More than 70 project proposals for Betong Division costing RM780 mln submitted to Sarawak Premier for approval

Uggah (left) presenting 'angpau' to a recipient at the Chinese New Year dinner organised by the Spaoh Chinese community at the community hall in Spaoh last night (Jan 28, 2023).

KUCHING, Jan 29: The Betong Division Development Agency (BDDA) has submitted a list of over 70 proposed projects totaling RM780 million to Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg for his approval early this month, says BDDA chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

Uggah, who is also the Deputy Premier of Sarawak, highlighted in a statement issued today that the projects primarily focus on infrastructure and amenities in eight State constituencies in the Betong Division.

“These are our top priority projects. We want to implement all those given the greenlight as soon as possible and within this year.

“We also want to deliver them as scheduled. Our next step is to meet the State Financial Secretary to finalise them,” he told the media after officiating at a Chinese New Year dinner organised by the Spaoh Chinese community at the community hall in Spaoh last night (Jan 28).

He revealed the BDDA committee had distributed the project list to all relevant departments in order for them to make their respective preparations.

He added that although the total allocation given to BDDA was RM1.5 billion, the committee was spending RM740 million on the projects at this stage.

Meanwhile, Uggah noted that the State Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government is a part of the unity government with other like-minded political parties for the sake of a strong central government and political stability so that Malaysia can further progress and prosper.

“Our Prime Minister Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been good to us. We have now Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, a local leader who is a Deputy Prime Minister.

“This is the first time that a Sarawakian is appointed to the top post in 60 years. Anwar too has increased the Special Grant to Sarawak as provided for in Article 112D of the Federal Constitution to RM300 million from previously only RM16 million,” he emphasised.

Furthermore, he said Anwar had approved a sum of RM1 billion to upgrade the Customs, Immigration, Quarantine, and Security (CIQS) complex along Sarawak and Sabah’s borders with Indonesia.

“If we looked at the other side, they have much better facilities than us,” he added.

Meanwhile, in his speech at the function, Uggah called on the Chinese community in Spaoh to contribute to the town’s continued development and prosperity.

He explained that there were numerous opportunities to be taken advantage of with the numerous development projects that the government and BDDA would be implementing.

“We have the Bebuling STOLport which is in active construction. When it is completed we have an alternative, albeit much faster way to reach more markets.

“We also have yet to tap our tourism potential too as we have a number of attractions such as Bukit Sadok which is the site of the fortress of the legendary Iban freedom fighter Rentap.

“We have a number of traditional Iban longhouses, the homesteads in Malay kampung, and even our Sungai Paku where crocodiles can be the attraction,” he added.

Uggah also revealed that the Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) plans to embark on cattle farming.

At the function, Uggah and Betong MP Dr Richard Rapu presented ‘angpau’ to 35 older citizens. — DayakDaily