Model village for Sarawak poor to be built in Santubong

Abang Johari (second right) takes a closer look at a layout plan during the visit.

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KUCHING: A ‘model village’ for Sarawak’s extremely poor, and to resettle poor extended families that would be displaced by the mammoth Darul Hana redevelopment project along the Sarawak River, will be built on a 78.9 hectare piece of land at Sungai Bedaun in Santubong.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the village, which would have ‘modern houses’ and built ‘systematically’, could have 300 ‘PPRT houses’.

The first families could move in in two years time, he said, after making an inspection visit of the site, some 30km from Kuching today.

PPRT is the Malay acronym for ‘Program Pembangunan Rakyat Termiskin’ or ‘development programme for the extremely poor’.

Abang Johari said when he was in Kuala Lumpur last week, he met and sold to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, an arrangement on how to speed up the building of these PPRT houses.

He said under the arrangement, which the prime minister agreed to, the state government would provide the site and build all the basic infrastructure including utility services — water, electricity and roads — while the federal government would finance the cost of building the houses.

The chief minister said extended families from three villages — Kampung Pulo, Kampung Panglima Seman and Kampung Semarang — who could not afford to buy the houses that are being built in Darul Hana would instead be offered houses at the new village.

The Darul Hana project plans to transform 12 Malay villages along the bank of the Sarawak River opposite the city, into new modern, urban villages.

Over 4,000 families with over 15,000 people currently live in the villages stretching from Kampung Boyan to Kampung Bintawa Hilir.

The Land Custody and Development Authority (LCDA) is overseeing the implementation of the project, which is expected to take 10 to 15 years to complete.