KAPIT: Tunoh plateau in Baleh will be the site of the next major project in Kapit Division to give new impetus to the economic transformation of the people in this isolated rural area.
Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said the area will be developed into a modern township in the next 10 to 20 years.
“It is not just the question of physical work. It has got to be planned properly and we have to develop the land and plant oil palm in the plateau up there in Tunoh. It’s only after the tenth year you can see the people coming,” Taib told the media after performing the earth-breaking ceremony for the proposed Batang Baleh Bridge at Ng Mujong, some 30km from here yesterday.
BN-PRS candidate for Hulu Rajang Wilson Ugak Kumbong, when asked to comment on the new township, said he was thankful to the BN top leadership to be entrusted as its candidate and promised that if he were to be elected, he would go the extra mile to ensure that the project would be implemented successfully.
“When Tunoh is implemented successfully, we will be able to retain the people from this area to work there because at the moment, there is nothing there.
“So once a new township is started there, the people will start coming in. What we need is better infrastructure such as roads and bridges.
Ugak also thanked the chief minister for announcing the project as it would become the catalyst of development for Baleh, which together with Belaga forms the Hulu Rajang parliamentary constituency.
“Insofar as Hulu Rajang is concerned, we also need to upgrade Sg Asap Township to cater for the growing population. This includes the need to get a new water treatment plant there as well,” he said.
Ugak also recommended that a task force be formed to further develop the Sg Asap Township.
Earlier in his speech, the chief minister announced that Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu would be appointed as the chairman for the Tunoh new township development and to be assisted by Land Development Minister
Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.
And together with Ugak as the MP, Taib was optimistic that the project could be implemented accordingly as the BN has been successful in developing the country in the past 50 years.
“We have the proven track records and experiences in implementing projects in the past 50 years. And as a government, we have been successful in developing this country. So there is no need to change what is good for the people,” he said.
He said Ugak has been the election director of operations for both incumbent MP Datuk
Billy Abit Joo and Baleh assemblyman Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing in the last 20 years and now it was his turn to take over from Billy to be represent the people.
“Now it’s his turn to become an elected representative so that we can develop Tunoh as well as Hulu Rajang,” he said.
Taib, who is also the Minister of Planning and Environment, believed that through the Score, Baleh would also be developed as the state needs more cheaper power to attract investors.
“We already implement Bakun and Murum HEP. The next will be Baram and then Baleh HEP.
This is the only way we get cheaper power to invest here so that we can become the most developed state by 2030,” he said.
Also speaking at the function were Masing, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communications Dato Sri Michael Manyin and Ugak.
Among those present were Jabu, Masing’s wife Puan Sri Corrine Masing, heads of various government departments and community leaders.-theborneopost.