Dialogue session on rural electricity held

Harden (centre) chairing the dialogue session.

SIMANGGANG: The Ministry of Utilities and Sarawak Electricity Berhad (SEB) jointly initiated a dialogue session on rural electricity supply) at Rumah Gunuong, Kampung Samak near here.

The dialogue session was chaired by Assistant Minister of Community Wellbeing cum Simanggang assemblyman Datuk Francis Harden Hollis. It was attended by 115 residents of Rumah Gunuong and other longhouses from Ulu Paku, Undop.

“The implementation process of the project in Kampung Samak has been approved by the state government through the Sarawak Ministry of Utilities,” Harden said last Thursday.

The dialogue session also discussed the detailed issues that arose during the implementation of the project and past permits for oil palm plantation assets owned by the SOP Batu Lintang Plantation Sdn Bhd and the land owned by the individuals.

“The main issue is the farm’s refusal to give way for us to set up electric poles and build an electric substation for the residents in Kampung Samak because they said that the farm would suffer losses when they have to cut down some of the palm trees.

“I am aware that as a representative, it is my responsibility to ensure that every citizen gets the basic facilities such as electric supply, water supply and roads,” he added.

According to Harden, the smooth implementation is not as easy as expected due to the interference from certain individuals who took the opportunity to make a profit in the process of the projects’ implementations.

“The next step for us after this dialogue session is to ensure the project of Rumah Gunuong, Kampung Samak is implemented and becomes a reality.

“Our state government does not want any problems that will arise and hinder the development efforts implemented by contractors for the project,” he stated.

The dialogue session was also joined by officials and representatives of the Utilities Ministry, SEB, district office, other departments and plantation estate.