Wednesday, March 20

New approach in resettlement

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Abang Johari (centre), flanked by Julaihi on his right and Simoi, together with Razaili (on Julaihi’s right) and Rohani (on Simoi’s left), joins the crowd in giving the thumbs-up to the new approach in resettlement scheme.

MALUDAM: Sarawak will do away with the traditional low budget ‘site and services’ approach in opening up new resettlement schemes for the people.

In stating this, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg disclosed that Sarawak now has the means to build better and organised resettlement schemes with extra funds from oil and gas resources.

“In the past, Land and Survey Department will only clear the site and build rudimentary roads, and that’s it. I am the chief minister now, and I will introduce better approach,” he said at a meet-the-people programme after his walkabout in Maludam.

He revealed that under the new system, the government will clear the site for resettlement scheme, fill up the land, do a concrete drainage system and build tar-sealed roads for the people.

“The people now will have money to build better and more beautiful homes though the earthwork is very expensive. The government will do the filling up for them, it is not difficult – just pump sand and top up with soil. But, I must tell you it is not cheap. We will bear all the cost because now we have more money for the people.

“For your information, in the past our share in MLNG was only 10 per cent, today we have 25 per cent and the dividend next year is expected to be around RM2 billion. With that kind of money in hand, helping the rakyat to solve their housing woes will not be an issue,” he said.

The Chief Minister stressed that under the old approach, many people had to build their house in swampy area on top of muddy soil as the cost for earthwork was beyond their means.

“Building houses on muddy swampy land is one thing, being infected by dengue fever brought by Aedes will be another issue,” he said.

He therefore instructed Land and Survey Department to tell Maludam villagers not to enter the newly approved site for resettlement until earthworks, drainage and tar-sealed road are completed.

“For phase one, although it has been distributed, do not enter. The land has to be filled and levelled. There will 230 lots for phase one, after that 338 lots for the second phase,” he said.

Abang Johari told the audience that the approach was already adopted in Sungai Bedaun, Santubong and Sungai Midin, Kuching.

On water supply woes, he admitted that the problem affected almost all coastal villages in Sarawak, from Lawas to Lundu.

“For long term, we may need seven to eight billion ringgit to solve the problem. It will take a very long time. However, we will also have short-term measures to help the people, and I have approved RM3.35 million immediately to solve water woes in Maludam,” he said.

On the request for a mosque, Abang Johari said he had approved a six-acre site to build a new mosque costing RM5 million for Maludam.

“It will be built after election. The money is already available. The project is now with Sarawak Islamic Council, using new design that can withstand flood,” he said.

The Chief Minister also approved RM500,000 to upgrade the Maludam football field.

“Most importantly, Maludam will get a new school on an eight-acre site costing RM20 million,” he announced.

“I will personally come to follow through on the project. I will come again in one year’s time,” he stressed.

Among those present were PBB Wanita vice chief and BN candidate for Batang Lupar Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim, Assistant Minister of Coastal Road Datuk Julaihi Narawi, Lingga assemblywoman Simoi Peri and Beting Maro assemblyman Razaili Gapor.