Wednesday, May 27

Abang Johari’s Initiatives IV

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(From sixth left) Abang Johari and his wife Datin Patinggi Dato Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang cut the Kota Samarahan Municipal Council’s (MPKS) second anniversary cake. From fourth left are Stakan assemblyman Dato Sri Mohammad Ali Mahmud; MPKS chairman Dato Peter Minos; Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian; and Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah. Abang Johari announced the setting up of IRSDA during the function.

51. Integrated Regional Samarahan Development Authority (IRSDA)

The Integrated Regional Samarahan Development Agency (IRSDA) will spearhead and speed up development in the division. IRSDA’s role is to ensure that development in Samarahan, which includes Simunjan, is carried out holistically with the involvement of elected representatives and community leaders.

 

Abang Johari (centre) looks on as State Financial Secretary Dato Sri Ahmad Tarmizi Sulaiman (third
right) and Petronas senior vice-president of Corporate Strategy Mohd Firouz Asnan exchanged signed
agreements for Petronas LNG Train 9.

52. 10 pct of shares in Petronas LNG Train 9

One year ago, Sarawak acquired a 10 per cent equity in Petronas LNG 9 Sdn Bhd (Petronas LNG 9), which owns the ninth liquefied natural gas (LNG) production train (Train 9) in Bintulu. Abang Johari, who witnessed the signing ceremony on Jan 16, 2018, said the equity participation in LNG 9 is part of Sarawak’s successful negotiation with the national oil and gas company. Sarawak now has interests in all four of the LNG assets in the Petronas LNG Complex in Bintulu. With a production capacity of 3.6 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), Train 9 started its commercial operations in January 2017, boosting the total output capacity of the Petronas LNG
Complex to 30 MTPA.

 

An aerial view of Petronas LNG Train 9 in Bintulu.

53. Increase Sarawak’s revenue through sales tax

From Jan 1 this year, Sarawak is imposing a 5 per cent sales tax on petroleum products as a new source of revenue to support Sarawak’s development agenda. This new tax is levied on crude oil, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, chemical-based fertilisers, and gas-to-liquid products. Abang Johari said on Nov 5 last year that the 5 per cent petroleum sales tax would generate an estimated RM3.897 billion in revenue for Sarawak. He stressed that the imposition of sales tax on petroleum products “is our right as enshrined in the Federal Constitution”. Sarawak is allowed to impose state sales tax under Schedule 10 of the Constitution.

 

54. Establishing the Sarawak Regional Trade Office

Sarawak is collaborating with Singapore to strengthen the agriculture and tourism sectors. The Sarawak Regional Trade Office in Singapore is currently in the process of being established as a liaison between the state’s exporters and the international business community. This will be followed by another two trade offices in Brunei and Pontianak, Indonesia.

 

Abang Johari (centre) looks at the model for the new Satok Suspension Bridge.

55. Rebuilding of the Satok Suspension Bridge

The Sarawak government will reconstruct the iconic and historic Satok Suspension Bridge to become part of Kuching’s tourism attraction. The RM8.05-million bridge will be recreated according to its original design (213-metres long and three-metres wide) at its original location, and upgraded to allow the passage of boats. The original Satok Suspension Bridge was constructed in 1923 and was closed in 1992 due to safety reasons, eventually collapsing into the river on Oct 7, 2004.

 

56. Developing ‘Old Kuching Heritage’ as an attractive tourism product

Old Kuching Heritage is one of the initiatives under the Sarawak Digital Economy Strategy for 2018-2022 to transform Kuching into a world heritage tourism site to attract domestic, national and international visitors. It comprises four components, namely Kampung Heritage (retention of Sarawak’s rural livelihood culture as a means of preservation of village civilisation); Heritage Trails (historic heritage sites become the main asset in heritage trails); Riverfront Heritage (enhancing the beauty of the Sarawak River while reviving the heritage of the river as a tourist attraction); and Business Heritage (connecting all business centres in the area for businesses to be developed).

 

Abang Johari (third left) holds up agriculture produce during the Sarawak Agrofest 2018 that was held
from Oct 23-24, 2018 at Penview Convention Centre in Demak, Kuching.

57. Empowering the agriculture sector to increase output and improve the people’s income

As part of Sarawak’s aspiration to be a net exporter of food by 2030, the government has stressed the importance of smart farming with the aim of increasing production efficiency and quality of produce. The government has adopted the ‘anchor company’ model where such companies implement programmes and provide marketing assistance to smallholders. In addition, the focus is also on creating a new breed of modern farmers who are able to utilise the Internet of Things (IoT) and special apps to manage the fertigation of crops.

 

58. Financing the development of the agricultural sector

To strengthen the business model of the agriculture sector, the government announced a RM200-million venture capital initiative to groom and empower farmers and other agriculture industry players, especially those in rural areas, and bring them to a new level of modern farming. Additionally, a memorandum of understanding signed between Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda) and Agrobank allows easier financing for investors and farmers through special programmes.

 

59. Implementing integrated agricultural development programmes

The setting-up of an agropark in Sarikei – slated for completion in 2020 – will add new impetus to the local agro-tourism industry. Spanning some 316 acres, it comprises a production or farm area; office and ICT centre; infrastructure and facilities for agro-tourism, trade and education; and a collection, processing and packaging centre (CPPC). Other initiatives include the setting up of collection, processing and packaging centres (CPPCs), as well as Permanent Food Production Parks (TKPMs), across the state.

 

60. Developing the capacity of Sarawak Farmers’ Organisation

Abang Johari in September last year approved RM20 million to build the headquarters of Sarawak Farmers’ Organisation (SFO) on a three-acre land in Kota Samarahan. Upon completion, the new building will come equipped with ICT facilities. In addition, the government has also increased the annual allocation to all Area Farmers’ Organisations (PPKs) in the state.

 

61. Three-tonne cargo plane for agricultural exports

Abang Johari announced last March that the Sarawak government would purchase a RM10 million cargo plane through Hornbill Skyways to enable Sarawak to directly export its agricultural produce.

 

The Darul Hana project provides affordable homes for the people.

62. Building more affordable homes

The Sarawak Government is committed to provide affordable homes to members of the lower-income group (B40) and the middle-income group (M40). It provided RM60 million for village expansion scheme (SPK) in Lundu, Sematan, Igan, and Tian in Matu, and another RM141 million for various Rumah Spektra Permata programmes. The Affordable Housing Scheme (RMM) has also been implemented in Darul Hana, Kuching; Kampung Tabuan Melayu and Tabuan Foochow, Kuching; Kemuyang, Sibu; Kampung Kapit Baru, Kapit; and Kampung Datu Baru, Sibu.

 

63. Upgrading of infrastructure facilities and amenities of traditional villages under the Urban Renewal Programme

Under the programme, the government approved RM60 million to upgrade the roads and infrastructure in Kuching, while traditional villages in Kuching such as Kampung Kudei, Kampung Sungai Maong and Kampung Segedup had been earmarked for redevelopment. Among the developments in the pipeline is a road linking the new Matang bridge in Stapok to Segedup, which falls under the Satok constituency.

 

64. Reduce the construction cost of houses via IBS system

To ensure the prices of houses do not burden the people, especially the low-income group (B40) and the middle-income group (M40), the Sarawak government advised developers to utilise the Industrialised Building System (IBS) for construction. The Housing Development Corporation (HDC) has also taken a positive step to build an IBS manufacturing factory in Kuching. The system involves less manpower and wastage, providing a cleaner and safer work environment.

 

65. Providing more comfortable homes

The government allocated RM1 million to each of the 72 Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) assemblymen to carry out repair and rebuilding of houses and longhouses in their respective constituencies. The programme – Program Penambahbaikan Rumah Miskin Sarawak (PPRMS) – was in response to the cut in federal funds for projects approved by
the previous federal administration.