‘Proposed highland devt agency to boost devt’

(From left to right) Dennis, Anyi and Penguang conduct a ‘miring’ ceremony.

LONG LAMA, Baram: The proposed Ulu Baram Highland Development Agency will bring Baram to a new threshold of development.

In welcoming the proposal, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau said Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg in principle had given the nod for the agency to be formed.

Dennis was speaking at the inaugural Telang Usan-level Gawai Dayak celebration at SJK Kee Tee here Wednesday night.

“The agency will be doing all the planning and the implementation of socio-economic development, activities and programmes that are badly needed by the people in the interior of Baram,” said Dennis.

According to Dennis, the topography of the area where villages and longhouses are sparse and scattered posed a challenge to the implementation of development projects.

“We can’t afford to wait for the federal government to implement development programmes and activities that are needed by the local community. All this while we were waiting for the federal and state governments to implement them,” he added.

Dennis admitted it would take some time to implement development projects as they depend on the availability of budget and priority.

“These made the socio-economic development programmes and activities in the interior of Baram hardly seen and felt especially to outsiders. Through the agency, I believe and have full confidence that we will be able to implement development activities and programmes effectively and smoothly. We know the problems and challenges caused by the geography and topography including the priority to meet the aspirations and needs of the people,” he added.

As part of efforts to inject activities into the interior, Dennis announced three events; namely water sports in conjunction with the second anniversary of Long Lama as a district, whitewater rafting and the Youth Cultural Festival.

Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil expressed confidence that the proposed agency will speed up socio-economic development and changes in the interior of Baram and give mileage to the bid to elevate Baram from district to division.

“We in Baram have been left very far behind in socio-economic development as compared to other places in the state and country. It is a collaborative agreement of all elected representatives, community leaders and the people in Baram to request for Baram to be elevated to a division from a district,” said Penguang.

“We of the Barisan Nasional (BN) team comprising Baram MP Anyi Ngau, Telang Usan assemblyman (Dennis) and Mulu assemblyman (Datuk Gerawat Gala) will work hard to achieve the vision which we hope to achieve by 2019. My experience as civil servant for 36 years will help me to understand the problems and the needs or aspirations of the people but we – the BN Team – need the support and cooperation from the people including the private sector,” he added.

Anyi also called for support and cooperation from the people.

The uniqueness of the pre-Gawai celebration was the Lion Dance performance by the Chinese community here.

Source: The Borneo Post

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