DPM Zahid announces RM1.3 mln to upgrade Rh Richard Engking in Kapit

Seated from left: Richard, Nanta, Zahid, Julaihi and other distinguished guests photographed at Rh Richard Engking in Kapit on June 3, 2023. Photo credit: Ministry of Works (KKR)

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By Nur Ashikin Louis

KAPIT, June 3: The 45-door Rumah Richard Engking, which is over 40 years old, will be upgraded with an allocation of RM1.3 million.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Patinggi Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that RM1 million would be allocated to repair and upgrade the longhouse, which gave shelter to 48 families, while the additional RM300,000 would be for the wiring and piping systems.

He announced this when attending a ‘Leaders with Community’ gathering in conjunction with today’s Gawai Dayak celebration at the longhouse.

He was responding to Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Sabah and Sarawak Affairs, Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong, who, in his speech, had pointed out the poor state of the traditional longhouse including the dilapidated ‘tanju’ (veranda) and old wiring system.

A photo of Rh Richard Engking taken on June 3, 2023. Photo credit: Ministry of Works (KKR)

At the same time, Zahid, who is also the Malaysian Minister of Rural and Regional Development, announced that he intended to replace the Bailey bridge of the longhouse with a concrete bridge.

“My deputy minister, Datuk Rubiah Wang, will evaluate the cost of the Bailey bridge and will report back to me.

“I will use the special allocation for the concrete bridge,” he said at the event.

Zahid also pledged to find ways to assist other longhouses in Sarawak, stating that Prime Minister Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is the finance minister, would approve the necessary funding for longhouses if Kapit MP Dato Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi requested it.

Also present were Sarawak Minister of Utility and Telecommunication Datuk Julaihi Narawi, Deputy Minister in Premier’s Department (Native Customs and Law) Jefferson Jamit Unyat, Tanjong Manis MP Yusuf Abd Wahab, Murum assemblyman Kennedy Chukpai Ugon, Baleh assemblyman Nicholas Kudi Jantai and Tuai Rumah Richard Engking. — DayakDaily