Abang Johari receives a memento from Tan (second right). Looking on are Julaihi (left) and Mawan.

BY AINI SELIKANG

SARIKEI: The potential of Pakan constituency will be tapped to provide economic opportunities to the locals, assured Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said, with the construction of a new road in the constituency, Pakan would be able to realise its potentials of being a producer of agricultural and tourism products.

“The government is committed to implementing development in an effort to protect the fate of the rural population, including Pakan.

“This integrated effort will ensure that the relevant sectors can also be developed while providing new economic opportunities to the locals. What is important is that all parties need to provide cooperation and support so that our planning can be realised,” he said when officiating at a function in Pakan near here on Thursday (July 23).

On internet access in the area, the chief minister said a proactive approach would be taken to overcome the hurdles in implementing better internet connectivity in Pakan.

“So far, we have developed 170 communication towers throughout Sarawak through the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA). SMA is expected to provide internet services in rural areas once it has obtained an internet service provider (ISP) licence.

“This is the alternative because telecommunication companies refused to provide internet coverage to the interior of the state as it is deemed unprofitable to these companies,” he said.

Abang Johari said, he had met with the Minister of Communications and Multimedia and applied for an ISP licence for SMA to operate in the state.

“Through SMA, the internet fee is cheaper because it is subsidised by the government and they are able to operate in rural areas,” he said.

Also present were the Infrastructure and Port Development Assistant Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi, Pakan assemblyman Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom, Repok assemblyman Datuk Seri Huang Tiong Sii and Sarikei Resident Felicia Tan Ya Hua.