By DayakDaily Team
KUCHING, Nov 25: The Sarawak government has been urged to review the current allocation for Rural Transformation Project (RTP) by adopting a constituency categorisation of urban, semi-urban and rural with consideration to give slightly bigger share to “very-very rural constituencies”.
Making this proposal, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau pointed out that the RM5-million RTP allocation for “ulu” or very rural areas are considered “out of date” in present situation due to the increased in costs that have resulted in a limited number of projects could be implemented in a year.
“I am sure all constituencies under GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) need the RTP allocation to serve their respective needs but it was never enough.
“Some constituencies are fortunate to have the support from other ministries or agencies but for very-very rural constituencies, we do not have the luxury and this situation is pressing for us in rural areas,” he told the august House when debating the Supply Bill 2023 today.
While he welcomed the annual RTP allocation with RM420 million having been set aside for the continuation of this people-centric initiatives under Budget 2023, Dennis emphasised that a lot more needed to be done, especially requests for basic infrastructure and amenities kept coming in from local community leaders.
“I believe this suggestion to review the RTP allocation will augur well with Premier (of Sarawak) and the State government’s desire to develop Sarawak at a faster pace.
“I believe there are ministries or agencies which have some kind of formula to identify the locality of the three categories,” he said.
Highlighting one of the five strategic principles of the Sarawak Budget 2023 that touched on “fostering a united, harmonious and caring society where all efforts would not leave anyone behind”, Dennis however admitted that the rural community, despite giving continuous strong support towards GPS, could not help but at times felt being left behind.
“Our calls for help to attend to bad infrastructure could not be done. This is especially so in an emergency situation,” he shared.
Having said that, Dennis said there was slight relief to know that the Ministry of Works has come up with a formula to address the long outstanding issue and challenges frequently faced with regards to rutal roads.
“This is especially the roads from the junctions to longhouses which were built by logging companies but have since been abandoned when they move their operations away or close down completely.
“I urged the implementing agency to put due attention this matter raised, especially in emergency and pressing situations,” he called on. — DayakDaily