Subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on news you need to know.
KAPIT, Oct 5 — Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg last night said he will allocate another RM1.5 billion to the Upper Rejang Development Authority (Urda) for infrastructure projects if the state government is returned to power.
Abang Johari, who is also the Sarawak chief minister, said should this happen, the allocation for the infrastructure projects, including roads and bridges, would be automatically approved after the state election concludes.
“The sum of RM1.5 billion is in addition to the RM1.5 billion which was approved in 2018,” he said during a dinner hosted in his honour by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Masing here.
Masing is the chairman of Urda which oversees development projects in the districts of Belaga, Bukit Mabong, Kapit, Song and Kanowit — all within the Upper Rejang River basin.
Upper Rejang covers an area of 41,186 square kilometres and is the location for the Bakun and Murum dams and soon-to-be Baleh dam — which will have a combined generating capacity of 4,600 megawatts of electricity.
Abang Johari, who is also the state finance and economic planning minister, said the vast area under the Kapit Division is expected to be connected by a road network by 2024.
He said the state-funded road projects which are under construction in the Upper Rejang River basin are the 73km Nanga Mujong road that leads to Baleh dam, costing RM1.2 billion, and the Nanga Sepangil-Tunoh road, costing RM600 million.
He said construction on the Rumah Nyamok/Nanga Serau/Nanga Gaat/SMK Baleh/Sungai Kain road will begin at the end of this year, at a cost of RM380 million.
He added the Nanga Mujong/Nanga Tiau/Tunoh road at the estimated cost of RM550 million has been approved for implementation under the 12th Malaysia Plan.
Abang Johari said the Batang Baleh bridge, Sungai Mujong bridge and Sungai Banyau bridge have been completed at a total cost of RM123 million.
He added the RM3.9 million Sungai Merirai bridge is under construction.
The chief minister said the allocation for infrastructure projects does not include water and electricity projects.
“The people of the Kapit Division need not worry as long as we manage our resources properly,” he said, before adding that the division will no longer be isolated from the rest of Sarawak in the future.
He cited the newly completed 110km Sibu-Kapit road as an example of one of the division’s road projects.
“You are in the middle of the development that is taking place in Sarawak. You have the Bakun and Murum dams and soon-to-be Baleh dam,” he said.