BETONG: The proposed airport in Bebuling, Spaoh (Betong) is on track, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.
He said the contractor had been picked to build this short take-off and landing airport (STOLport), which is estimated to cost the state government about RM108 million.
He, however, declined to name the contractor concerned, saying the final verification and processing was still on-going.
“I am confident the construction works can begin in two months from now,” he said when launching his Bukit Saban constituency series of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) roadshow at Rh Lawrence Ludan in Luban Ulu, Spaoh near here on Friday.
The airport in Bebuling is one of STOLports to be built in Sarawak by the state government.
The other proposed STOLport is in Bukit Mabong, Tunoh in Kapit, estimated to cost RM193.1 million.
Uggah, who is also Minister of Modern Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, said the Bebuling airport is a crucial factor in the area designated as part of the food and food products producing Sadok Agropolitan Area.
“Farm produce can be airlifted soonest to the market. It is the government’s policy to buy whatever is produced by farmers so nothing goes to waste,” he said.
Uggah thus called on landowners to start making preparations to develop their land preferably on modern and commercial agriculture basis.
“You can do it on your own or through joint-ventures with big companies. If you want to go on your own please consider modern farming methods like fertigation or hydroponics.
“The Agriculture Department can assist with the trainings, among others,” he said.
Uggah said such modern agriculture could generate many job and stable income opportunities.
He added it was after all the primary objective of the GPS government under the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to gainfully develop rural areas in the state.
“It is also its objective to provide more income to rural areas thus reducing the income gap between turban and rural areas,”
Uggah said Abang Johari too had allocated a budget of RM797million to develop and strengthen the state’s agriculture sector this year.
On politics, Uggah who is a deputy president of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), called on GPS supporters to continue to make Betong Division an enduring fortress of the ruling state government.
“In the past voters here had overwhelmingly given their support to the then state Barisan Nasional government.
“We have left the BN and formed our own GPS government. Let us give our strongest support to the GPS in its efforts to upgrade the socio-economic status of all including the rural dwellers, and to protect the state’s rights and wealth,” he said.
Betong MP Datuk Robert Lawson Chuat who also spoke said the current political problem in Peninsular Malaysia where the PH government had collapsed had no bearing on the GPS government.
“We are not part of the PH government. But we leave it to Abang Johari to make any decision on behalf of the state,” he added.