Sunday, September 24

‘Make infrastructure catalyst for improvement’


WELCOME: Salang (fourth left) exchanges greetings with residents of Rumah Nalong in Nanga Bekiok, Merurun on his arrival.

SIBU: Infrastructural projects implemented in rural areas will be meaningless if the people fail to use them to improve their socio-economy.

Deputy Minister of Information, Communication and Culture Datuk Joseph Salang said it was the aim of the government to see rural people progress on par with the provision of various facilities in their areas.

He said this when visiting Rumah Nalong at Nanga Bekiok in Merurun, Julau where he officiated at a ‘Mesra Rakyat’ programme organised by Julau Community Development Department (Kemas) on Friday.

The Julau MP also advised the people to find suitable crops to be planted commercially.

SEEKING BLESSINGS: Salang (fourth left) performs a miring ceremony at Rumah Lidam.

“Learn from successful planters of oil palm, pepper and rubber. For example, oil palm is not suitable to be planted on high terrain because it is heavier than rubber,” he said.

Among the most enterprising and successful commercial farmers that they might emulate, he said, is Uchong Saiban who owns a farm located at KM5 of Kanowit-Julau-Durin Road.

Uchong has a 40-hectare mini rubber estate in his farm called U-Farm.

He was given a grant of about RM13,500 per acre by Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) to develop the estate, which he and his son are maintaining.

TRADITIONAL COSTUME: Salang (second right) tries the ‘baju burong’ presented to him by Langi (left) as others look on.

On another matter, Salang said he was not involved in determining the location of telecommunication towers in Julau or other areas in the state.

“I have no technical experience on the matter,” he said, pointing out that the locations were decided by Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

State deputy Kemas director Langi Liban, Julau district officer Chumang Nyambong and deputy Sarikei Resident Alex Liau were among those present at the function.

Later, Salang presented eight wheelchairs donated by National Safety Council (MKN) to the selected recipients.

On Saturday, Salang visited three longhouses in Pakan. He visited Rumah Lidam in Sungai Empit and Rumah Janang in Wak for ‘meet-the-people’ sessions.

Also in Wak, he visited Rumah Pengiran at Nanga Reboh to inspect the new site for a longhouse.

GETTING READY: Residents of Rumah Lidam preparing to welcome Salang at their longhouse.

DONATION FROM NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL: Tuai Rumah Minggang (seated) who represented a recipient tries the wheelchair as Salang (standing fourth right) and others look on.

COMMUNITY EVENT: Some residents of Rumah Lidam at the function.

LONGHOUSE SCENE: Residents of Rumah Pengiran resting at the ‘ruai’ of their longhouse.