Penan, Berawan communities in Mulu to be supplied with water, power

A dialogue was recently held with the with Penan and Berawan communities at Batu Bungan Rural Service Centre in Mulu regarding the proposed construction of a new water treatment and supply system.

The proposed system will include a new water intake, a high level water tank and a water treatment plant capable of processing 2 million litres of water per day. A new water booster station will also be built with 6km of high pressure thermoplastic pipeline.

Also discussed were the proposed construction of a new power station and power distribution system. The dialogue was chaired by Highland Development Agency (HDA) Deputy Chairman Dato Gerawat Gala. HDA is an agency under RECODA.

Sarawak to finance Northern Coastal Highway

KUCHING: The Sarawak government is to finance the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway phase two project linking Miri, Limbang and Lawas in Sarawak’s northern tip that will connect up to Sabah.

On the drawing board is a new second road system called Sarawak link road to connect the three northern districts (Miri, Lawas and Limbang).

The proposed link road will be integrated with the Pan Borneo Highway phase two, now renamed Northern Coastal Highway, which spans a distance of 86km.

Construction work for the Northern Coastal Highway project will start next year for completion in 48 months, according to Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.(piC)

The project will be undertaken by the Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda) via Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA) which Awang Tengah chairs.

The details of the project were ironed out during the Northern Coastal Highway value assessment lab participated by some 200 representative from consultancy firms, government agencies, and other stakeholders late last month.

The development cost of the new highway project, which was cancelled by the previous federal government, has yet to be determined.

Phase one of Sarawak Pan Borneo Highway project, which stretches some 1,060km from Sematan in southern Sarawak to Miri in the north is divided into 11 work packages.

One of the packages – Telok Melano-Sematan – was completed and open to traffic early last year while the other packages are in various stages of implementation. The project’s original development cost was RM16.48mil and targeted completion date is mid-2021.

Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd was the project delivery partner until February 2020 when its agreement was terminated prematurely by the federal government.

The project, which has since been taken over by the Public Works Department of the Works Ministry, is about 52% completed overall.

Awang Tengah said the Northern Coastal Highway is vital to provide connectivity to Lawas and Limbang (bordering oil-rich Brunei), which hold great potential in the development of oil and gas sector.

Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with the Sarawak authorities last year, China-based Bejing Beca Sci-Tech Co Ltd plans to invest US$5bil in an integrated petrochemical complex in Lawas.

The investor has completed the feasibility study and will proceed with the hydrology study on the billion-ringgit project, according to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg last week.

Johari sees bright prospects for the development of the oil and gas industry in Lawas and Limbang due to their locations within the hydrocarbon reserves belt in the region.

State-owned Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros) is reported to be looking to conduct oil and gas exploration activities in northern Sarawak to tap into the potential of unexplored oil and gas reserves there.

On the proposed Sarawak Link Road, Awang Tengah, who is also state International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Minister, said it will be shorter in distance as compared with the proposed Sarawak-Sabah Link Road (SSLR) which is funded by the federal government.

He has not revealed the length of the proposed Sarawak Link Road and its development cost to be financed by the Sarawak government, which is funding two other mega infrastructure projects – Sarawak Coastal Highway and Sarawak Second Trunk Road system, which are estimated to cost a combined RM11bil.

The Sarawak Coastal Highway project, which involves the construction of seven bridges across major river crossings, is in various stages of implementation.

Construction works for the 225km Sarawak Second Trunk Road project is expected to kick off the ground in the current quarter.

The second trunk road will connect the coastal road system at major bridge crossings and it will significantly reduce the traveling time between Kuching and Sibu upon commissioning.

The 415km SSLR project, which is expected to take six and 10 years to complete, is expected to commence works soon.

According to Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, the letter of intent had been issued to the contractor on July 7,2020.

Once the contractor fulfilled the terms and conditions set in the tender documents, the letter of acceptance on the project will be issued.

The SSLR project will be carried out in phases, with phase one from Lawas to Kampung Pa’ Berunut and phase two from Kampung Pa’ Berunit to Long Lama.

In Lawas last week, Johari said Sarawak could afford to fund mega infrastructure projects with the revenue from the state sales tax (SST) imposed on petroleum products.

Sarawak recently settled the 2019 SST arrears of about RM3.1bil with Petroliam Nasional Bhd. Other oil majors are also paying the SST.

Based on SST collection of RM3bil a year, the Chief Minister said Sarawak could get RM15bil over the next five years to finance its development projects.

Source: The Star

‘Highway, link road proof of ongoing development in Limbang’

LIMBANG: The Northern Coastal Highway and the Sarawak Link Road projects are proof that development is continuously being implemented in this division – contrary to the claim of non-existent progress in this part of the state by the Opposition.

Assistant Minister of Agriculture Native Land and Regional Development Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail viewed such allegation as ‘being uncalled for’ as the people here had continued to enjoy the fruit of development over the years.

“New political parties are emerging and they have ‘many stories’ including allegation of no development for the people here,” he said in his speech for the launch of an Agriculture Community Outreach Programme (AgriCOP) at Kampung Tabahan yesterday, where Limbang Agriculture officer (development) Jakaria Rambli, Pemanca Abu Tinggal and Kampung Tahaban headman Isa Tinggal were also present.

Dr Abdul Rahman, who is Bukit Kota assemblyman, also pointed out Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) as a responsible and people-oriented ruling coalition, adding that in leading the state government, GPS was committed to bringing development to the people.

Back on the Northern Coastal Highway and Sarawak Link Road, he said the projects were to replace a part of Phase II section of the Pan Borneo Highway development that was cancelled by the government under the administration of Pakatan Harapan (PH) previously.

According to him, the Northern Coastal Highway is meant to better connect the major roads across northern Sarawak, including the link and coastal stretches, with the aim of stimulating the socio-economic growth of the communities along the highway.

Source: The Borneo Post

Landowners receive compensation

KAPIT: Eighteen landowners whose properties are affected by four projects undertaken by the Ulu Rajang Development Agency (Urda) received compensation totalling over RM280,500.

Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi, who is also Kapit Member of Parliament (MP), presented the cheques to recipients during a ceremony held at Song community hall here yesterday.

Nanta said the compensation was for native customary rights (NCR) lands involved in the implementation of Jalan Nanga Makut/Nanga Engkuah Katibas Song project.

“An area of ​​16.87 hectares involved in the project comprises 16 lots of NCR lands and the payment will be distributed in stages,” he said in a statement.

The project started in October last year and expected to be completed by December next year would benefit residents of 20 longhouses, three schools, two Health Clinics and two Agriculture substations in the area.

Nanta said the implementation of the infrastructure project was one of the efforts of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government to provide facilities to the people.

“The state government is committed to providing infrastructure facilities to the people to help improve their standard and quality of life.

“Besides that, the construction of this road is one of the efforts of the Sarawak government to further boost development and socio-economy in Kapit and Ulu Rejang areas,” he added.

Urda, which is placed under the Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda), will focus on developing Kapit, Belaga, Bukit Mabong, Song and Kanowit districts comprising an area of ​​38,000 square kilometres or one-third of Sarawak.

Nanta, who is also the deputy chairman of Urda, said that although the road project would be carried out on a ‘fast-track’ basis, the state government would not compromise on quality to ensure the safety and comfort of the people.

“The Sarawak government will always strive to implement quality development for the wellbeing of the people, especially in the rural areas. This is in line with the state government’s aspiration to make Sarawak a developed state by 2030,” he explained.

Source : New Sarawak Tribune

Gerawat: State govt committed to step up devt in rural areas

MIRI: The Sarawak government through the Highland Development Agency (HDA) is very committed to speeding up development in Telang Usan and Mulu constituencies.

In stating this, Mulu assemblyman Dato Gerawat Gala said HDA is one of the agencies set up by the Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, to accelerate development in the rural areas of the state. The other agencies are Upper Rajang Development Agency (Urda) and Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA).

“The objective of HDA is to accelerate development in rural areas so that the people will not be left out from the mainstream development agenda.

“For a start, the state government has allocated some RM1.5 billion to HDA and the government will top up the amount from time to time according to the needs,” he stated in his address when officiating at the earth-breaking and thanksgiving ceremony for the HDA road project at Kampung Daleh Long Pelutan, Ulu Baram recently.

Gerawat, who is also State Legislative Assembly Deputy Speaker, said the RM1.5 billion allocation would be used to build roads and bridges in the areas.

At the same time, he added, the state government puts strong emphasis on providing clean water to the rural areas, with almost 20 water supply projects costing around RM210 million being implemented.

He was happy that almost 95 per cent of longhouses and villages in Baram were provided with 24-hour electricity supply through Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (Sares).

He added that the effort to supply power to other areas through Sares was being done in  stages.

Later, he announced Minor Rural Project (MRP) grants of RM10,000 to the JKKK of Kampung Daleh Long Pelutan and RM5,000 to the village’s Borneo Evangelical Mission (BEM) church.

Also present were Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau, Marudi District Council chairman Edward Mendai and Temenggong Elizabeth Deng.

Source: Borneo Post

KUCHING: More than 100 engineering consultants from various disciplines are gathered since this morning for a two days pre-value assessment lab for Northern Coastal Highway project which ends tomorrow.

Organised by the project management consultant, Maltimur Resources Sdn Bhd, the lab serves as a platform to gather feedbacks from these consultants before a proper value management lab for the project is held in the near future.

Northern Coastal Highway project involves an estimated 86km of dual carriageway which will ultimately connect the missing link from Miri, Limbang and Lawas to the neighbouring state of Sabah through Brunei in Tedungan and Pandaruan Custom, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) in Limbang and Mengkalap and Merapok CIQ in Lawas.

The project comes on the heels of the Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak phase one project which is expected to be completed in the next two years.

RECODA is the implementing agency for this project.

Meanwhile, RECODA chief executive officer, Ismawi Ismuni who officiated the lab this morning said it was important for the stakeholders to be aligned and be on the same page to deliver this mega project timely and within cost.

“We are gathered here for the next two days to find the best possible ways for us to create values and optimise the cost in this project and to subsequently manage it to ensure that these values are continuously delivered.

“For a project of this large scale to succeed, we need a very clear objective which is to deliver the project timely and within cost.

“This means we must work on it based on the timeline given which is 48 months and to make sure that there is no cost overrun,” said Ismawi.

He reminded all those present that it was important to build a quality highway which could last long without having to worry about its maintenance in the future.

It is based on this philosophy and attitude, he said, that ought to drive the whole project team in delivering a quality highway.