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Last Update: 24 Sep 2018
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Masing calls on state govt to elevate Urda into an authority
Posted on : 02 Mar 2018  Source of News: THE BORNEO POST
 

Masing calls on state govt to elevate Urda into an authority

March 1, 2018, Thursday By James Ling, reporters@theborneopost.com

Masing (seated, centre) addresses the press conference flanked by Ismawi (left) and Liwan. From back left are Belayong, Philimon, Alexander, Ugak, Chukpai, Jamit, and Nyabong.

KAPIT: The state government has been asked to elevate the Upper Rajang Development Agency (Urda) into an authority.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing said this is to enable Urda to develop the area on its own.

“We are no burden to the state government in terms of financing. We should utilise the assets we have. We should be able to build on our own like any other authority like BDA (Bintulu Development Authority). Why can’t Urda be an authority? Urda should be the Upper Rajang Development Authority instead of Upper Rajang Development Agency.

“I am very pleased all the five district officers (Belaga, Bukit Mabong, Kapit, Song and Kanowit) suggested that Urda should become the Upper Rajang Development Authority instead of agency. I am sure that the state government will bear that in mind,” he told a press conference following the completion of the three-day Urda Special Lab here yesterday.

Masing said Upper Rajang covered 41,186 square km and was the location for three hydroelectric dams – Bakun, Murum and Baleh (under construction) – which could generate a combined 4,600MW of electricity.

“It is here we light up Sarawak to power the industries, especially in Samalaju, Bintulu. Therefore, Urda owns very important assets in terms of Sarawak’s power needs. At the moment, it is only hydro dams but within Urda’s area itself, we have coal which has been used at the moment and there are more reserves for years to come.

“Hopefully, Urda could make use of that and use the funds generated from this mineral and hydro power. Hopefully, the government would contribute part of those funds to us, so that we could develop Urda as a region in Sarawak,” he said.

Masing also praised the Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda) led by CEO Datu Ismawi Ismuni for successfully running the lab.

“I want to thank Recoda and they did it very, very well. The people who look after each region, the people assigned to each region, they did it very well. I am very pleased. If this kind of spirit and this kind of dedication that we’ve had the last two or three days can be carried on the next two years, I can see Urda becoming established as one of the most important corridors in Malaysia,” he said, adding the participation of community leaders in the lab was also key.

Masing also suggested that Recoda run a competition to design a logo for Urda.

Among those present at the press conference were Assistant Minister of Water Supply Datuk Liwan Lagang, Hulu Rajang Member of Parliament Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong, Kanowit Member of Parliament Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang, Ngemah assemblyman Alexander Vincent, Bukit Goram assemblyman Jefferson Jamit Unyat, Pelagus assemblyman Wilson Nyabong Ijang, Murum assemblyman Chukpai Ugon, Kapit Resident Joseph Belayong Punan, and Kapit District Council chairman Philimon Nuing.