KUCHING, Oct 27: Deputy Home Minister Datuk Masir Kujat hopes Budget 2018 starts a tradition where the rural areas are given special attention and consideration.
He said Budget 2018 is a budget which showed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s understanding of the needs of rural folks.
“I hope this budget would be the beginning of many more allocations from the federal government specifically for infrastructure development in the rural areas.
“All this while, rural development has been much neglected. The rural folks are lagging behind. I am very glad to see special allocation being given to the rural areas to boost basic infrastructure such as road, water and electricity supply,” said Masir who is Sri Aman MP.
Masir said even though Sri Aman itself may be a town, but a large part of his constituency is still rural.
“The rural people need connectivity such as roads. In the more interior areas, some of them are still using logging roads.
“I hope with RM500 million allocation for rural roads in Sabah and Sarawak, some of these timber tracks may be upgraded into proper roads,” Masir told DayakDaily.
He said for rural folks, road connectivity is important as it opens up more opportunities for them.
“With road connectivity, they can turn their land into plantations. It also provides them with access to markets where they can sell their agricultural produce.
“If we want to eradicate poverty in rural areas or to increase the income of the rural folk, the first thing the government must do is provide road connectivity for them,” said Masir.
On a whole, Masir described Budget 2018 as “encompassing and inclusive” where all sectors and people from all walks of life will benefit from it.
“Every sector such as agriculture and fishery, everyone including entrepreneurs, business people, students, elderly and even the needy, benefit from this budget.
“To me, it is a budget meant for all,” said Masir. — DayakDaily