By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, April 23: The implementation of RM1.5 billion worth of projects in the Upper Rajang Development Agency (Urda) area in the next two years will raise connectivity and the quality of life of Kapit folk, said Kapit MP Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi.
Nanta, who is also Urda deputy chairman, said these people-oriented projects, such as roads, electricity and water supplies, bridges, recreational facilities and upgrading of the town’s square would benefit the people.
“Once they are completed in the next two years, they would lessen their burden and improve their quality of life,” Nanta told DayakDaily today in conjunction with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s visit to Kapit today.
He explained that Urda was the implementing agency, but some projects, such as roads, were being implemented directly by certain ministries.
“Smaller projects under the rural transformation programme (RTP) that are given to the elected representatives, such such as jetties and small village/longhouse roads that reach right up to the doorsteps of the people, are not under Urda,” he clarified.
Nanta, who is also an advisor in the Chief Minister’s Office to monitor rural projects since January, pointed out that with the implementation of these projects, there would be greater connectivity for the people in Kapit in the next two years.
“All these projects are personally monitored by CM himself and also his ministers and government agencies,” he disclosed.
He stressed that the RM1.5 billion allocation for Kapit Division, which is as big as Pahang, was much bigger compared to past allocations.
“But RM1.5 billion is not going to be enough. But it is such a big difference compared to the usual allocation in the past. The old way was the State Planning Unit (SPU) will approve all sorts of projects, including here in Hulu Rajang. And in one Malaysia Plan (five-year period), we were only given RM400 million, at most.
“And before Urda, project implementation was top-down. The SPU plan projects for us. Some of the projects may not even be good for us. In the past, they may not even be our priorities. But with Urda, which is the brainchild of the chief minister, Kapit has RM1.5 billion to be used in two years, and the money is also readily available. And now it’s bottom-up,” he said.
Nanta also revealed that the Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda) had conducted a laboratory in Kapit last year, where all the elected representatives, government officers, heads of departments at both the divisional and district levels and grassroots leaders took part.
“We discussed, deliberated and prioritised what projects we want to do. Urda is implementing the projects according to what we want. This is a much better and improved way of doing things than in the past.
“The impact is going to be tremendous. As there is a lot of money to be utilised in two years and to cover the needs that we want,” he added. — DayakDaily