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By Chris Bishop
PADAWAN, Dec 14: Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) oversees the highest number of properties amongst all the local authorities in Sarawak, revealed its chairman Lo Khere Chiang.
“As of Oct 1, 2020, there are 73,001 properties under MPP and 91 per cent are residential properties. From 2017 to 2020, the growth rate of development of properties within MPP’s jurisdiction is about 3.5 per cent per annum or approximately 2,300 new properties per year.
“The council’s projection is that there will be at least 73,500 properties by the end of 2020,” said Lo at an event here today to mark the council’s 24th Anniversary-cum-launch of the Ring Ladies mural.
He noted MPP oversees an area of 984.34 square kilometres, comprising suburban areas on the periphery of Kuching city and rural areas.
“Many of the towns and bazaars have seen rapid development in the last 20 years. We can see this in areas such as the Batu Kawah New Township, Kota Sentosa, Jalan Matang, and Jalan Batu Kawa such as the EMart Batu Kawa Commercial Centre, P’ Residence, Moyan Square, PRIMA Matang, RPR Landeh, and Bengoh Resettlement Scheme to name a few, and not forgetting Kota Padawan, MPP’s administrative centre. The number of holdings has increased tremendously, from 21,000 in 1996 to 73,001 as at Oct 1, 2020,” said Lo.
Lo, who is also the Batu Kitang assemblyman said to achieve a sustainable Padawan municipality, MPP has to accelerate the provision and maintenance of infrastructure in tandem with the expectations of the rakyat.
From 2016 to 2020, MPP has implemented a total of 375 projects valued at RM82.8 million. The breakdown in terms of category and total project costs are as follows: RM 15.2 million for capital development projects, RM 35.8 million for Rural Transformation Programme (RTP) projects and RM 31.8 million for Projek Rakyat.
He said last year, MPP implemented 130 projects and this year, as of November 2020, MPP has implemented 95 projects.
“We can see that from year-to-year, Padawan Municipal Council has always been busy maintaining the roads and drains. The roads in the housing estates have been upgraded and most of the roads in the kampung have been tar-sealed. Nowadays the requests from the residents have changed from upgrading the gravel roads to tar-sealed roads to resurfacing existing tar-sealed roads, and requests for street lightings. Development projects have expanded to include construction of bridges, surau and churches.
Other developments, Lo disclosed, included the construction of community markets and hawkers centres, upgrading of village libraries into digital community centres, installation of safety rails, guard rails and cat eyes as safety measures, and the maintenance of parks and green areas.
“I believe infrastructure development is still what the rakyat wants and through infrastructure development projects, MPP will improve the quality of life of the rakyat,” Lo added.
Improving road infrastructure, particularly drains, remains a top priority for MPP which includes areas such as Puncak Borneo and Matang with a projected cost of RM800 million. The council together with the minister shall seek and pursue more grants in order to improve the road and drain infrastructure, he added.
“MPP has also gone beyond the role of providing municipal services. To assist the poor, the council managed to obtain a grant to help repair 31 houses for the poor this year.
“A direct result of this initiative is the improved safety and better living conditions for the residents. From 2016 to 2020, the council has already repaired 114 houses under the Urban Poverty Eradication Programme.
“In addition, under the leadership of YAB (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) and as a caring government, each ADUN (assemblyman) under GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) since 2019 is allocated a funding of RM1 million to do house repairs for the poor in their constituencies,” said Lo.
He pointed out that in line with MPP’s mission to advance the quality of life by providing efficient municipal services, MPP through the leadership and determination of Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, managed to obtain a grant for a number of Projek Rakyat in areas under MPP’s jurisdiction. — DayakDaily