Monday, March 1

Kapit set to have air connectivity with RM100-million airport in Tunoh


Abang Johari (front, second right) is briefed on the progress of works at Lily Pond. Flanking him are Masing (right) and Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian.

KAPIT: Kapit is set to have air connectivity following the Sarawak government’s decision to construct a new airport in Tunoh, Bukit Mabong district.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said works on the airport – set to cost over RM100 million – is expected to commence at year end under the purview of Upper Rajang Development Agency (Urda).

“The airport will open up this area (Kapit) via air transport. This will give impact not only to agriculture development, but also to the tourism sector in Hulu Rajang,” he told a press conference after attending the 6th Sarawak Development Coordination Committee Meeting, here yesterday.

The project, he added, will act as a catalyst for greater development in Kapit and other areas.

Abang Johari (left) is briefed by Masing during his visit to Kapit Waterfront, where beautification works are currently ongoing. Seen are (from right) Jamit, Nanta and others.

“Kapit in 10 years will be in the centre of development because I expect there will be roads connecting Kapit to Belaga.

“This means Kapit will no longer be remote. It will be in the middle of another trunk road that will connect Kapit to Sibu, and Kapit to Baleh and Belaga, up to Bintulu.”

Earlier, Abang Johari said a sum of RM2.7 billion has been approved to develop Kapit, out of which RM550 million is earmarked for the supply of water and electricity to the people.

He also said under the 11th Malaysia Plan, RM700 million will be spent on 51 projects in Kapit, while adding that Urda, which covers most of Kapit and some parts of Kanowit and Sibu, has been allocated RM1.5 billion.

Abang Johari greets the welcoming party upon arriving in Kapit, as Masing (left) looks on.

At the same press conference, the chief minister announced assistance for the 42 units of Uma Bawang in Sungai Asap resettlement scheme that were razed by fire recently, with each unit receiving RM70,000.

He later visited four projects being implemented here – construction of Kapit Hospital’s new exit road, beautification of Lily Pond, beautification of Kapit Town Square and beautification of Kapit Waterfront – to oversee their progress.

“I believe the completion of these projects will help transform the urban landscape of Kapit.”

Previously, Kapit had a Short Take-Off and Landing airport (STOLport) which was discontinued in the 1990s. Since being left dormant, the STOLport runway has been used for activities such as the Gawai Dayak bazaar, funfairs and night market trading.

Abang Johari was received on his arrival here yesterday by deputy chief ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah and Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing, State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani and Kapit MP Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi.

Also present were Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi; Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah; Assistant Minister of Water Supply Datuk Liwan Lagang; Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali; Hulu Rajang MP Datuk Wilson Ugak, Pelagus assemblyman Wilson Nyabong, Bukit Goram assemblyman Jefferson Jamit, Katibas assemblyman Datuk Ambrose Blikau, Murum assemblyman Kennedy Chukpai, and Deputy State Secretary Datu Jaul Samion.

Beautification of Lily Pond is expected to complete in June next year, at a cost of RM11 million.