Sarawak can achieve developed status before 2030 target under GPS

Abang Johari (centre) tries his skill in beach bowling by throwing a coconut to hit the pins made up of used mineral water bottles.

By Peter Sibon

BELAWAI, July 6: Sarawak could achieve its developed status much earlier than the projected 2030 target, provided the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS)-led state government continues to allocate bigger annual budget.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Opneg said the state government will have the 12th and 13th Malaysia Plans to focus on development and gear towards the state needs.

He added that the state government’s main focus was to improve road connectivity and communications network.

“Our target (to achieve a developed status) is still 2030 but if we can achieve it earlier, better still.

“By 2022 or 2023, our infrastructure network will be completed and after that, we will embark on the soft sectors, that is to focus on agriculture and tourism sectors,” he told reporters after launching Karnival Pantai Belawai here today.

As for the extra funding, Abang Johari assured that Sarawak will not use its reserves but instead, would find extra source of income in order to carry out more people centric-projects.

“We can’t depend on the federal government. We have to be on our own but the question is budget. So, we have to find ways and means for our budget.”

On modern agriculture and tourism, he said that economic potential of an area will be key for it to be developed for the sectors.

Abang Johari said Tanjung Manis would also become an important economic hub in the future.

“What we do is to improve the infrastructure within this area because there is an airport available. The main thing is that we would extent the runway that allows bigger planes to come in.

“That additional passenger load will create bigger catchment in Tanjung Manis, including Sarikei and Julau areas. As for Belawai, it has a very good tourism potential with its long beach. What you need is the manpower and water supply, which we are now doing.”

Abang Johari said the whole area is connected to the Rajang delta region, with vary arable soil that can be utilised for modern agriculture and fertigation. — DayakDaily