Kapit on the verge of a massive transformation — Masing

Masing (seated centre) poses in a group photo after the briefing at his office at Bangunan Baiitulmakmur in Kuching recently.

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Dec 7: Kapit town, as the `capital’ of Ulu Rajang Development Agency (Urda) and potential industrial powerhouse in the state, is poised for greater development by 2030.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing said under a massive development allocation of RM1.5 billion, especially for infrastructure, Kapit would be well connected to major towns and settlements in the state by 2025.

“By 2025, Kapit town and the surrounding countryside will be better connected by rural roads. It needs full commitment by both Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) YBs (elected representatives) and the people of Kapit.

“Once Kapit people are fully united in their objectives and aspirations, there is no reason why Kapit will remain the frontier town,” Masing told DayakDaily today.

And with its massive green energy potential of at least 4,500MW from its three hydroelectric power (HEP) dams — Bakun, Murum and Baleh — Kapit will definitely be a place for major industries, besides Samalaju and Tanjung Manis.

“Kapit will be the division that will lit Sarawak and the powerhouse for Sarawak industries. Hence, there is no excuse to leave or sideline Kapit anymore. I’m confident Kapit and the Urda region will prosper by 2030,” said Masing, who is also Urda chairman.

On the 150km Belaga-Ng Merit Road, which is being implemented under the Jiwa Murni initiative, Masing is confident the road could be completed on schedule by either 2020 or by 2021.

“As for the 34km Menjawah-Belaga Road, it will be upgraded to ‘R1 Modified’ standard, with certain areas, especially at corners, to be widened to provide a much safer drive. As work has already begun, we hope that it will bring joy to the locals before Gawai in 2020,” he said, adding that the total cost of the upgrading works of the former Jiwa Murni Road was RM95 million.

Masing, who is also Baleh assemblyman, enthused that the missing link from Song to Ng Ngungun near Kanowit would be completed by August 2020.

“By then, it will be a smooth drive from Sibu right up to Kapit. And by then, I can drive right up to my doorstep in Kapit,” he enthused.

Meanwhile, a recent briefing on infrastructure development for Kapit Division, which was conducted by the Public Works Department regional manager Cassidy Morris, included (a) the commercial wharf in Kapit , which is expected to be completed in April next year, (b) the jetty at Nanga Ibau in Song is progressing ahead of schedule and is expected to be completed in March next year, (c) the jetty at Nanga Merit Kapit is also expected to be completed in March 2019, and (d) the proposed bridge over Sungai Kapit is expected to be completed in May 2020.

“Building projects that are expected to be completed in 2019 include the Agriculture Station at Nanga Machan and the Refurbishing and Upgrading works at Fort Emma, Kanowit, while the proposed Kanowit Riverwall at Kanowit River is expected for completion in 2020,” said Masing.

Also present at the briefing were Assistant Minister for Water Supply Datuk Liwan Lagang, Kapit Resident Joseph Belayong and assemblymen  Alexander Vincent (Ngemah), Allan Siden Gramong (Machan), Wilson Nyabong Ijang (Pelagus), Jefferson Jamit Unyat (Bukit Goram) and Kennedy Chukpai Ugon (Murum). — DayakDaily