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Urda to focus mainly on infrastructure development
Posted on : 08 Nov 2017  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Urda to focus mainly on infrastructure development

November 8, 2017, Wednesday

Masing (seated centre) is seen in a group photo with (seated from left) Ismawi, Nanta, Wilson Baya and Ik Pahon as well as (standing from left) Datu Chaiti Bolhassan – the representative from the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development; Belayong, Muhamad Yakup and Leslie Chai – the representative from SEB.

KUCHING: The Upper Rajang Development Agency (Urda) will focus on the infrastructure needs in the upper Rajang area, especially in terms of increasing connectivity within this area of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

A press release said infrastructure development was one of the main items on the agenda at Urda’s second board meeting, which was held at the Regional Corridor Development Authority’s (Recoda) office here yesterday.

During the meeting, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing, who is Urda chairman, stressed on the importance of roads, particularly in opening up areas for economic activities such as commercial agriculture.

“Without infrastructure, nothing can carry on and that is why infrastructure is what we are focusing on today.

“Infrastructure has to come in first and that’s why the YBs (elected representatives) in the Urda area will give their input before the government agencies concerned conduct their lab to discuss this issue early next year,” said Masing, who added that the proposals would then be forwarded to the Recoda board for endorsement.

Apart from that, road infrastructure is also crucial in terms of ensuring the security of the Urda area, especially along the border.

Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development and Kapit Member of Parliament Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi, who is also Urda deputy chairman, pointed out that apart from the focus on road infrastructure projects, Urda would also focus on socioeconomic programmes.

“Our objective is always people-centric. Infrastructure is the catalyst but we need also socioeconomic and income-generating programmes.

“I support the development of the roads but at the same time, I would like to focus on rural income-generation programmes,” said Nanta.

Recoda chief executive officer Tan Sri Datuk Amar Wilson Baya Dandot briefed the board on the various proposed road infrastructure projects for the Urda area, as well as the socioeconomic projects, especially income-generation and ‘quick-win’ projects for the communities in the Upper Rajang area.

He also briefed the board on the proposed organisation structure for Urda.

Also on hand to brief the Urda board were the Land and Survey Department; Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports; and the First Infantry Division of the Malaysian Army.

Heads of departments and representatives from various government agencies were also on hand to brief the Urda board on the latest updates related to development efforts implemented in the upper Rajang area.

Members of the Urda board present at the meeting were Deputy State Secretary (Socioeconomic Transformation) Datu Ismawi Ismuni; Kapit Resident Joseph Belayong Punan; Bintulu Resident Muhamad Yakup Kari; Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports permanent secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik; and representatives from the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development as well as Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB).

Also present at the board meeting were Pelagus assemblyman Wilson Nyabong Ijang, Murum assemblyman Kennedy Chukpai Ugon, and First Infantry Division commander Major Gen Datuk Stephen Mundaw.