S’wak can achieve full rural electrification by 2025 — Dr Rundi

 

Yee (second left) presents a souvenir to Dr Rundi. Also seen (from left) are Liwan, Dr Abdul Rahman and Alice.

KUCHING: Sarawak is on track to achieve full rural electrification by 2025.

This is because the state government is strongly committed to deliver the infrastructures and amenities to connect the entirety of rural areas in the state despite the difficulties and challenges, Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom pointed out.

“That’s why we have so many projects and programmes including Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (Sares) for remote rural areas which are not grid-connectable,” he said.

“Besides that, the Sarawak Alternative Water Supply (Sawas) also aims to deliver water to the interior,” he added in his address at the closing ceremony of the 4th International Sustainable Energy Summit (Ises) 2018 at a leading hotel here yesterday.

Dr Rundi, however, noted that more works needed to be done as there were a lot more areas that were still without proper and 24-hour treated water and electricity supply.

Summit delegates in a group photo with Dr Rundi (standing, 10th right), senior ministers and other dignitaries.

Hence, he was confident that the summit could give the ideas and inspiration to help Sarawak catch up with the rest of the world and in turn improve the standard of living of the people.

“With good outcome from the summit, we are looking forward to see the direction of our energy sector move towards being sustainable, renewable, variable and affordable,” he said.

The energy sector in Sarawak, he emphasised, has advanced significantly over the past decade.

“We are blessed with abundance of resources especially rivers, good rainfall and potential dams as well as water reservoirs;

namely Batang Ai, Murum, Bakun and the upcoming Baleh (dam),” he said.

“These assets will help make Sarawak the real energy powerhouse in this region. We want to make good use of this energy to leapfrog the state’s economy as well,” he added.

On the summit, Dr Rundi said his ministry was honoured to co-host the international event for the first time outside Kuala Lumpur.

“The two-day summit has brought together some 900 delegates and this is beyond our expectation,” he revealed.

“I believe all of us have gained invaluable knowledge and shared experience which will definitely bring benefits in our efforts in managing our energy resources,” he said.

Earlier on, Sustainable Energy Development Authority (Seda) Malaysia chairman Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai extended appreciation to all who have made the summit a success.

Cooperation and commitment from delegates in the summit, he said, demonstrated their concerns in renewable energy.

“We in Malaysia also play an important role in the management and development of sustainable energy and your participation in this summit is a way to contribute towards the same direction,” he added.

Assistant Minister of Water Supply Datuk Liwan Lagang, Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, permanent secretary to the Ministry of Utilities Datu Alice Jawan and Seda Malaysia CEO Catherine Ridu were among those present.

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