Tuesday, September 22

Focus on underdeveloped villages – Ewon


KOTA KINABALU: The Rural Development Ministry (KPLB) has allocated RM4.8 million for Rumah Sejahtera Rakyat (RSR) programme for next year.

Its minister, Datuk Ewon Benedick (pic), said the new programme under the ministry had already started this year and would continue next year.

He said this in his winding-up speech for his ministry at the Sabah Legislative Assembly sitting here yesterday.

Ewon said the focus of the program was more on the underdeveloped villages, especially those included in the  Kampung Sejahtera and Mini Estet Sejahtera (MESEJ) with a target of building 80 houses.

Efforts would continue to build and develop rural villages through Kampung Sejahtera program, he said and added that  his ministry was targeting 10 villages to be included in the program by next year.

Ewon, who is also Kadamaian assemblyman, said the state government had allocated RM124.35 million to Sabah KPLB for administrative and development expenditure.

He explained that the allocation would be used to implement various existing programmes such as the Projek Pembangunan Kecil (Small Development Project), Program Ameniti dan Ekonomi Desa (Rural Amenity and Economy Program), Program Satu Daerah Satu Produk (One District One Product Program), Program Pembangunan Usahawan Desa (Rural Entrepreneur Development Program), Peruntukan Khas Adun-Adun (Adun-Adun Special Funds) and Program Pembasmian Kemiskinan (Poverty Eradication Program).

Of that amount, he said RM15.45 million would be used to fund the implementation of the Program Ameniti dan Ekonomi Desa, Projek Pembangunan Kecil, Program Satu Daerah Satu Produk and Pembangunan Usahawan Desa while the rest would be used for the Program Pembasmian Kemiskinan.

He said under the Program Pembasmian Kemiskinan, the allocation would be used to fund the new initiative programmes such as Aktiviti Ekonomi Tambahan (Additional Economic Activity), MESEJ Pertanian Bukan Komoditi dan Perusahaan Burung Walit Skala Sederhana (Non-commodity Agriculture MESEJ and intermediate scale swiflet farming), Membuka Ladang MESEJ Baharu dengan Tanaman Makanan (New Mesej plantation with Food Crops) and Program Lawatan Pendedahan Peserta MESEJ (MESEJ Participant Exposure Visit Program).

Meanwhile, for other programmes such as Program Bimbingan Keusahawanan Desa, Program Satu Daerah Satu Produk and Pembangunan Pusat Pelancongan Luar Bandar Berasaskan Komuniti, they would be continued by using related funds, he added.

On issues regarding Hardcore Poor Housing Programme (PPRT), Village Community Management Council (MPKK), MESEJ, Pengwujudan Daerah Kecil (Small Districts Establishment), Jalan Perhubungan Desa (JPD), Program Ameniti Sosial (PAMS), Lampu Jalan Kampung (LJK) and other basic infrastructure facilities, Ewon said his ministry would take note of them.

He said on PPRT the state government had set a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for its implementation in which every nominee of new and renovated home assistance must be registered under the e-Kasih system and finalized at the District Focus Group Committee Meeting.

Ewon said the state government only prioritized new PPRT building since the implementation of home renovation is only a short-term solution and cannot solve the problem of house shortage for the poor in rural areas.

Therefore, he said the state government wanted the home renovation funds to be replaced with the building of new PPRT house.

Apart from that, Ewon said that his ministry also requested the implementation of the PPRT, either through conventional or IBS (Industrialised Building System), to be implemented by the District Office to avoid waste of public fund.

Citing an example, he said a lawsuit was filed in Ranau in 2018 against the building a new PPRTon a boundary of land involving two landowners.

He said one of the landowners through his counsel, issued a letter asking the ministry to demolish some of the house structures that encroached on his land.

Therefore, he said one of the solutions of such incident is to adhere to the existing SOP, regardless the building of new PPRT to be implemented by District Office or state Giatmara.