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By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, May 23: Four Bidayuh elected representatives are calling on the Sarawak government to set up the Kuching-Serian Hinterland Development Authority (KSHDA) to stimulate economic activities for the Bidayuh community especially in areas along the shared borders with Indonesia.
Miro Simuh (PBB-Serumbu) said the Bidayuh areas such as Opar, Serembu, Bukit Semuja and Tebedu are very near to the main towns of Kuching and Serian and these areas have ample and vast reserves of land.
“We believe that these areas if developed with detailed and integrated planning, may one day become major agricultural and livestock production hubs for Kuching and Serian Divisions.
“The produce later could be marketed in large quantities to Kuching, Serian and other surrounding towns,” he said at a joint press conference held at Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex lobby earlier tonight.
Meanwhile, John Ilus (PBB-Bukit Semuja) said the establishment of KSHDA can increase food security in terms of agricultural produce from the said areas and increase border security as the areas border Indonesia.
“The KSHDA can also look into water security as the Bengoh Dam is the main source of raw water supply to Greater Kuching and its surrounding areas for household and industrial use,” he stated.
Additionally, Dr Simon Sinang Bada (PBB-Tebedu) explained that other areas in the State have had various agencies formed under Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda) to cater for their respective developments such as Upper Rajang Development Agency (URDA), Highland Development Agency (HDA) and Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA).
“Analysing all these agencies, we found out that our areas are being left out so our justification is very strong that we want to propose to the State government that this KSHDA need to be set up to cover our Bidayuh areas.
“Thus, we agreed that we want to bring it up this time and we hope to see a favorable response from the Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and his Cabinet,” he said.
At the same time, Billy Sujang (SUPP-Opar) noted that the healthcare system in the two divisions (Kuching and Serian) is below standard as most health clinics set up in each district are not able to sufficiently cater to the needs of the local community.
He also touched on health tourism where he mentioned that visitors from across the border, Indonesia, not only seek medical treatment in Kuching and Serian but also contributed to the tourism sector in terms of numbers of visitors, accommodation and eating.
“Thus, with the setting up of KSHDA, we will have to increase our international security.
“This is because we know that Serian is at the border in Tebedu, similar to the likes of Bau in Serikin and Kuching in Telok Melano. These are the international borders that we have already equipped with an office to take care of our security.
“But what about the ‘jalan tikus’ (rat trails) that have become ‘jalan gajah’ (elephant trails)? These are all the things that we have to take into account in our international security,” he added. — DayakDaily