CM: Kapit will undergo major transformation within a decade

Masing (right) pointing at something to show Abang Johari (second right) during a visit to a project site.

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, April 23: Kapit will no longer be a remote place in 10 years time as the state government has allocated RM2.7 billion for development ranging from basic infrastructure to social development to unlock the region’s economic potential.

Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said RM550 million of the RM2.7 billion allocation would be to implement 50 People’s Projects (Projek Rakyat), including social and infrastructure projects as well as water and electricity supplies.


“Under the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP), RM700 million has been allocated for 51 projects, while under the Upper Rajang Development Authority (URDA), which is a special agency set up for the development of the Upper Rajang, RM1.5 billion has been invested for several projects that are ongoing,” he said.

The chief minister said this after attending the State Development Coordination Committee Meeting during his walkabout in Kapit to visit the project sites today.

Abang Johari being briefed by an officer as he inspects the works on the riverbank of Kapit Waterfront.
Abang Johari (second from right) looking at the development plan for Kapit region. Also seen is Masing (second from left).
Abang Johari looking at a project’s development plan. He is accompanied by Alexander (right).

He inspected work on the Kapit Hospital exit road, visited the proposed improvement of Lily Pond Recreational Centre, took a look at the Kapit Town Square improvement project and also the proposed riverbank and slope protection works to the existing Kapit Waterfront.

Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing as well as State Secretary Tan Sri Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian and Kapit Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi were present.

Kapit, Abang Johari also pointed out, had the potential for modern agriculture as the region had fertile soil despite its hilly landscape.

“So, when the road infrastructure has been completed, it will open up new areas. And in the long run, we can develop cash crops that can generate income to benefit the farmers and the local community,” he explained.

Furthermore, he highlighted that the proposed construction of an airport costing over RM100 million in Tunoh, Bukit Mabong, under URDA would open up the entire area, including Kapit, through aviation.

“This project is expected to start at the end of this year, and it will have an impact not only in the aspect of development, including in agriculture, but also tourism in the Upper Rajang,” he said.

“In 10 years (time), Kapit will be developing and with road accessibility to connect Kapit to Belaga and Baleh until Bintulu; that means Kapit is no longer remote. It will be in the middle of another trunk road that will connect Sibu to Kapit and up to Baleh and Belaga to Bintulu,” he added.

Abang Johari (centre) addressing a press conference after his walkabout in Kapit. Also seen (from right) are Morshidi, Masing and Uggah.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari also announced financial assistance of RM70,000 per door for the fire victims of the 42-door Uma Bawang in Sungai Asap, Belaga, that was razed to the ground on April 15.

The fire, which started at about 6pm, completely destroyed the longhouse, which was one of the 15 resettlement longhouses built in 1996 to house those uprooted by the Bakun dam project.

The longhouse was located 250km away from the nearest station in Bintulu. — DayakDaily