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BETONG, May 12: Betong will continue to see even brighter days ahead.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said 17 years after its elevation to a division, it had already achieved much.
“With strategic plans and programmes in place especially in the agricultural sector, I am confident Betong will surge ahead to even greater heights,” he said when officiating at its divisional level Gawai Dayak celebration at the Tan Sri Stephen Kaling Ningkan Hall here on Saturday.
According to a press statement, also present were former deputy chief minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu and his wife Tan Sri Empiang Jabu, Betong Member of Parliament Datuk Robert Lawson Chuat and his wife Datin Claudia Janting, and Bukit Layar state assemblyman Gerald Rentap Jabu.
Uggah paid tribute to Jabu whom he said had done a lot for Betong and the latter was actually the architect behind its development when he was in service..
For instance, Uggah pointed out, the Betong parliamentary constituency now enjoys 95 per cent power supply coverage and 95 per cent treated water supply coverage.
“We have many graduates and professionals. We have educational institutions like the Junior Mara College, the Betong Polytechnic and the Betong Community College.
“In addition, there are the excellent road connections to almost every place while the government is set to build 15 new telecommunication towers soon.”
Uggah who is also Bukit Saban assemblyman added that this year the government had approved projects worth about RM600 million.
This, he said, did not include the cost of the Second Trunk Road passing through the town.
He said, on the whole, the residents were enjoying better standards of living compared to 20 or 30 years back, if the daily traffic congestion in the town and their spending power were any indication.
“Now, with the state government focussed on building up Sarawak to be a high income society by 2030, we must plan our moves to move alongside.
“One of the ways it aims to achieve this is to develop the agriculture sector in order to become a net food exporter by 2030.
“We must jump on the bandwagon as we have great potential. We have the land, the Sadok Agropolitan and the Betong food basket area projects,” added Uggah who is also the Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development.
The government, he said, had the relevant plans and programmes to help the rakyat to participate in the process.
Meanwhile Uggah stressed on the need for the people to continue to zealously guard their existing unity and ties.
“We must preserve this racial unity and harmony at all cost in order for all our development plans and strategies to be implemented smoothly.”
In this respect he said they should reject all those who habitually spread lies to discredit the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government and its leaders, especially on social media.
“The NCR (native customary rights) land under Section 6 perimeter survey issue is a favourite of those concerned,” he said.
“They will continue to spin lies to disparage us. Deny them any attention.They are a very divisive force. The Section 6 is not a ploy for the government to grab land of the people as alleged. This we can assure you.”
At the function Uggah also presented study incentives and other aid to outstanding students in the division. — DayakDaily