By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Aug 31: While Betong has gone through many changes since it was elevated to a division in 2002, they are not enough and efforts will continue to bring more development through Betong Integrated Development Agency (BIDA).
Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said that the establishment of BIDA like other development agencies is a new approach to ensure development in Betong is coordinated effectively and expedited, especially in terms of infrastructure.
“Betong Division is a relatively new administrative area after its status was elevated from a district to a division in 2002.
“There is no denying that since being upgraded to a division, Betong has changed a lot in terms of development. The infrastructure facilities in this division such as roads are quite well covered and there are education institutions here as well,” he said.
He highlighted this when addressing the Sarawak-Level National Day celebration officiated at by Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud at Tan Sri Datuk Amar Stephen Kalong Ningkan Sports Hall in Betong today.
Abang Johari however noted that existing infrastructure and development are still not enough and will continue to be improved through BIDA which will be led by Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
“I am confident that with the operation of BIDA in the near future under the leadership of Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah who is always working hard, Betong will develop more rapidly and progress further in line with other areas in the State,” he added.
Besides BIDA, other similar agencies which have been set up include Upper Rajang Development Agency (URDA) which puts special focus on the Hulu Rajang area, Highland Development Agency for the Ulu Baram highlands, Sri Aman Development Agency (SADA) for Sri Aman, and Integrated Regional Samarahan Development Agency (IRSDA) for Samarahan.
Meanwhile, today’s National Day celebration in Betong also witnessed the raising of the Jalur Gemilang as well as a variety of performances which showcased unity and diversity in Sarawak and in remembrance of Aug 31.
Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Minister of Utility and Telecommunications-cum-minister-in-charge of this year’s National Day celebration Datuk Julaihi Narawi, Cabinet ministers, elected representatives and community leaders were among those present. — DayakDaily