SUNGAI ASAP: Bakun holds out much potential to be developed as a tourism area over the long term.
The area is very vast and under the 12th Malaysia Plan, the state government through the Upper Rajang Development Agency (URDA) has identified several areas to be tourist attractions.
“This is a long-term development which will have a spill-over effect on Belaga and Telang Usan,” said caretaker Chief Minister
Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
“Even though it may take a long time, it is part of the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030,” he said.
As for the development of Sungai Asap and Belaga, the chief minister said the state government had long-term plans for the area as it was close to Bakun.
The upcoming Sungai Asap Sub-District Office being among them.
Abang Johari who had visited the project site requested the Public Works Department (JKR) to provide space for an automatic teller machine (ATM)on the ground floor of the office building.
“This will make it easier for people here to withdraw cash,” he said at a Leaders with the People programme here on Sunday(Nov 28).
He said if the agriculture sector improved in the area, it was certain that financial transactions would also increase.
At the event, Abang Johari also handed over 922 land titles for residential and agricultural use to 461 heads of households (KIR) residing in the Sungai Asap Resettlement Scheme.
On top of that, 192 KIR of the Metalun Resettlement Scheme in Murum received 426 land titles for residential and agricultural use.
A total of 1,178 KIR of the Sungai Asap Resettlement Scheme also received a refund of land premiums amounting to RM3,130,490. These recipients were those who had paid land premiums and who had been issued with land titles previously.
In addition, eight of 15 longhouses received their warta payung rumah, with the longhouses being Uma Penan Talun, Uma Balui Ukap, Uma Juman, Uma Belor, Uma Lesong, Uma Badeng, Uma Bakah, and Uma Daro.
The remaining seven longhouses are still in the process of being surveyed and gazetted.
Agricultural input assistance for Belaga District was also symbolically presented, comprising two forms of assistance – Fisherman’s Fishing Equipment Input Assistance (BIPPN) and Oil Palm and Pepper Fertiliser Assistance.
BIPPN for Belaga District amounted to RM456,000 and involved 228 recipients. A sum of RM216,000 was allocated to 108 recipients from Belaga while RM240,000 was allocated to 120 recipients from Murum.
Meanwhile, oil palm fertiliser assistance of RM595,344 was allocated to 605 recipients from Belaga while RM454,986 was allocated to 478 recipients from Murum.
As for pepper fertiliser assistance, RM92,184 was allocated to 92 recipients from Belaga while RM84,168 was allocated to 84 recipients from Murum.
The total amount for both input assistance totalled RM1,682,682, benefitting 228 fishermen and 1,259 smallholders.
In another development Abang Johari shared that he had also visited the RM10 million Borneo Evangelical Mission (BEM) Church in Apau Koyan here earlier.
“We in Sarawak are lucky because we have a multiracial, multi-religious and multicultural society which lives like one family.
“That is why Sarawak is so peaceful and a model of people who are united.
“If the Christian community wants a church, we provide this house of worship to them – and the same goes for people of other faiths such as Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims,” he said.
The chief minister in this context reminded the people that making issues out of small and petty matters could cause division within the community.
“If the people are divided, the state and nation will not be stable – then who would want to invest in the country?,” asked Abang Johari.
Thus, he said Sarawak’s uniqueness and harmony must be protected.