Development in HDA areas to benefit about 75,000 inhabitants

Uggah (seated centre), with (seated from left) Gerawat, Ismawi, Jabu, and Sherrina and others in a group photo after the opening ceremony.

MIRI: Development in the Highland Development Agency (HDA) areas of jurisdiction will bring positive impact to about 75,000 residents from 244 villages and longhouses in Baram parliamentary constituency, which covers an area of 18,462 sq km.

Speaking at a press conference after attending a special briefing with HDA area community leaders, village headmen and non-governmental organizations here yesterday, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said the Sarawak government had approved an allocation of RM1.5 billion to implement infrastructure projects such as roads, water and electricity supply in the area.

He said the allocation would be given based on state constituencies in the area – RM729 million to Telang Usan, and RM771 million to Mulu.

“This project will be implemented in the 2019-2020 period while some may be stretched a bit longer.

This is proof to the local people that HDA is a strategic agency set up by the government to develop the areas for thier own good “These areas have been left behind in terms of road, electricity and water supply for far too long.

“That is why this allocation is given over and above the normal allocation by the government through Public Works Department, Rural Water Supply Department, Sarawak Energy Berhad, Sarawak Multimedia Authority and Department of Agriculture,” he said.

He added that the focus would be to transform the agriculture sector in the area with its unique climate so that it could contribute to Sarawak’s economy and make it a net exporter of food by 2030.

The special briefing was organised by Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda) together with Miri Resident Office and Miri District Office, and was attended by about 300 participants.

Recoda chief executive officer Datu Ismawi Ismuni hoped that the development projects would get full cooperation and support from all community leaders

and their charges in the HDA areas.

Former deputy chief minister and HDA advisor Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, Mulu assemblyman Dato Gerawat Gala, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau, Baram MP Anyi Ngau and Miri Resident Sherrina Hussaini were also present at the briefing.