KUCHING, Sept 6: A special committee comprising representatives from the Sarawak government and the Ministry of Rural Development will be set up to closely monitor rural development projects in the state.
Rural Development Minister Rina Mohd Harun said the committee would also ensure there would be no overlapping of state and federal rural development projects.
Speaking to reporters after paying a courtesy call on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg this afternoon, Rina said the committee would also ensure all projects were implemented smoothly, quickly and without leakages.
“We want to have a good and close working relationship with the Sarawak government for the benefit of Sarawakians, particularly rural folk,” assured Rina.
The committee is scheduled to have its first meeting this December, when she comes for her next working visit to tour rural areas in the state.
On a related matter, Rina revealed that most rural development projects in the state had been reviewed. Out of the 106 approved this year, only one would be postponed till the next 12th Malaysia Plan (RMK11).
She said the 105 projects that had been approved cost about RM916 million.
“The one project that is to be postponed is a road project by the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) costing around RM2 million.
“The project was approved but not implemented yet,” said Rina.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture and Rural Economy, said the special committee would be headed by him from the state side, while Rina would lead the federal side.
He said both governments would work closely together to ensure a better livelihood for the rural folk of Sarawak as well as to reduce rural poverty.
“This is important for Sarawak because about 40 per cent of Sarawak’s population are still living in rural areas,” he said. — DayakDaily