Aim for balanced development, state govt told

Wee (third right) and other Chinese leaders call on Abang Johari (fourth right) at the latter's Hari Raya Open House held at BCCK today. Also seen are Abang Johari's wife Datin Patinggi Datuk Juma'ani Tun Tuanku Bujang (third left) and Wee's wife Datin Dona Drury-Wee (second left)

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KUCHING, June 15: The Sarawak government should pay due attention to developing urban transport like the proposed light rail transit (LRT) and free bus service even though there is an urgent need to bring roads, water and electricity to the rural areas.

This is the government’s social responsibility, stressed Dato Richard Wee, president of the Federation of Chinese Associations of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions.

“While we cannot neglect the needs of the rural people, especially water and electricity, at the same time, the government must also think of the LRT and free bus service in the cities and towns.

“This should be part of the government’s long term policy to benefit Sarawakians,” Wee told DayakDaily when met at Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s Hari Raya Open House at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching today.

On the LRT, he suggested that Sarawak look at how Singapore did it. He said in the city state, its Land Transport Authority (LTA) built the LRT system and then handed it to the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) Corporation to manage.

“While I’m not in position to tell the state government what to do as it should know what to do anyway, but perhaps we should look at how Singapore is doing theirs, which is very effective.

“It’s like I build a house, and I let you rent it.”

Wee rebutted the notion that there was no point for Sarawak to have an LRT due to a lack of economies of scale.

“Well, let me say this. If we say that since there are no economies of scale to implement electricity in the rural areas, then rural folk will forever live without 24-hour electricity supply,” he argued. — DayakDaily