RM1bil worth of projects rolling out in northern S'wak as snap election looms

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 25 Jun 2020

Old bridges like this one in upper Baram in northern Sarawak will be repaired as state election looms. Starpic by Stephen Then

MIRI: Allocations of at RM1bil for infrastructure projects have been approved for three state constituencies in northern Sarawak alone, as a snap election in the state looms.

The RM1bil is for Mulu, Telang Usan and Marudi state seats in the Baram parliamentary constituency.

The Star received confirmation from Mulu state assemblyman Datuk Gerawat Gala and Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau that the money has already been approved and the projects are rolling out.

“Yes, at least RM1bil has already been allotted for Baram alone.

“The money is for infrastructure and public amenity projects that are being carried out now as part of the plans for highland development of northern Sarawak,” Gala said.

Among the major projects outlined are water-supply projects, repair of old bridges, construction of new bridges, repair of longhouses, and rural electrification schemes.

The money from the State Treasury is being disbursed by the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) ruling state government via the recently-mooted Northern Sarawak Highland Development Authority (HDA).

In Telang Usan, among the first projects that the money will finance is the Long Bemang water supply treatment plant located in the middle of the constituency.

Telang Usan sassemblyman Ngau told The Star on Thursday (June 25) that urgent projects are being given top priority.

“What we are trying to do is to solve pressing issues like the electricity and water supply woes of the rakyat," he said.

The allocation for Long Bemang water plant is about RM100mil. It is meant for water supply projects at seven big settlements in Telang Usan.

Ngau visited Long Lama town on Thursday and held a briefing with HDA officials this morning.

Asked to comment on talk of snap Sarawak state elections, he said “it is on” and is expected anytime now.

“We are ready,” he said.

Ngau and Gala are from Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB), the backbone of the GPS ruling coalition.

Ngau is PBB chief for Baram district, while Gala is the Deputy Speaker of the state assembly.

Ngau will defend his Telang Usan seat for the third term, while Gala will be defending Mulu for the second term.

The Pakatan Harapan parties and GPS are already in full pre-poll preparations, as talk of an early state polls gather momentum.

The 12th state election is only due in June next year.

However, there is talk even from GPS senior politicians of a snap polls as soon as the Election Commission gives the green light.

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