RM400 mln for Sibu-Kapit road

GAWAI CELEBRATION: Najib (third right) cutting the Gawai Dayak cake. Also seen are Masing (left), Asfia (second left), Jabu (second right) and Nazri (right). — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

Govt to expedite Kanowit bridge, complete access to Song in two years — Prime Minister

KUCHING: The long-awaited access road from Sibu to Kapit is closer to realisation after the federal government agreed to expedite the construction of a bridge at Kanowit and complete the road to Song with an allocation of about RM400 million.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said once the 33 km project is completed in about two years’ time, it would give road access from Kapit to Sibu.

“I know Kapit may be the only place in the world where there is no access road. Based on my previous visit to Kapit before this and with the express boat tragedy that happened, the road from Kapit to Sibu needed additional

work to be done for complete connection,” he said during a dinner in conjunction with Gawai Dayak held at a hotel here yesterday.

As for the road access from Kapit to Belaga, Najib said a study has to be conducted on the routes, considering that there are many options and a decision would be delivered once the study is completed.

Najib, who is also finance minister, had also given a commitment to the Bumiputera community in the state that he would include an additional budget allocation of RM30 million in the budget next year for the perimeter survey of about 180,000 hectares of

native customary rights land in the state so the survey work can be completed and those qualified for land ownership get their land titles.

“As of now, the government had allocated RM60 million for perimeter survey in Sarawak. No federal government in history has given allocation for this purpose but I think that since NCR land is close to the hearts of rural people, the government must assist.”

Najib also announced that as a humanitarian consideration,all victims of the Belaga express boat tragedy who were saved would be given RM500 – RM1,000 from the National Security Council and another RM500 from Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia.

“For victims who had died, we will give allocation of RM5,000 to each family. As for the three heroes who saved many victims during the tragedy, we will give RM3,000 to each of them as a consolation and in appreciation of their bravery.”

Although there was a loss of life, Najib was thankful the number of fatality was smaller than estimated earlier. According to him, 213 were saved, one death confirmed while two persons are still missing.

He said all the projects and contribution announced were proof that the BN government is sincere in helping rural communities that supported the BN government in the 13th general election.

Also present at the event were Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz, Works Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Dato Sri Douglas Uggah Embas, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang, State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar and Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh.

Others present included Social Development Minister Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom, Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing, Second Resource Planning and Environment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, Housing Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, Special Functions Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Adenan Satem and State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Morshidi Ghani.

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