Is SCORE getting left behind, questions Tanjong Batu rep

Sarawak Legislative Assembly Sitting, November 2017

KUCHING, Nov 14: A state assemblyman has questioned the implementation of the ambitious Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) and the domestic industrialisation plan by previous chief ministers, which has since been neglected by the new administration and replaced with e-commerce and other mega projects.

Tanjong Batu assemblyman Chiew Chiu Sing said the targeted completion date for SCORE is only 12 years from now, but little had been done other than Samalaju Industrial Park.

“After the administration of (former chief minister and now Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul) Taib (Mahmud), we hear little about what is happening with our SCORE but instead we hear all the hoo-ha, LRT, communications towers, e-commerce, digital economy etc.,” he said when debating the Supply Bill 2017 in the State Legislative Assembly today.

Chiew acknowledged the importance of e-commerce but he believed that SCORE, which had been important to the people during Taib’s administration, must be carried out to accomplish its goals to develop the central region.

He said the development in Samalaju had helped Bintulu to develop vibrantly in the past, even though there are still many vacant plots left there today.

Covering an area of 8,000 hectres, Samalaju Industrial Park is a planned and developed industrial park with its own seaport and water treatment plant while electricity comes from the Bakun Dam.

Chiew pointed out that out of the total of 27 projects in Samalaju, only seven are operational, with two under construction and eight still under negotiation.

SCORE, which aims to develop the central region in Sarawak and covering an area of 70,708 square kilometres, comprises five development nodes namely Mukah, Tanjung Manis, Tunoh, Baram and Samalaju.

He urged the government to be creative and carry out initiatives to successfully attract foreign direct investment.

“Think hard, focus and put a great, great effort into it. Yes we can; don’t prematurely de-industrialise ourselves. It is all about where this administration is putting its priority,” said the longest serving DAP assemblyman, who previously represented the Kidurong constituency for three terms.

On the domestic industrialisation policy, Chiew noticed that high value global furniture made locally for export suggested during the late Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem’s administration, was completely neglected as well.

“The Adenan administration had talked about this but where is the furniture made in Sarawak for export? Or are we just interested in catching the illegal loggers, not that it is not important, and now even more sophisticatedly catching them with drone! But please, for goodness sake, do something more productive for our timber industry,” he added. — Dayak Daily