LIMBANG: The proposed development of the integrated oil and gas complex in Lawas will be a stepping stone for rural economic development as well as providing employment opportunities for youths, say community leaders.
Kampung Patiambun headman Naim Mail said the project would benefit many people in the rural areas.
“With this project, rural areas will be able to compete with urban areas in terms of development, economy and others. Therefore, I urge the communities to give solid support to this development,” he said.
Penghulu Sahat Bagol, 77, said it would provide job opportunities for youths especially in Lawas to venture into oil and gas business.
“Actually, most of our youths have the skills and qualifications in the field. Hopefully, they will make full use of the opportunity,” he said.
For a local resident, Miron Sidop, 44, the project would open up more job opportunities to the locals.
“This will help reduce unemployment in the rural areas. At the same time, the percentage of unhealthy activities such as theft, drug abuse and so on will also decrease as they are somehow connected to unemployment,” he explained.
Meanwhile, public university student Ras Syazri Rosli, 25, said this collaboration would enable China’s expertise and technology to be brought into Sarawak.
“Therefore, youths should be prepared by taking the relevant courses to meet the job demands once the project takes off.
“The education institutions in the state also need to offer more related courses,” added Ras.
With the total investment reaching $20.8 billion, the integrated oil and gas complex in Lawas to be developed by the state government in collaboration with Beijing BECA Sci-Tech Co Ltd and Sinopec Engineering Incorporation will be the largest investment project in Sarawak and will also be a model for the petrochemical industry in Southeast Asia.
According to BECA president Hao Ling, the project is expected to generate annual sales revenue of about $1.5 billion and will create over 20,000 jobs.