BETONG: The construction of roads in the interior will get the “highest priority” in attention as the government wants to support the growth of industries under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).
Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said the government had all this while been very strict on its development agenda, and its focus at present was SCORE.
“All this while we have been very strict … you know, we started with not even paved roads. We have earthen roads first, but our aim then was to open up the country to generate income. Now you can see the income has increased.
“Now with SCORE, the next source of income is hydroelectricity because without it there will not be industrialisation in Sarawak.”
“Next, when we consider the Mid-Term Review, we will still be guided by that kind of priority. For the next development plan, probably we think of other things.”
The Chief Minister said this to reporters after attending a Gawai Open House jointly hosted by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang and Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodies Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas at Stephen Kalong Ningkan Hall here.
Asked if the state government would push the federal government to expedite the construction of roads linking Sibu to Kapit and Belaga, the chief minister replied: “It is not the state government’s practice”.
He explained that the cost for developing the roads would not be the main consideration. This is because the government’s stance is to take into consideration the total development of the country.
On allocations from the federal government, Taib assured that the state government would continue to ensure that all development funds received would be spent wisely.
He said projects were implemented based on priorities and before their implementation the government would map out a detailed plan and then set aside allocations.
“We will ensure that every single sen we receive from the federal government is put to best use.
“The best use will come out after thinking about the priorities we have to face.”
Meanwhile, the Gawai Open House was attended by about 1,000 people from surrounding villages in Betong.
Also present were 27 community leaders from Kalimantan Barat.
Also present were Puan Sri Ragad Kurdi Taib, Jabu’s wife Dato Sri Empiang Jabu, Housing Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Morshidi Ghani, Assistant Minister of Welfare Robert Lawson Chuat, Pantai Damai assemblyman Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi and Semariang assemblywoman Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.-theborneopost