Taking aim: Najib, accompanied by Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu (left), trying out a blowpipe at the Gawai Dayak open house at the Long Silat longhouse in Bekenu, near Miri. — Bernama
MIRI: In Sarawak for the annual harvest festival, Datuk Seri Najib had Gawai presents for the rural folk.
The gift is an additional allocation of RM236mil to improve the road from interior Baram in northern Sarawak to Miri.
“We are concerned about the needs of the rural people of Sarawak and we are always ready to help improve their socio-economic conditions,” he told 3,000 plus Orang Ulus who gathered yesterday to welcome him at the Long Silat settlement, some nine hours journey via timber road from here.
He said the federal authorities will also earmark RM26mil to upgrade micro-dams in the Long Payah settlement.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, who accompanied Najib to Long Silat, thanked the Federal Government for all its assistance to the people of Sarawak.
He said the Sarawak government was now focusing on developing the rural areas so that the people there would enjoy the same level of socio-economic progress as the urban population of the state within the next 15 years.
At the Gawai open house at Rumah Jerek in the Lambir sub-district, some 25km south of Miri City yesterday, Najib said he had been handed a long Gawai wish-list of projects that were needed in the various constituencies in northern Sarawak, including in the Lambir area.
“To show that we in the Federal Government are grateful to all the communities in Sarawak, big or small, we will consider the requests.
“I will go back and find out how much money we can get from the Treasury,” he quipped.
Najib noted that he had already approved many additional financial allocations for Sarawak, to the tune of RM2bil since 2009.
Jabu, in his speech, said the state government was grateful to the concern shown by the Prime Minister for Sarawak and that the people of the state were glad to have the premier here to join them in ushering in the Gawai Dayak.
Najib is here on a two-day Gawai visit to northern Sarawak.
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