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By D’Drift Team
BEKENU, Oct 18: Development projects planned and approved for Bekenu, including the Kampung Rambai waterfront, telco towers and Internet connectivity, are just waiting to be implemented after facing some delays due to movement restrictions previously.
Bekenu assemblywoman Datuk Rosey Yunus pointed out that the constraints on people’s mobility and Covid-19 safety requirements have in some ways disrupted these projects, especially with regards to the crunch in manpower.
“The Kampung Rambai waterfront project is being redrawn, the library construction is ongoing, while I have been briefed by MCMC (Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission) that Unifi is ready to be implemented and many telco towers will be built.
“So connectivity will be there. It is all in the plan and it is only a matter of time for projects to materialise.
“We are delayed a bit but I believe projects will get back on track real soon in the new norms as Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted,” she told the D’Drift Team when contacted.
In addition, she revealed that the booster pump station in Bekenu will be commissioned between Oct 20 to 22, which will increase the water pressure in areas such as Bungai, which is famous for its pristine beach.
Other projects in the nearby sub-district of Batu Niah, like the waterfront in Sepupok which is near completion, a market which is under construction and the Niah waterfront which is at the design stage will also benefit the people in Bekenu, she added.
The priority now, Rosey continued, is getting a new clinic constructed in Batu Niah, for which a proposal has in fact been approved during former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s time, with an allocation of RM50 million.
“Even the land has been allotted. But due to the change of government and that healthcare is under the federal list, everything needs to restart again.
“We have and will continue to pursue it as a new clinic is crucial to cater for the increasing healthcare needs of the people, not only in Niah but also Bekenu and the surrounding areas,” she stressed.
Rosey emphasised that Bekenu including Niah has seen rapid development in the past five years, largely because Sarawak no longer relies entirely on the federal government, and the State government is able to make decisions on its own when it comes to development.
“In the past, the government needed to seek permission from our ‘big brother’ (Putrajaya). Now we are more or less on our own and that’s why we see a lot of projects being planned and implemented. Everything is approved and the only thing left is implementation,” she said.
Bekenu is a small town located about 45 minutes’ drive from Miri. The town with modern shoplots and spacious roads, seemed rather quiet in the late afternoon during D’Drift Team’s stopover.
However, it is a commercial hub for locals from surrounding areas, with economic activities concentrated on the oil palm plantations, while some residents still fish for a living.
This humble town is famous for the beautiful Bungai beach, which is adjacent to Tusan beach, that attracts a lot of locals and visitors for leisure outings or picnics.
Bekenu’s origins can be traced back to when the Brooke government established a small administrative district office on top of a hill overlooking the Bekenu rivermouth, to collect customs and excise duties and to maintain order. — DayakDaily.