Lidam: Sarawak will not be developed until Katibas is developed

Lidam participating in the Supply Bill 2023 debate in the august House today (Nov 23, 2022).

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By DayakDaily Team

KUCHING, Nov 23: Sarawak will not be developed until N62 Katibas state constituency is developed, its assemblyman Lidam Assan emphasised in urging for greater efforts and faster actions including “uplifting” Song from its label as the poorest district in Malaysia.

Lidam has requested the Sarawak government to set aside sufficient funds and expedite the construction of 156km of roads and a few bridges to connect 88 settlements in the constituency.

They include a further 30km road to Sg Bangkit involving 11 settlements, 15km to Sg Musah (11 settlements), 16km to Sg Iran (14 settlements), 15km to Sg Song (9 settlements), 29km to Sg Tekalit (20 settlements), 5km to Sg Linau (4 settlements), 5km to Sg Manap (5 settlements), and 34km to Engkuah-Ng Ngeranau (14 settlements).

“The infrastructure development will facilitate economic transformation and diversification of revenue generation to drive rural socio-economy,” he told the august House when debating the Supply Bill 2023 today.

These are on top of the 7km road to Sg Bangkit costing RM70 million and a cable-stay bridge crossing Sg Katibas costing RM35 million which the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government and Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg had previously approved, which he is thankful of.

“The construction and completion of the said road and bridge will not only enable us to unlock our idle NCR (Native Customary Rights) land but to add value with better commercialisation of farming, thus assisting us to eradicate poverty in the rural areas,” he said.

However since roads construction cannot materialise in a short time, Lidam urged the government to speed up expansion and coverage of Internet services to Katibas first.

“There are 19 towers in Katibas but to date, only three towers are already completed and yet to be commissioned. I urge that they be expedited as the network is very weak in rural areas operated through community WiFi by Saluran and Jendela,” he added.

Among other projects Lidam requested for Katibas include building a light industrial area to support local entrepreneurs and a Song Centre like Centre of Technical Excellence (Centexs) to provide customised training that would help enhance the skills and knowledge of not only local farmers but also that of entrepreneurs.

“As for the Song Centre, it can act as a community reference centre for innovation, startups, product reviews and marketing. It requires about 100 acres of land with the project estimated to cost about RM5 million,” he said.

With Katibas being famous for freshwater fish such as empurau, tengadak and labang, Lidam said the inland fisheries sector also required special attention as it can contribute to its socio-economic development.

He suggested the setting up of hatcheries and processing facilities for the marine products. — DayakDaily