KUCHING, May 27: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) deputy publicity chief Christopher Gira Sambang says the Second Trunk Road will serve 60 per cent of the total population in Sarawak.
He believed that both Pan Borneo Highway and the Second Trunk Road would accelerate Sarawak’s development in leaps and bounds over the next decade.
“I would like to highlight that this road (STR) is to serve about 60 per cent of total population in Sarawak mainly those residing within areas at Simunjan, Lingga, Sri Aman, Betong, Maludam, Roban and so on. The proposed two roads (STR and Pan Borneo Highway) will leapfrog Sarawak’s development in next 10 years,” said Gira in a statement today.
He thanked former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for the allocation of RM16 billion for the Pan Borneo Highway and former Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem as well as Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg for STR.
“GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) government under the leadership of Abang Jo is targeting to make Sarawak to become a developed state by year 2030. Therefore, Sarawak needs to have good strategies and planning by providing good infrastructure, electricity, water supply, digital economic and so on.
“It is always Sarawak government policy to bring more development to rural areas in stages to narrow the development gap between urban and rural,” said Gira.
He held that once the development plan was put in order, it will attract local and foreign investors to invest in the state which will then open up job and business opportunities for Sarawakians and at the same time, increase state revenue.
The Tamin assemblyman said the STR will serve to shorten traveling time between towns in Sarawak. Apart from that, the major impact is that the road connectivity will unlock the economic potential of land in stages where land along the road will experience immediate, medium and long term development.
“The road will also accelerate the supply of electricity, treated water, digital economic and other development within these areas,” said Gira.
Citing the example of Budget 2020, the amount allocated for electricity and water supply is RM2.8 billion and RM2.4 billion respectively, he pointed that since he became assemblyman in 2016, it has been a tradition that 60 per cent to 75 per cent of the state budget to be allocated for development in rural areas especially for construction of roads, bridges, treated water supply, electricity supply and to boost agricultural activities.
“Therefore, I feel sad that some PSB (Parti Sarawak Bersatu) party members has recently misinformed the public with twisted facts with regards to the proposed STR as ‘not necessary’ and will cause other development to be neglected.
“We are all aware that some of YBs (elected representatives) or ex YBs from PSB were part of state and federal government (as assemblymen and member of Parliament) before.
“While serving as wakil rakyat and especially as part of the ruling government, our responsibility is to bring development, especially to own constituency in rural area. Sadly, these YBs did not and do not do their job when they had the opportunity.
“It is pointless to be busy blaming others for neglecting development in rural area with empty talk now,” said Gira.—DayakDaily