Kuala Penyu,” she said, adding that they were working on reaching airwaves for the entire state as soon as possible.

Kupi Kupi, which is slang for “having a chat” or the Sabah version of “yum cha”, was mooted at an informal dinner and brainstorming session between several Sabahan RTM seniors and reflected the Sabahan culture, and their tagline “Kita kita juga baini” – a phrase which means “It’s just us, after all”.

Fui, a former socio-economic consultant, and her partners Datin Rose Ismail and Rita Sim put together the idea of the radio station under their research and communication consultancy Centre for Strategic Engagement (CENSE)’s community outreach programme Operasi Tataba.

“We will bring multinational companies and government-linked companies who want to work with communities and bring them to Sabah through the station’s programmes,” she said.

KupiKupifm programme manager Lester Calvin Miol said they will be playing songs of all languages that reflects Sabah’s multicultural population.

Listeners can also look forward to topics ranging from customs and traditions to social-economic development, global and social trends, health and nutrition as well as agriculture.

He said KupiKupifm, which broadcasts on 96.3FM in Sabah, would be the only radio station that plays more than 80 per cent Sabah songs.

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