KUCHING, Feb 14: Song in Kapit will remain one of the poorest districts in the country if road network and other infrastructure development remained in the back burner.
Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) president Munan Laja said utilities such as treated water and 24-hour electricity — vital for economic growth — could only penetrate the whole district once the road connectivity is in place.
“After the district was declared among the poorest in Malaysia, the people there are asking one another what the government (that they had voted) are going to do for the district, as they are the holder of public funds.
“Infrastructure like electricity and water cannot come into the district without the presence of roads,” he said in a statement today.
Munan cited the Takan road, which he described as “not progressing” in the past seven years.
“We want to see top priority given to the continuation of Takan road, which is now put to a stop at Nanga Banjor, to be built to Ulu Katibas as soon as possible,” he said.
Munan urged Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to give special attention and be generous in developing poor districts in the state.
He suggested the state government use some of the sate’s reserves for infrastructure development in Song and other poor districts.
He also felt there might not be any drastic changes in Song over the next few years, which could lead to further rural-urban migration, especially among those who are seeking greener pastures.
Munan made reference to a 2005 and 2010 census, where the population of 160 longhouses in Song had dropped from 53,687 to 20,046. — DayakDaily