40 households live without electricity for 20 years, despite village connected to grid

George (centre) speaking to affected villagers of Kampung Maang.

KUCHING, Dec 1: Some 40 poor households at Kampung Maang, Kuching-Serian Road here, have been living without electricity for 20 years.

This despite the whole village area is connected to the power grid and have access to 24-hour electricity, said Habitat for Indigenous and Urban Program (HIDUP) president George Young Si Ricord Jr.

“There is no viable or reasonable explanation given to these poor families by their local elected representatives, even though the overall village area is connected with electricity,” he added in a statement.

The plea of these families was brought to HIDUP recently by a group of residents from the village.

George said HIDUP have taken note of their situation and urged the village development and safety committee (JKKK) to liaise with the relevant government agencies to resolve the matter.

“It is important (for elected representatives) to put a priority on getting the much-needed projects such as electricity supply instead of getting caught up in political divide-and-conquer games that do not benefit the community at all,” he said.

“These ordinary folks are tired and frustrated by dozens of empty promises from political groups and factions, while they watch their children and grandchildren grow up without necessities like electricity decade after decade,” he opined.

George (left) inspecting the bridge.

Apart from the no electricity supply to the 40 households, George said a suspension bridge from Kampung Maang to SK St Dunstan required immediate attention.

The bridge constructed in 1989 and used by some 70 students daily to the school is worn out and is in a dangerous condition.

He added that due to the condition of the bridge, an elderly villager sent her grandchild to a neighbouring school.

“I empathise with the frustration and disappointment experienced by these rural communities.

“For that matter, HIDUP is focused on mobilising positive action by the parties responsible to deliver positive outcomes for the neglected kampung folk.”

HIDUP urged all political parties to put aside their differences and for once, put the welfare of neglected village folks on the top of their agenda.

The organisation advised community leaders not to be divided and embroiled in political struggles, disputes and opposing any agendas.

“Set aside your differences and adopt a bi-partisan approach to improving the welfare of the kampung folk,” he said.

George expressed optimism that if all parties concerned are united and focused on improving the welfare of neglected Sarawakians instead of wasting time, energy, talent, resources and money on political skirmishes and manoeuvring, Sarawak will truly be a better place for all. — DayakDaily