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Last Update: 27 May 2018
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‘Baits’ needed to lure development to rural areas — Masing
Posted on : 13 Jul 2017  Source of News: The Borneo Post online

Masing (right) and Salang jointly cut the ribbon to declare open a suspension bridge at the longhouse while (from second left) Mussen, Aaron, Gira and others look on.

JULAU: ‘Baits’ are needed to lure development to the rural areas, says Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing.

Infrastructure such as roads would pave the way for other basic facilities and amenities such as water and electricity supplies to be extended to the rural areas, he said at a ‘leader-with-the-people’ session at Rumah John Okin in Nanga Meluan Mit near here on Tuesday.

He said as it was very costly to extend basic infrastructure to the rural areas, but one of the ways was to offer something as ‘baits’ to attract agents of development to the area.

The’ bait’ could be in various forms such as HEP dam or commercial agriculture, he added.

“For instance, it is not economical to build good roads my constituency of Baleh. It would require at least RM2 billion,” said Masing who is also Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation.

He, therefore, had tried to convince his people to support the proposal to build Baleh dam as a ‘bait’ to get the RM2 billion- fund.

On the request to build a bridge over Sungai Mujok in Mujok, Masing said it was already at the proposal stage.

He said the proposed 120-metre long bridge was estimated to cost RM25 million.

Masing said he would help to look for funds to implement the project (bridge) which would, on completion, benefit over 4,000 residents from 14 longhouses in the area.

According to TR Ringgit Anggun the area also had two primary schools and a health clinic.

Julau MP Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum, who was also present at the function, said the bridge would open up more land across the river for economic development, hence called it a ‘development bridge’.

Masing, who earlier on declared open a suspension bridge leading to Rumah John Okin, announced a RM10,000-fund for the longhouse’s development and security committee (JKKK) and its women bureau.

Assistant Minister of Industries and Investment Malcolm Mussen Lamoh, Kanowit MP Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang, Tamin assemblyman Christopher Gira, Sarikei Resident Junaidi Mohidin, a political secretary to the chief Minister Edwin Banta, and Pemanca Janggu Banyang were among those present at the function.