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By Karen Bong
MIRI, Nov 23: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg vows to develop roads connecting Miri-Marudi-Long Terawan-Long Iman including Mulu and boost the local economy if given another five years to lead Sarawak.
In order to achieve this and to find the funds necessary, Abang Johari emphasised that he needed a big mandate from the people of Sarawak as his term has already expired in June.
“It is no easy task to develop Mulu, but we are going to open up the areas here from Miri to Marudi to Long Terawan. And from Long Terawan, it will be connected to Long Iman along the coast as there are areas protected under Unesco that we cannot touch.
“Imagine you can drive from Miri to Long Terawan without worrying about the weather condition. We want to build roads not only for the people but also for tourism so that visitors and tourists can come anytime,” he said at the groundbreaking ceremony for Mulu Service Centre at a hotel here today.
According to the Public Works Department (JKR), he added that people can travel from Miri to Mulu within an hour and 40 minutes when the roads are completed.
“Just wait, and let me be the one who works to find the money to build the much needed roads for the people.
“We can work well because Sarawak is stable and peaceful with the people respecting, understanding and accepting each other irrespective of races, religions or differences. We are united because we have high interfaith tolerance, unlike other places,” he added.
Aware of the issues in Mulu even before he became the chief minister, Abang Johari pointed out that this Service Centre was long overdue since Mulu was elevated into a sub-district.
Even though the Federal government had promised to set up the Centre, he however said that it did not come to fruition so the State government had decided to proceed with it after Mulu incumbent Datuk Gerawat Gala raised the need for an administrative centre.
“Today, I am here to fulfill that promise. I have performed too many groundbreaking ceremonies nearly everyday because there are so many projects to be implemented throughout Sarawak.
“I believe if I help the people, God will help me. That is my only principle. God guided me as I did not expect to increase the State revenue from taxes on oil and gas,” he added.
With strategies and most importantly, unity of the people and stability in Sarawak, Abang Johari emphasised that the government can allocate RM10 billion budget every year to implement development that will bring prosperity to the people which no other states can do.
“In the Covid-19 pandemic alone, we have spent more than RM5 billion as the government absorbed the cost for quarantine accommodation, their food, food baskets, discounts on various utilities and facilities.
“Now that the emergency has been lifted, we must hold the election to give the power back to the people to decide on the next government.
“Give GPS another five years, the road will come, Mulu will be developed, the local economy will be boosted. Remember this so that all can benefit,” he added.
Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Mulu incumbent Dato Gerawat Gala, Baram MP Anyi Ngau, and State Deputy Secretary (Socio-Economy Transformation) Dato Sri Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki were among those present. — DayakDaily