By Adrian Lim
MIRI, Oct 27: The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government will build road connectivity linking the hinterlands in the northern region of Sarawak from Miri to Marudi, Baram and Bekenu.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg asserted that road connectivity is important for rural populace seeking better healthcare facilities in towns or cities.
Thus, he pointed out that the hinterlands in the northern region of Sarawak will be connected by roads under the Highland Development Agency (HDA) from Baram, Marudi to Mulu.
“These are the road connectivity projects which we are going to build under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).
“Although the cost of building the roads is high, Sarawak has sustenance and we will build the roads that connect to the hospital in Miri.
“We will also build connecting roads from Miri to Limbang and Lawas.
“The road projects are expected to be completed in 2025,” he said in his speech prior to the earth-breaking of a new hospital building at Miri Hospital here today.
“The road network connecting the rural areas will shorten the journey of the rural populace seeking medical treatment in Miri and besides physical infrastructures, the government will also continue providing digital infrastructure in Sarawak.
“With digital infrastructure, advanced medical services such as telemedicine can be provided to the people in the rural areas from smaller hospitals using virtual reality (VR) technology thus providing them with better healthcare facilities and services in the future,” he added.
He disclosed that the population growth in Miri is expected to reach 428,657 people by 2025 based on the annual population growth rate of 1.3 percent as provided by the Department of Statistics, while the population in the northern region of Sarawak which include Bintulu, Miri and Limbang is projected to reach 789,376 people in the next five years.
Abang Johari said the new hospital building in Miri will be a hub for the people in the northern region of Sarawak to acquire medical and healthcare services.
Meanwhile, the new Miri Hospital building with 328-beds with an estimated cost of RM289 million is expected to be completed by October 2023.
The building will be a green building certified using the Malaysian Carbon Reduction and Environment Sustainability Tool (MyCREST).
Among those present at the earth breaking ceremony of the new Miri hospital building were Senior Minister of Works Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, Deputy Health Minister II Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang, Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Sarawak Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin and Tourism, Arts and Culture Assistant Minister Datuk Sebastian Ting. —DayakDaily