Prime Minister announces eight mammoth projects which will directly benefit some 28,000 villagers
Belaga District and its population of 28,000 people yesterday received tremendous benefits from the government.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced eight projects there worth over RM100 million when he declared open the town’s new health clinic costing RM46 million.
Najib, accompanied by Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and Belaga assemblyman Liwang Lagang, was here for a one-day visit, following which he flew to the Sungai Asap Resettlement Scheme for a meet-the-people session at Uma Belor longhouse.
To loud cheers from the over 1,000 people present, he first announced the government’s approval for the 35-km Belaga Town-Bakun Dam Road project, saying the project would be undertaken by the army under its ‘Projek Jiwa Murni’ (community project) to save cost.
“The government is aware this is a very important project for the 15,000 people who now cannot travel by express boat to Kapit Town because of certain shallow stretches along the Rajang River due to the Bakun Dam impoundment process.
“The federal government will allocate a sum of RM62 million for its construction which will begin by next month,” he said.
He said a RM35 million project to provide treated water supply to the people in the town and its immediate surrounding areas was implemented in November last year and is expected to be ready by October next year.
Najib also said the government, through the army, would construct a prefabricated steel bridge crossing the Linau River in Lusong Laku soon while a kindergarten would be built in this Penan settlement area.
On the request by the people for a commercial bank, he said Malayan Banking Group had agreed to set up a Maybank counter in three to four months’ time while Bank Simpanan Nasional would set up its branch by end of this year.
Meanwhile, he said a new contractor would be appointed to complete the construction of the boarding house for SMK Belaga.
He said the service of its current contractor had been terminated due to its inability to complete the project as scheduled.
Najib said all these indicated that the government was very serious and committed in bringing development to all rural areas.
“We have allocated a very big budget for rural development under the Tenth Malaysia Plan as well as under the National Key Result Areas projects,” he said.
He added the government too was aware that the rural people had been very strong supporters of Barisan Nasional since the country’s independence.
At the function, Najib also advised the people to take good care of their health and not to take things for granted.
He also said the government would send an X-ray machine as well as medical officers to be stationed at the new clinic.
Among those present were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Minister of Rural and Regional Development Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Rashid Shirlin.
January 16, 2011, Sunday