Pelagus rep claims one third of Kapit Division owned by 11 companies

KUCHING: Developing Kapit Division is a challenge because one-third of the land area (1 million hectares) are currently owned by 11 private companies under License of Planted Forest (LPF) with 60 years Provisional Lease (PL).

In his debate, Wilson Nyabong Ijang (BN-Pelagus) urged the current administration to review all of planted forest licence in Sarawak and to ensure that NCR land be excised out of the existing LPF in Kapit.

“The whole of Kapit town is covered by one of the LPF PLs and also Tunoh area in Bukit Mabong District has two planted forest licence. This will affect the development of Tunoh township,” he said, adding that this is a serious matter.

Wilson pointed out that Upper Rajang Development Agency (URDA), an agency under RECODA, was formed to help expedite and focus the overall development in Upper Rejang.

URDA covers the whole area of Kapit Division with an area of 38,934 km2 or 3,893,400 hectares with a population of 115,300.

Wilson also suggested that the Hydro Electric Power dams in Kapit – Murum HEP (635 MW), Bakun HEP (1,700 MW), and the upcoming Baleh HEP (1,285 MW) – pay Water Cess of 0.02 sen per kWhr.

“This money could be channelled to URDA for the purpose of development in Kapit Division, in addition to the existing financial allocation from both the state and federal governments.”

On the current state of development, Wilson said that he is appreciative of the road construction under SCORE.

“I came to know that there is a substantial balance of funds available due to the cancellation of Baram Dam Project and sent a letter of request for Notice of Change (NOS) to the Ministry of Finance (MOF) but until today we have not obtained the response from the federal government.”

He urged the state government to urgently expedite this NOC to enable the funds to be used for the construction of a 37km road from Baleh HEP dam access road to Tunoh new township in Bukit Mabong District.

“With the road availability and accessibility we could speed up the development of the new Tunoh Township.”

He expressed hope that the current study on Tunoh Master Plan and setting up of URDA will put them on a ‘Catch Up Plan’ after being sidelined for a long period.

“Our wishes are to get connectivity in terms of an airport, roads, high speed telecommunications and treated water supply. On the socio-economic side, our wishes include township and service centre, schools and clinics, skills training centres, commercial bio-economic activities to tap from vast natural landscapes, high value tourism, clean and environmentally friendly industries.”

Highlighting the state of schools in his constituency, Wilson said there are 12 primary schools and the major problem faced by all is old wiring which is hazardous to students, teachers and occupants.

“I request funds to carry our re-writing for the schools. Most are in bad shape and in need of urgent repair. The poor water supply system has to be immediately attended to and the Education Ministry must visit the schools to assess the condition of water supply system and take necessary action.”

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