By Karen Bong
SIBU, Oct 22: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is expected to deliver some good news for Sarawak concerning the exploration of oil and gas in the next two weeks.
“In two weeks, I will announce the good news as we will exert our rights on the exploration of oil and gas under the Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO).
“Our efforts are for the future of Sarawak and the returns (from the exploration) will go back to the people,” he told the ‘Leaders with People’ dinner gathering here last night (Oct 21).
Abang Johari also emphasised that there are many resources in rural areas which must be properly managed with added value so that rural communities can benefit.
“That’s why the state government has invested a large amount of money especially for infrastructure development and agriculture. We want to develop the rural economy.
“Sarawak is a huge state but we want intense development to be carried out,” he said.
Abang Johari disclosed that it was initially hard to achieve extensive development as Sarawak has always been dependent on Kuala Lumpur for funding in the past, which was hard to come by sometimes.
“This leaves our electricity poles not being connected with electricity supply. This also happened to our piped water… don’t know where the pipes are going until there is no water coming out and it is even hard(er) to locate the pipe.
“And when this happens, people think that this is the (kind of) government. So when I took over from (the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem) Tok Nan, we had to find ways and solutions and in the end, we decided to do it ourselves,” he added.
With RM4 billion allocated for water and RM2.3 billion for electricity, apart from funding other major developments including Native Customary Rights (NCR) land surveys, Abang Johari emphasised the need to increase the state’s revenue to continue multiplying efforts to develop Sarawak.
“So we have to find ways to increase our revenue because we will be drained if we keep spending. So we fought Petronas (Petroliam Nasional Berhad) and won and now we have money. This is our approach. So we can develop our rural areas,” he added.
At the gathering, Abang Johari also presented certificates of appointment to 242 community leaders from Sibu, Sarikei and Mukah divisions.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan as well as Assistant Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapee were among those present. — DayakDaily