Bill passage clears way to set up Northern Region Development Agency

Sarawak Legislative Assembly Sitting, November 2017

KUCHING, Nov 9: The Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA) will be set up to expedite the development for the northern sub-region of Sarawak in Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said with the establishment of NRDA, together with two other agencies set up in 2016, Regional Corridor Development Authority (RECODA) will be more focused in executing its roles and functions to bring in more investment and socio-economic development.

“This will enable RECODA to harness the economic potential in these areas by bringing in the expertise in various fields to plan and develop the areas,” said Awang Tengah while tabling the Regional Corridors Development Authorities (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

The establishment will be set up after Regional Corridors Development Authorities (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was tabled and passed in the State Legislative Assembly today.

The other two agencies which were set up are Highland Development Agency (HDA) and the Upper Rajang Development Agency (URDA).

Awang Tengah who is the Second Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources and Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development said the government has found it necessary to demarcate these areas into sub-regions as SCORE covers a huge area.

“Since these areas are still lagging behind in terms of infrastructure development such as roads, and water and electricity supply, the establishment of these agencies will enable RECODA to be in a better position to seek more funding from the federal government.”

RECODA was set up to plan, coordinate and manage the implementation of the SCORE Development Plan.

Since the inception of SCORE, RECODA has received RM3.6 billion in allocations from the federal government to implement 19 SCORE projects, while total approved contractual commitment amounts to RM4.2 billion for 75 contracts awarded.

The amendments to the RECODA Ordinance are also meant to strengthen RECODA in planning and project implementation, he added.

Currently, two members of the RECODA Board who are also deputy chief ministers are already appointed as the chairmen of HDA and URDA, with Datuk Amar Douglas Unggah Embas heading the former and Tan Sri James Masing chairing URDA. Another member of RECODA will be appointed as chairman of NRDA.

The Ordinance is also amended to provide that from the coming into force of this amendment, there will be no specific appointments of deputies, and the Chief Minister is empowered to appoint a person to temporarily discharge the functions of the chairman in the event the chairman is unable to act. — Dayak Daily