MULU: Local residents should not resort to drastic actions such as setting up road or site blockades, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
Development projects, he stressed, were for their benefit and “there’s no need for people to turn to such actions.”
He was speaking at the opening of the Agriculture Community Outreach Programme or AgriCOP, attended by some 200 participants, at a hotel here.
Uggah, who is also Agriculture Modernisation, Native Land and Regional Development Minister, said such actions would result in unnecessary delay to the project implementation or completion.
On a separate issue, he said the state government had allocated a sum of RM1.5bil to bring in infrastructure and amenity projects to the Highland Development Agency area.
“Mulu is situated in this highland area. Many roads, water and power supply projects are currently being or will be implemented.
“These include the construction of telecommunication towers for Internet connectivity.”
Uggah said when these projects were in place, the government would come in with agriculture programmes tailored to help the local communities to generate income.
“It is the objective of the GPS government that the people have income through farming and livestock rearing.
“We are talking about the much superior modern farming, where the aim is to plant or rear for sale.”
Uggah said Mulu with its huge areas of land and fertile soil had huge potential for modern agriculture.
In this respect, he said the ministry had allocated a sum of RM1.5mil for agriculture activities in Mulu this year.
He said coffee, coconut, durian, pineapple and others were among the crops with good commercial value that could be planted.
On AgriCOP, Uggah said the programme was getting very popular among rural populace.
The government is focusing on developing the agriculture sector as it had proven to be able to generate income for the people, he pointed out.
“At each AgriCOP, the Agriculture Department will introduce its activities and programmes.
“The people can choose the one that is appealing to them.”
Later at the function, Uggah also approved applications for assistance totalling RM435,000 to 43 people doing livestock rearing and swiftlet farming.
Earlier, Mulu assemblyman Datuk Gerawat Gala called on the Orang Ulu community to continue supporting the state GPS government.
“We are a small community of about 200,000 out of the state’s 2.8 million people.
“There will not be much impact if we join the opposition. It will very much be to our advantage if we are the majority.”
He said out of 222 MPs, only two were from the community. Similarly, out of 82 state assemblymen “we only have six.”
“It is better we remain united in supporting the GPS government.”