By Jaythaleela K
MIRI, May 26: People’s support of the Sarawak government’s development projects should not be interpreted as them being like cows led through the nose (‘kerbau di cucuk hidung’), opined Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
Speaking at the 15th Miri Division Gawai Dayak celebration on Saturday night (May 25) at a hotel here, Uggah said the Sarawak government is committed to narrowing the poverty gap between rural and urban areas.
Citing the Highland Development Agency (HDA), Uggah said strong support and active participation from the residents of the area is crucial to ensure the development programmes implemented under the initiative are successful.
“We need the participation from all of you…work with us under the Gabungan Parti Sarawak to make HDA a success,” said Uggah.
The state goverment, he added, is gearing up to bring economic development to the people under the HDA area.
“We believe the HDA area can be developed into a development hub.
“Our Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg wants to make sure by the year 2020, development imbalance issues between the rural and urban areas can be narrowed and resolved,” he told the 1,400-strong audience at the event.
At the event, eight guests including Uggah himself gave a total of RM118,000 in allocations to the event organisers.
This year’s event was organised by nine Orang Ulu association.
A total of 85 students were also awarded with incentives for excellence performances in the 2018 UPSR, SPM and STPM examinations.
Next year, the Dayak Association of Miri (DAM) will be hosting the 16th edition of the event.
Meanwhile, HDA is expected to have a positve impact on some 75,000 residents from 244 villages in the Baram constituency, covering an area of 18,462 sq km.
A total of RM1.5 billion worth of allocations has been approved by the Sarawak government to implement infrastructure projects such as roads, water and electricity supply, within the area.
Also present at the event were its patron Sarawak Legislative Assembly Deputy Speaker-cum-Mulu assemblyman Dato Gerawat Gala, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau who is also Sarawak Kayan Association (PKS) president, Federation of Orang Ulu Associations Sarawak (Forum) president Antonio Kahti Galis, Senator Nuing Jeluing, Acting Miri Resident Nyurak Keti, Sibuti Member of Parliament (MP) Lukanisman Awang Sauni, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Pujut assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting and Miri Mayor Adam Yii. — DayakDaily