Snowdan: The rural shall not be deprived of road access

Datuk Snowdan Lawan.

KUCHING, May 9: PRS Youth chief Datuk Snowdan Lawan urges the rural populace to reject Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) whose agendas are not in favour of rural development.

“For that, there is no reason for the party to be voted in during the PRN 12 (12th State Election) because what is necessary to the rural people may not be significant to them (PSB),” he said in a statement today.

Snowdan was commenting on PSB president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh’s statement requesting the state to shelve the Second Trunk Road (STR) projects.

The rural road access, Snowdan stressed, was one of the more pressing rural development projects in which Sarawak rural populace should not be denied.

“STR covering most part of Sri Aman and Betong Division, once materialised is an answer alleviating various rural problems.

“The STR is more crucial because it complements the state government’s effort to distribute and link water pipeline throughout the state by 2025 especially to places and rural longhouses that are bypassed by the Pan Borneo Highway and the Coastal Road networks,” he added.

Snowdan, who is also Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports, pointed out that STR will be a catalyst road for further development for many inland areas there.

“It is very relevant and would significantly affect the livelihood of the people in and around Sri Aman, Betong and Debak areas.

“Thus, the project shall proceed and not to be shelved or cancelled,” he emphasised.

He opined that PSB’s tone was starting to be in sync with the former Pakatan Harapan (PH), which had cancelled and shelved approved projects and fell short of its promises.

“Or is Wong or PSB against rural development just because they are urban-centric?

“But if they cannot win the cities, I believe that their only leverage is rural. If only the argument can be done in such a way that they are urban-centric, and going at the expense of rural development, then their YBs (elected representatives) will have hard times,” he said.

Snowdan added that it was regretful to note that a former senior minister thought that this project to create rural access road to the needy rural was redundant and served little purpose.

“When he was a member of the cabinet then, he did not object to it when it was proposed. Now he thinks it’s useless by making a U-turn, a similar PH trait,” he said.

On the state’s financial obligations, Snowdan said Wong or PSB need not interfere because GPS had a capable Finance Minister to manage its treasury.

“Is he (Wong) missing the foregone routines which used to be his?” he asked.—DayakDaily