Sunday, May 26

Sarawak govt seeking ways to continue projects


Gerawat (second left), joined by (from left) Dr Chen, Anyi, Sherrina and others, pose with longhouse chiefs for a group photo following the presentation of ownership certificates.

MARUDI: The Sarawak government is working on ways to ensure all ongoing projects in the rural areas of Baram will continue despite the change in the country’s political landscape.

In giving this assurance, Mulu assemblyman Datuk Gerawat Gala revealed the projects include cement roads at three longhouses in Linei Putih area – Rh Rok, Rh Lajang and Rh Asong – for which funds had been approved by the previous Barisan Nasional (BN)-led federal government.

“However, when the federal government changed, the new federal government cancelled them all.

“This is something that our people should realise, that this is what’s happening right now, not only in the Linei Putih area but also in other areas where projects already approved by the Barisan Nasional government prior to the general election have been cancelled after the Pakatan Harapan (PH) won the election and formed the next federal government,” said Gerawat when speaking at a ceremony to hand over ownership of the Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (Sares) here recently.

“But we, however, from the state government will continue to work on ways to ensure these projects will proceed,” he added.

The deputy speaker of Sarawak State Legislative Assembly made this remark to clear the air on the confusion over some projects here which had kept the local community guessing on their status following the change in federal government after the 14th general election.

He disclosed that the construction of a road linking Marudi town to Long Terawan in Tutoh-Apoh area had been approved by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“However, the flow of the road is still under negotiation.

“Together with Baram MP Anyi Ngau, I will negotiate with the Public Works Department so that the road will go into Linei area and its vicinity and benefit all the people here,” he said.

Gerawat also revealed that he had been in contact with the Sarawak Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) to supply clean water in the Linei area.

“We plan to build a water supply centre that supplies clean water to every longhouse in the Linei area. It’s still in the pipeline.

“We are working hard to get these facilities for the convenience of our people here. We never forget,” he added.

Gerawat expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Utilities and Sarawak Energy Berhad for their persistence in continuing the Sares programme which is much needed by the rural people.

In his speech, Gerawat also mentioned that if the state government relies heavily on the federal government currently held by Pakatan Harapan to fund the Sares programme, it would not be a success.

“In fact, this was the agreement between the Sarawak state government and the federal government, so that the federal government also helps Sarawak in the implementation of the Sares programme, but none.

“Although the allocation from the federal government does not exist, the Sarawak state government still continues with this Sares programme. If we wait for the allocation from the federal government, this Sares programme will be affected.

“But the state government is concerned, this is our responsibility to our own people, do not depend on the federal government. What we can do on our own, let’s continue,” he said.

At the event, Gerawat announced an allocation of RM5,000 each to village security and development committees (JKKK) of Rh Rok, Rh Lajang and Rh Asong as well as RM3,000 to JKKK Rh Anthony.

The women’s bureau of Rh Rok received an allocation of RM2,000.

He also announced allocation of MRP grants of RM10,000 each to St Joseph Linei Catholic Church, Rh Lajang and Borneo Evangelical Mission (BEM) church, Rh Lajang and RM6,000 to SK Linei parent-teacher association (PIBG).

Also present at the ceremony were Baram MP Anyi Ngau, Miri Resident Sherrina Hussaini, Marudi District Council chairman Cr Edward Mendai, Sarawak Energy Research and Development vice president Dr Chen Shiun and Corporate Communications general manager Peing Tajang as well as representatives from relevant agencies and community leaders.