Priority to empowerment of rural development

Prime Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yassin speaking at the Town Hall session. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: Development plans in Sarawak will continue to be closely monitored to improve infrastructure in rural areas.

“The empowerment of rural development agenda will always be given priority in line with the Rural Development Policy,” said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today.

He said this in his speech during the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV2030) Town Hall session at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK).

“Through Program Perumahan Rakyat Termiskin (PPRT), efforts to build and restore houses in Sarawak are underway with an allocation of RM463.7 million.

“These include building 800 new homes which benefit around 4,000 households and restoring 3,540 houses for the benefit of 17,7000 households,” he explained.

Muhyiddin added electricity and water supplies would be provided through Program Bekalan Elektrik and Program Bekalan Air Luar Bandar.

“Economic programmes such as Projek Bersepadu Pembangunan Ekonomi Kampung (Prospek) will be implemented and involve 22 villages in Sarawak.

“The implementations of Program Desa Lestari in 18 villages are expected to create 900 job opportunities and benefit 18,000 villagers,” Muhyiddin explained.

He revealed under Jalinan Digital Negara (Jendela), rural areas in Sarawak would be able to enjoy free Wi-Fi with the speed rate of 35Mbps in 523 locations by October.

“For the First Rolling Plan (RP1) 2021 under the 12th Malaysia Plan, 781 development projects have been approved with an allocation of RM4.5 billion for Sarawak,” he said.

These include the Pan Borneo Highway, upgrading of the Mukah Airport and the Tanjung Manis Halal Hub Phase 1A.

“Other than that, social projects like Program Rumah Mesra Rakyat (RMR) Sarawak and the construction of a hospital in Petrajaya, Sri Aman, and Lawas are also under the same plan.

“These projects are not only to improve economic activities but also to ensure the well-being of the people in Sarawak is taken care of,” Muhyiddin stated.

The prime minister stressed that the government was serious in eradicating poverty for the sake of inclusive development in the state.

“Program Khas Bumiputera Sarawak which includes the Native Customary Cluster and the New Economic Development is implemented under the First Rolling Plan,” he said.

Muhyiddin explained that the purpose of these programmes was to increase the level of socioeconomic activities among Sarawak Bumiputera.

The prime minister also said the government would keep emphasising on the need for quality education in schools, institutions of higher learning or even in Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET).

He pointed out that an allocation of RM988 million was given to Sarawak under the 12th Malaysia Plan.

“This allocation will finance 347 education and training projects as well as construct and upgrade dilapidated schools in the state,” he said.

“In line with the wishes of the government to empower digital economy, the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) has been intensified to implement strategic projects.

“This will promote economic growth in sectors such as commercial agriculture, tourism and energy through hydroelectric dams,” explained the prime minister.

Muhyiddin also mentioned that the IntegratedAgricultural Development Area in Kalaka and Samarahan was adopting modern agricultural technology.

“The objectives are not only to increase productivity and quality of the products but also to produce high value products for export to the international market using application like myGap, myOrganik and MSPO,” he added.