Uggah (left) presenting a certificate of attendance to a group leader attending the AgriCOP.

KUCHING: The Bebuling STOLport (short take-off and landing airport) in Spaoh here risks being cancelled should the opposition take over the state government.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the opposition will disparage important development projects to discredit the government and its elected representatives.

“They destroy the people’s dreams and needs to move forward,” he said when launching the Agriculture Department Agriculture Community Outreach Programme (AgriCOP) at Rumah Benard, Engkerbai, Anyut in Betong on Sunday (Sept 13).

Uggah said the Bebuling STOLport, which costs RM108 million, was to ease the transportation of farm products to markets in short time to guarantee its freshness.

“This project approved by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is the perfect gift to us here. This is more so when Betong is part of the Sadok Agropolitan area and the Betong/Mukah Food Basket area.

“These are large scale and very modern agriculture programmes meant to facilitate and strengthen Sarawak’s objective to be a major food and food products producing and exporting state by 2030. They are also to generate income to the people to allow them to raise their standard of living,” he pointed out.

He said while the Bebuling STOLport had been targeted, there was no telling how many other major projects would be affected if the opposition should come to power — especially projects for rural areas.

“This would affect the people’s wellbeing and progress. Such so-called politicians are only around when election is coming. They come to instigate and tell lies and disappear if they fail in their bid.

“We, the GPS government representatives, are always around regardless of whether it’s election season nor not. We are here to serve. We mean what we pledge. We do not believe in mere rhetoric,” said Uggah, who is also Bukit Saban assemblyman.

Uggah reminded the people the state government too had lined up numerous agricultural development programmes under its RM265 million Agriculture Facilitation Fund (AFF).

“We want to introduce modern farming; new technologies to make farming a very lucrative occupation. We will set up more agro parks, the CPPC (collecting, processing and packaging centres), wholesale centres and strengthen our engagements with the target groups.

“We will mobilise farmer organisations to act as buyers and processors of local produces before sending them to the markets,” he said.

At the function, Uggah also approved a grant of RM130,000 for the construction of a futsal field for the longhouse.

He also announced a sum of RM10,000 for its Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK).

Earlier, Betong Divisional Agriculture officer Petrus Kang said some 86 participants had attended oil palm, pepper cultivation and modern agriculture talks held at the AgriCOP, and the next one would be organised in Spaoh.

AgriCOP, now carried out statewide, is to forge close ties and relationships among the rural farming fraternity and the Agriculture Department.