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By Nancy Nais and Chris Bishop
KAPIT, Oct 4: Loud cheers from scores of Kapit residents greeted Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s announcement of the approval for two development projects worth RM73 million for Kapit town today.
Similarly, Abang Johari’s earlier arrival by road on a high-powered motorcycle all the way from Sibu also impressed the locals because before this they had never had a chief minister visiting this remote town in such a manner.
The first project mentioned by Abang Johari was for a new RM15 million market while the second one involved a RM58 million landscape and heritage project.
Speaking at the official launching ceremony for of the RM3 million Kapit Town Square here today, Abang Johari gave assurance that the Sarawak government under Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has the budget so there is no problem to further develop the town for the benefit of the people.
“Petronas (Petroliam Nasional Berhad) has paid us the RM2.95 billion for sales tax (SST) on petroleum products. So let us give it back to the rakyat,” he said, adding that Sarawak has received a total of RM3.16 billion including payments from other oil and gas companies.
This, he said, will enable Sarawak to be developed further and since the GPS government is on solid ground, therefore he can focus on developing the state with all the support from members of the coalition parties.
“Sarawak is now experiencing rapid infrastructure development. Areas such as Matu, Daro, Mukah, Tanjung Manis, Igan, Sibu and Kapit are now well connected thus easing inter-division travels for the people. Roads to Ng Mujung is complete while Baleh, Belaga and all the way up to Bintulu will also be connected,” he pointed out.
Earlier today, Abang Johari took part in a 110km-long motorcycle convoy as part of his official itinerary to Kapit.
He departed from Eco Garden in Sibu Jaya at about 8.45am, making several stops along the way namely in Kanowit, Ng Ngungun and Song before arriving safety in Kapit at about 4pm
Apart from launching the new Kapit Town Square which was completed on Sept 15, Abang Johari was briefed by Henry Chuo from Gayasari Architect on the proposed river bank and slope protection works to the existing Kapit Waterfront.
He was also briefed by Albert Liew from BL Consultant on the proposed market and recreational centre.
Among those present were Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing; Federal Minister for Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi; Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah; State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion; Assistant Minister for Utilities Datuk Liwan Lagang; Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Port Development Datuk Julaihi Narawi and Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan. — DayakDaily