Greater connectivity in Kapit planned with additional RM1.5bln for URDA

Baleh Bridge

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Oct 7: The additional RM1.5 bil for the Upper Rajang Development Agency (URDA) will provide greater road connectivity in Kapit Division in the coming 12th Malaysia Plan, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.

Masing who is also URDA’s chairman said, its area stretches from Kanowit, Song, Kapit, Belaga and Sungai Asap, covers about a third of Sarawak’s total land mass.

“As the Chairman of URDA, I appreciate Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s understanding of our rural needs.

“The announcement of an additional RM1.5 billion by CM during his recent visit to Kapit, will be allocated to Urda during the 12th Malaysia Plan.

“This extra allocation will be greatly needed to build more infrastructure in rural areas within URDA region. We must bear in mind that 41,000 sq km of URDA area is about one third the size of Sarawak,” Masing told DayakDaily today.

Masing (6th right) at the newly completed Ng Mujong Bridge.

He was commenting on the chief minister’s announcement last Sunday that an additional RM1.5 billion will be allocated to the URDA for the development of the upper Rajang area from Kanowit to Kapit in the coming 12th Malaysia Plan.

As such, Abang Johari appealed to the people to continue to give Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) the mandate to administer the State.

The Chief Minister said that the allocation, among others, would be used to build the 73km Nanga Mujong-Baleh Dam Road, Nanga Serau-Sungai Kain Road and the Tunoh Road from Nanga Mujong to Nanga Tiau.

URDA was allocated RM1.5 billion to develop the upper Rajang area when it was set up in 2017.

Meanwhile, Masing who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president criticised Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) for allegedly misleading the rural populace in saying that there were no developments taking place in Baleh.

“Tell us the truth. (And) do not step on other people’s head in order to be seen above the ground. Just tell the truth and the rakyat will help you,” said Masing, who is also Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development.

Recently, a group of PSB leaders had accused the GPS government, especially PRS, for neglecting the constituency.

In rebutting PSB’s accusation, the Baleh assemblyman highlighted the fact that there were two bridges which have been completed which the PSB leaders have used to reach Tunoh.

The two completed bridges are the Baleh Bridge which cost RM87 million and the newly completed Ng Mujong Bridge which cost RM36 million.

Additionally, a road to Tunoh is now being implemented at a cost of RM50 million. —DayakDaily

Tunoh Road under construction
Road under construction leading to Baleh HEP