BY NATASHA JEE & SARAH HAFIZAH CHANDRA
KUCHING: The Dayaks have been urged to remain united and work together with the state government in making Sarawak the most developed state by 2030.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, who made the call, said the state is now focusing on infrastructure development particularly in the rural areas.
“When I was only 15 years old, I followed my father to visit Kapit and it took us about seven hours to travel from Sibu to Kapit. Today, it just takes one hour and 45 minutes. This shows the great changes that have taken place.
“This means that more land will be opened up and there will be more new agricultural developments for the Rajang River areas,” he added during the earth-breaking ceremony of the new headquarters of the Dayak Cultural Foundation (DCF) and Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) at Jalan Ong Tiang Swee today.
Abang Johari said that by 2025 and right up 2030, the state’s infrastructure such as roads, bridges, water and electricity supply would be completed.
“This means that our hinterland will be huge. It is up to us to fill the hinterland with our own innovations and creativity.
The chief minister assured the Dayaks they would not be left behind in the state’s digital economy agenda.
The RM36 million new headquarters of DCF and DCCI, known as Panggau Dayak Towers, located on a 2.33-hectare piece of land, includes a residential condominium and apartment. The project is still short of RM16 million.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, in his speech earlier on, thanked the Sarawak government for allocating the land and for giving RM20 million for the construction of the building.
He hoped the state government would chip in more funds towards the project.
Abang Johari responded by saying he would help the two Dayak organisations but on a one-to-one basis.
“Whatever amount you raise from that RM16 million … if you manage to get RM8 million, then we will give you the remaining RM8 million.
“But it (remaining fund) will be available only next year. Make sure Douglas and I are still here,” he said.