WERD can win the hearts, minds of the people, govt told

Datuk Peter Minos

KUCHING, Oct 14: Political observer Datuk Peter Minos believes that if Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) implements the proposed treated water supply, electricity, roads and digital economy (WERD) earnestly, three out of every four Sarawakians will vote for them in the next state election, which is due in 2021.

He based his calculations on the assumption that if the government gives the rural folk what they yearn for — treated water, electricity and roads — they will give their votes to the administration.

“Take Kampung Danu in Ulu Padawan, Kuching District, as an example. The villagers will be most happy if treated water is given to them. The same feeling is also felt by the many Iban and Orang Ulu kampungs and longhouses that do not have WERD at all,” said Minos, who is Kota Samarahan Municipal Council chairman.

He said it would take just a week for any district officer to know which village or longhouse is in need of treated water or electricity or road. Hence, it is just a matter of allocating the money to get things done, as there is no shortage of good contractors everywhere.

“No more begging or pleading by those poor villagers. The government must just get them done after the identification (of the projects). They are, after all, very basic and absolute necessities of life.

“After 55 years of independence through Malaysia, the government must and should just provide them without any hassle and without the usual endless requests, beggings and pleadings,” he asserted.

Peter added that the rural populace would be delighted if economic and income-generating projects, schools and clinics were also thrown into the mix.

“They are bonuses. The idea is to give our poor and struggling rural folks a break and really help them out of a life of deprivation and poverty or economic backwardness.

“Very serious political will is needed here. It looks like that at long last, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is providing that now,” he said.

Peter said he understood that it was tough to find funds to provide such basic necessities for every settlement across the state while the federal government and Petronas only pay lip service.

“The Pakatan Harapan federal government and Petronas have so far responded with mere lip service and tricks and empty promises. They just do not want to understand our problems. There is little hope from them. Sarawak has to get the funds for WERD by itself, as difficult as it will be,” he said.

On rural development, Peter said freeing rural people from the shackles of poverty and economic backwardness in any part of the developing world was very arduous and extremely difficult.

“It boils down to the political will of the government and a dedicated determination in wanting the rural folks to rise up socially and economically.

“It is most heartening to note that the Sarawak government is dead serious in wanting to help our rural people, now and in the coming years,” he said. — DayakDaily