Sarawak investing in water supply infrastructure to boost State’s GDP

Caption: Abang Johari speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of Laku Head Office at Bukit Selatan today (Aug 18, 2021).

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Aug 18: The Sarawak government is committed to increasing the State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by investing in development and upgrade of water-supply infrastructure with plans and funds ready to hand.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg stressed the importance of readily available water supply in all parts of the State including the interior as it plays a part in preparing Sarawak to become a developed State by 2030.

“I would like to share this report with you. It says, there is a positive correlation between increased national income and the proportion of population with access to improved water supply.

“According to the World Bank Report (1994), a 0.3 per cent increase in investment in household access to safe water is associated with a one per cent increase in GDP. If we invest 10 per cent, then GDP will increase in correlation,” he said.

With that in mind, he expressed thanks to water supply development departments and agencies especially Laku Management Sdn Bhd (Laku) and Sarawak Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) for implementing the plans in store for the State and its people.

Abang Johari said with the Post-Covid Development Strategy (PCDS 2030), Sarawak is on track to an improved economy with steady supply of water and people who are united.

He was confident, according to his own estimation, that water and electricity supply issues Sarawak has been facing today will be settled by 2025.

“All these, water and electricity (issues), will be settled by 2025. And in terms of funds, we have them ready,” he said at the groundbreaking ceremony of Laku Head Office and the official handing over of Bukit Selatan Reservoir at Bukit Selatan from Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) to Laku today.

Of course, Abang Johari added, education and talent development is another critical aspect to look into as he foresees Sarawak’s economy to be balanced where young generations with high qualifications may contribute their knowledge into the ever-changing ecosystem.

Among those present for the ceremony were also Utilities Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Sarawak State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion and Laku chairman Datuk Nelson Balang Rining. — DayakDaily