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By Nigel Edgar
PANTU, Aug 24: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has announced a RM30 million budget to carry out a preliminary study to boost infrastructure and socioeconomic development of rural districts in Sri Aman.
He said the preliminary study would begin next year and once completed will be implemented under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) in 2021.
Abang Johari agreed on the need for the state government to take a holistic approach to develop rural areas in Sri Aman by connecting them with the road grid through the coastal highway network and second trunk road to the Pan Borneo Highway.
“They need to be connected to the second trunk road, as well as the Pan Borneo Highway. Only with road connectivity we can ensure these areas can be developed in line with other areas, and not just watch from the sidelines,” he said during the launching of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Zone 6 at Lachau, here, today.
GPS Zone 6, to be led by Balai Ringin assemblyman Datuk Snowdan Lawan, comprised the state constituencies of Balai Ringin, Bukit Begunan, Simanggang, Engkilili and Batang Ai.
Abang Johari noted that many of the villages and longhouses within the area were still out of reach from proper road connectivity. Among them were those located between the Pantu and Lingga district.
At the same time, the chief minister also approved RM10 million for the building of a mini sports complex in Balai Ringin under the 12MP.
“There are many undiscovered talents among rural youths in sports and athletics.
“Taking into account the needs of the youths, we feel that it is necessary and timely for Balai Ringin, being located between Serian, Simunjan and Sri Aman, to have a sporting facility for the youth as well as the students there.”
Abang Johari said he has also instructed State Secretary Datu Jaul Samion to initiate the setting up of an administrative centre in Balai Ringin to oversee the development of all areas surrounding the constituency including Sri Aman.
Meanwhile, Snowdan said a special meeting will be carried out between the GPS elected representatives in the Zone 6 areas with the Public Works Department, the Land and Survey Department, as well as the respective districts and Resident Offices in Sri Aman to discuss in detail, to connect villages and longhouses with road infrastructures.
The meeting was also to draw up planning to improve socioeconomic development in the said areas. — DayakDaily