MUKAH: A random survey by New Sarawak Tribune yesterday found the people in Mukah gave varieties of reactions to the National Budget 2019 presented on Friday by Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng.
For example a farmer Iching Nee of Mukah maintaned that the budget should give a special allocation for the sago industry.
He said: “It is hoped that the budget would also give a special allocation for the sago industry especially the wellbeing of the sago planters. As sago planting activity is mainly found in this region, the government might have overlooked (sago as cash crop) by concentrating on other cash crops like oil palm, pepper and so forth.
“If I was not mistaken, Mukah especially Dalat, is the largest sago flour producer of the nation and even of the world.
To consolidate the industry, the state government should not only looking into the commodity itself, but, also the well-being of the sago community in general as sago has been the economic activities of the areas for decades or might be over a century already,” he said.
In another interview by the media, a member of Village Development and Security Committee, David Ulis of Kampung Sungai Kut, Dalat had this to say:
“The allocation should be given more to the development of technical schools in the rural areas like us in Sarawak so that our school leavers do not have to go elsewhere. The immense area will be developed and vast employment opportunities especially in the area of technical and skill are offered locally.
“The allocation of building more village roads should be given a substantial allocation too, including the improvement of telephone or Internet reception in the areas such as Sungai Kut and Dalat.”
An individual involved in the development of education in Mukah area i-CATS School Relation Officer Zainal Abiddin Ahmad said there should be big amount of funds allocated for the development of rural infrastructures, education and health.
“A substantial amount allocation should be put aside especially for rural development focusing on infrastructures, education and health as well. There ahould be higher allocation for education for all such as from primary schools up to university level, especially financial assistance to enable the ‘unfortunate’ to at least complete Form 5.
“The government should give a special attention on the low income group like coming up with incentives to ease the burden of public’s cost of living. In addition to that a substantial allocation for the improvement of rural communication and basic infrastructures that are yet to be implemented should be included in the budget for the state,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kapitan Kang Boon Eong of Mukah Town said the distribution of allocation should be done based on the actual scenario on the ground.
For example, there should be a specific budget for development of a certain area because the needs are different from one area to another.
“Of course, the budget for health and education should be amongst the focused area, especially for the rural populace who are yet to see efficient services like those in urban area,” he said.