Rejecting road deprives people of development: Rentap

Gerald Rentap Jabu

KUCHING: The building of the state’s second trunk road is one of the ways of closing the rural-urban developmental gap.

“The road facilitates the eradication of poverty and the opening up of native customary rights (NCR) land for agricultural purposes,” said Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Youth chief, Gerald Rentap Jabu, in a statement yesterday.

He was rebutting Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh and PSB Youth chief Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa’s recent statements against the development of the second trunk road.

Rentap felt that by rejecting the project, PSB would deprive their rural constituents of development.

“Therefore, this political agenda must be rejected, especially in areas where this type of government project would benefit the people greatly,” he said.

He said the rural-centric project together with the supply of electricity and treated water, and telecommunication connectivity in rural areas was among the state government’s top agendas.

“The second trunk road completes the missing link between the coastal road networks and the Pan Borneo Highway, becoming alternative routes and opening up areas for our rural people, especially those in the southern and central parts of the state,” he said.

The Layar assemblyman believed that the road also gave rise to various socio-economic opportunities.

“For example, our pineapple farmers at Kubal Batu in Lidong can get their produce to Simanggang within 40 minutes,” he said. Currently, it takes at least one and a half hours using the Pan Borneo Highway.

“Coincidentally, Kubal Batu longhouse is within Rayong’s Engkilili constituency,” Rentap said.