State govt will keep Betong, Bekenu RTCs open, assures Uggah

Uggah (in green shirt) at the bird-song competition. On his right is Rosey Yunus.

By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, March 3: The Rural Transformation Centres (RTCs) in Betong and Bekenu will remain open as the state government has agreed to fund operations after the federal government claimed it was broke.

In revealing this, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said, “RTC is crucial in the rural areas. Its services have proven to benefit the rural folks. They should continue (to operate).”

Speaking to reporters when launching a bird-song competition in Bekenu yesterday, Uggah said Putrajaya stopped funding these two RTCs at the beginning of this year. It was previously under the Ministry of Rural Development.

Some 650 people took part in the one-day bird-song competition that was held at the Bekenu Community Hall. The event attracted not only locals but those from Brunei and Indonesia, too.

Uggah, who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, later proceeded to Kampung Kayu Kapur and Kampung Selanyau.

At Kampung Kayu Kapur, Uggah announced an allocation of RM510,000 to build a proper facility for buffalo breeding at the village, where 150 buffalos roam a breeding area spanning 730 acres.

“We want to develop buffalo breeding. The infrastructure is in need of upgrading for this purpose. Within one or two years’ time, we can have a proper breeding area for buffalos,” he said.

At Kampung Selanyau, Uggah visited a kelulut (stingless bee) farm.

Uggah told reporters that his ministry planned to set up a kelulut honey processing centre in the village as part of an effort to open up the rural areas.

“From this processing centre, we can do monitoring and packaging of stingless bee honey to ensure they are of high quality,” he shared.

“Our ministry is also making an effort to collaborate with Yunnan Agriculture University from China to conduct research on how to produce quality honey.”

He was accompanied on his visits today by Sibuti MP Lukanisman Awang Sauni, Bekenu assemblywoman Rosey Yunus and Lambir assemblyman Ripin Lamat. — DayakDaily