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Kemaskini Pada: 12 Dis 2018
Versi 8.1.2
Developing Upper Rajang a great challenge for Sarawak, Masing says
Tarikh : 26 Feb 2018  Sumber Berita: Bernama
 

Tan Sri James Jemut Masing said the area covered the whole of the Kapit division which comprised the Kapit, Bukit Mambong, Belaga and Song districts as well as Kanowit which is part of the Sibu division. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KAPIT, Feb 26 — Developing the Upper Rajang, which occupies a vast and remote area of about 41,000 sq km and supports a population of 175,000, poses a big challenge to Sarawak, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Jemut Masing.

He said the area covered the whole of the Kapit division which comprised the Kapit, Bukit Mambong, Belaga and Song districts as well as Kanowit which is part of the Sibu division.

The area consists of three parliamentary constituencies, namely Hulu Rajang, Kapit and Kanowit, and the eight state constituencies of Machan, Ngemah, Katibas, Bukit Goram, Pelagus, Baleh, Belaga and Murum.

“This in itself indicates the complexity of the area. However, it is blessed with natural resources such as hydropower, forest, vast tracts of land, coal as well as biodiversity that are contributing to the growth and development of the state’s economy,” he said.

Masing spoke at the official opening of a three-day Upper Rajang Development Agency (URDA) special lab here today. He is also the URDA chairman.

The lab, which drew 224 participants comprising local politicians, representatives of relevant state and federal government agencies and community leaders, is aimed at gathering ground information, local knowledge and public sentiments which are vital for developing the blueprint necessary for implementing projects and identifying potential investment beneficial for the local communities.

Masing said it was important for the state to harness the development potentials in a systematic and well-coordinated manner to improve the livelihood of the people, increase their income, and create more job and business opportunities that can transform the Upper Rajang into a vibrant economic area in Sarawak.

“This special URDA lab is indeed very timely as it enables the stakeholders, especially the local politicians, community leaders and heads of departments to discuss, strategise and propose development plans, programmes and projects to benefit the people in the area,” he said.

The special lab marked a major milestone in charting the way forward to formulate the short-, medium— and long-term development plans of the Upper Rajang and considered a bottom-up approach to provide opportunities for the people of the area to have a voice in determining their future in line with Sarawak’s vision to become a high-income state by 2030, he said.

Masing expressed confidence that the lab would address the challenges, issues and problems faced in the Upper Rajang in respect to physical and digital connectivity, utilities and the socio-economic aspects, namely education, health, security and entrepreneurship. — Bernama