SPAOH: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said he has made good on his promise of building an airport in Spaoh.
“Today, I have delivered on my promise. The establishment of an airport is important as this place will be a food basket. We also developed an Agropark here to produce food that can be marketed outside.
“Our market now is no longer just in Betong. That is why there is a need for an airport. Now with cargo planes, we can get our products to Singapore,” he said during a working visit here yesterday.
Abang Johari said once the Bebuling short take-off and landing airport (STOLport) has been completed, it will also boost the area’s tourism potential.
“When I was Tourism minister and brought tourists here from Kuching using a bus, it took four hours. That was too long. With an airport here, tourists can easily visit Betong and Batang Ai,” he said.
The chief minister said with more tourists visiting Spaoh, it will boost the local economy.
“For us, we have built a waterfront, new shops and a new commercial area. In the end, if the economy is improved here, people will earn more income and lead better lives,” he said.
The chief minister said the airport, for which an allocation has been approved, is part of the state government’s development plans.
“Early today, I visited Balai Ringin. The people there asked for a stadium. That promise has also been fulfilled.
“As a leader and a Muslim, I must keep my words. I must deliver on my promises,” he said.
Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who also spoke at the function, disclosed that the airport project cost RM108 million.
“The chief minister understands the needs of rural areas, so he enabled this airport to be built for the reasons that he had explained.
“Besides being a very major landmark, the airport will enable products to reach far outside Betong, and tourists will find it easier to visit local attractions,” he said.