Uggah: Northern Region of Sarawak will not be sidelined

Dennis (seated third left) with Ismawi (on Dennis's right)in a photo-call with HDA Lab participants in Miri.

By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, March 3:  The Northern Region will not be sidelined from the development agenda of the Sarawak government under Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

The assurance was given by Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

He said the State government will continue to diversify its economy with special focus on modernising agriculture, strengthening infrastructure, enhancing tourism, and accelerating human capital development as outlined in the Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS 2030).

“I want to assure everyone here—whether they’re from Marudi, Mulu, Telang Usan, Bario, Long Banga or Beluru—that we are with them and no one will be left behind. We don’t want the rural areas to lag behind the towns and cities,” he said today at the opening of the three-day Highland Development Agency (HDA) Socio-Economic Lab which starts today in Miri

His text-of-speech was read out by Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau.

Uggah who is also the HDA chairman added that the Sarawak government will continue to maintain its commitment to creating an ideal climate for investments through business-friendly policies and initiatives to shore up the confidence of local and foreign investors.

“The mission of the Sarawak government is to make sure all communities have an equal chance to enjoy the fruits of development,” Uggah asserted in his speech.

He added, although there is much to work on in the highland areas, he is confident that with the collaboration of community leaders, the government will achieve its goal of exploring new sources of wealth in the lucrative agriculture and eco-tourism sectors.

On today’s programme, Uggah congratulated the Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda) and HDA for taking the initiative to organise the socio-economic lab.

Uggah added that the programme is crucial as it will set the direction for HDA, which has been allocated RM1.5 billion by the State government to implement 52 infrastructure projects in the highland region.

These are in addition to the Miri-Marudi, Marudi-Mulu (Kuala Melinau) and Long Panai-Long Lama road projects, he said.

Uggah expressed hope that the lab will lead to socio-economic programmes and projects that will allow local communities as well as equity holders, workers, contract farmers, land owners and others to participate in.

“Through the programmes and activities, we must ensure that the profits generated will be channeled back to improve health and education services,” he said.

HDA is a regional development agency set up by the State government under Recoda in 2017 to develop areas covering 18,463 sq km, from Long Lama all the way up to Upper Baram.

“While its immediate focus is to plan for and implement infrastructure and basic amenity development, we have not forgotten the need for socio-economic development to uplift the standard of living of the rakyat here,” Uggah asserted.

Also present was Recoda chief executive officer Datu Ismawi Ismuni. — DayakDaily