KUCHING, Dec 19: The State government is determined to source funds for road construction to link Sg Tunoh in Bukit Mabong district to Kapit after the then Pakatan Harapan (PH) withdrew the RM690 million fund.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing Jemut emphasised that the road project was crucial to open up the huge potentials of Sg Tunoh, located about 180km from Kapit as major development of a new short take-off and landing port (STOLport) is on the way.
“Sg Tunoh is currently connected by Baleh access road and logging roads. The JKR (Public Works Department) R3-standard road branching from Baleh access road to Tunoh was designed a few years ago.
“Unfortunately the fund of RM690 million to construct it (the road) was withdrawn by the PH government.
“Why it was withdrawn was a mystery to me,” he said in a statement today, adding that it was wrong to tie politics with development.
The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government, he pointed out, has allocated more than RM340 million to construct roads in Bawang Assan even though the constituency is under opposition Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) currently.
“Today, the GPS government is sourcing for the fund so that Sg Tunoh in Bukit Mabong can be connected to Kapit via JKR road,” he said.
Masing, who is also Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation highlighted that Sg Tunoh is the best area for agriculture development.
With Bukit Mabong identified as the site of the new STOLport costing over RM200 million which construction is expected to begin next year and to be completed in three years, he believed Sg Tunoh is poised to reach its full potential.
“Which is why I am please to note that MANRED (Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native land and Regional Development) has been busy organising AgriCop seminars throughout Sarawak,” he said of one of the government’s focuses to eradicate rural poverty.
More importantly, Masing emphasised that the proximity of Bukit Mabong to the three huge dams namely Bakun, Murum and the to-be-completed Baleh was to ensure security to these valuable assets.
“With security enhanced by our roads plus accessibility to our rural land, it will enable our land assets to be developed. All that is needed is the willingness of the land owners to work hard,” he said. — DayakDaily