Abang Jo: RM11 billion allocated to build infrastructure, utilities within next two years

Abang Johari (centre) being welcomed by officers at the retreat venue.

PENANG, Oct 23: The Sarawak government will spend a record sum of allocations to build basic infrastructure in the state within the next two years.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said that a total sum of about RM11 billion would be spent to build roads, bridges and to supply water and electricity throughout Sarawak.

A sum of RM2.8 billion would be spent on water supply, RM2.3 billion on electricity supply and about RM6 billion on the coastal highway, he said.

“We have never spent so much on infrastructure and this will be a record spending for Sarawak,” he added.

Abang Johari said this during his speech at the closing of a three-day yearly retreat for Sarawak heads of government departments which was held at a local hotel in Batu Ferringhi here Monday.

He also expressed his gratitude to some 140 key government officers who joined the retreat and urged them to seek ways and means to expedite the implementation of all the projects approved by the state government.

In response to a recommendation to enhance the success rate and hasten the pace of projects, Abang Johari announced a trust fund of RM200 million that would provide funding, reimbursable upon confirmation of budget, for front-end phase of projects which includes pre-studies and appraisals.

He reiterated that the state government had considered providing starting next year a grant of undisclosed quantum to every newborn of Sarawakian parents which could only be withdrawn upon the child reaching the age of 18.

The announcement of that grant was made earlier during the Lan Berambeh 2018 event in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.

Meanwhile, at the retreat, the officers who had been divided into clusters in their deliberations made a series of recommendations to the state government with a view to ensure fast project delivery and enhancement of public services, including state-funded welfare assistance.

Earlier, officers presented the key aspects of project implementation and recommendations to the Chief Minister and members of the State Cabinet which was led by State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani.

Also present were Minister of Utilities Datuk Seri Stephen Rundi Utom, Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development, Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah and Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah. — DayakDaily