Sabah man plants banana tree in unrepaired pothole. Authorities fix it the next day.

It was a success.

Julia Yee | February 02, 2024, 12:14 PM



Annoyed that a pothole on a road had remained unrepaired, a man in Sabah resorted to planting a banana tree in it to raise awareness about it.

Seemingly satisfied with his efforts, the man, Mahathir Aripin, posted about his deed on Facebook.

Plants tree in hole

"Buy some tar to cover the pothole if you can. I pity the road users," he captioned his post.

This was accompanied by a photograph of a small, solitary banana tree chilling in said pothole.

The plant was held upright by fresh soil that had been placed around it.

Mahathir's subtle call for action worked.

Pothole repaired

It looked like the authorities got wind of Mahathir's post, as one day later, the Jabatan Kerja Raya Sabah (Sabah's public works department) provided this update:

JKR Sabah said that its workers were in the area for road maintenance works, so they headed over to fill up the pothole, which was located in Sandakan-Lahad Datu.

Photo via Jabatan Kerja Raya Sabah/Facebook

The department pointed to the "continuous rain" as the reason for its delay in patching up the hole.

Mahathir's online audience rallied to support his cause in the wake of his viral post.

One commenter remarked that Sabah's road conditions have been "the worst in the whole of Malaysia" for years.

According to Independent, the pothole was situated about 500m from the spot of a recent accident.

The accident resulted in the death of a 4-year-old girl, and was believed to have been caused by a pothole.

It's a thing

Mahathir isn't the first one to make plant pots out of potholes.

In fact, planting banana trees in potholes seems to be a trend in Malaysia, as a way to protest the authorities' inertia in fixing potholes.

December 2021 saw disgruntled residents in Kampung Baru Junjong planting banana trees in their village's potholes, to catch the attention of the Kulim Kedah Municipal Council.

Residents in the area were met with the unusual sight of a two-metre tall banana tree rooted in Jalan Komersial Junjung, and another in the middle of a hawker centre, reported Utusan Malaysia.

Photo via Penang Kini/Facebook

Photo via Penang Kini/Facebook

Authorities reportedly removed the trees on the same day that they were spotted.

But it was not stated if they'd followed up with repair works.

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Top images via Mahathir Aripin and Jabatan Kerja Raya Sabah/Facebook