Boom times beckon in Kapit with new master plan

An aerial view of Kapit town which faces the Rajang River.

KAPIT, a riverine town in the Upper Rajang River, is set for expansion with a new strategic master plan to ensure it benefits from Indonesia’s relocation of its capital to Kalimantan.

Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda) chief excecutive officer Datu Ismawi Ismuni said this during the “Challenges and Opportunities of Infrastructure Development in Borneo” virtual symposium.

“Things will change because of new road connectivity and the investments that will be brought in,” he said during the symposium organised by Curtin University Malaysia and the Institution of Engineers Malaysia Miri Branch.

Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof delivered the keynote address while Sarawak Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin was one of the speakers.

“The reason Kapit is no longer the town we knew before is because it is now accessible by road from Sibu.

“With a master plan, we can promote the region to investors in a more systematic manner,” said Ismawi.

Ismawi (bottom right) is joined by other speakers at the virtual symposium.Ismawi (bottom right) is joined by other speakers at the virtual symposium.

He added that a master plan was also in place to develop Bakun, which is also close to the Indonesia border.

Among the benefits could be in the form of supplying electricity to the new capital from Sarawak’s dams, including Bakun.

“We are also planning to develop a lakeside township and an island township, and with that, we will be able to attract potential investors to Bakun,” he said in a statement.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced in 2019 that the country’s new capital city will be inaugurated in 2024.

Kapit will be the closest urban centre in Sarawak to the new capital, which may be located in East Kalimantan.

In addition to drawing investment and creating job opportunities for Sarawakians, Recoda is also tasked with implementing infrastructure and socio-economic development projects through the Upper Rajang Development Agency, the Highland Development Agency and the Northern Region Development Agency.

Recoda is the implementing agency for infrastructure and socio-economic projects in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy region, which covers 80% of the state’s area.

In 2019, Recoda was entrusted by the Sarawak government to implement socio-economic and infrastructure projects in the regions overseen by the three development agencies with funds totalling RM4.5bil.

A total of 268 projects are to be implemented including road, bridge, water supply, socio-economic programmes as well as master and structural plans.

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