Federal agencies are unaware of the ground limitations in implementating projects in the state, said Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu Numpang.
KAPIT: Sarawak is six years behind in the implementation of many approved federal agricultural projects and activities for its rural areas.
According to Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu Numpang although the projects had been approved, the respective federal government agencies were not aware of the many limitations on the ground.
These included the absence of roads which prevented heavy machineries from being brought in, and other local factors, he said.
Jabu, who also heads the state modernisation of agriculture ministry, said this after officiating at the joint Baleh and Pelagus Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) divisions’ party delegates conference here yesterday.
Rural and Regional Development Deputy Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi retained his position unopposed as head of the Pelagus branch.
Jabu said he was happy with the recent appointment of Betong Member of Parliament Douglas Uggah Embas as the new plantation industries and commodities minister.
“Sarawak has a lot of catching up to do as we are now seven-and-a-half years away from 2020, the year when Malaysia aspires to become a fully developed nation,” he added.
Hopes are high that Sarawak will see speedier development now that the state has more Ministers at federal level.
In the May 5 general election, Sarawak delivered 25 Parliamentary seats towards ruling Barisan Nasional’s total tally. The state together with Sabah ensured the coalition retained Putrajaya.
Post GE13, almost one third of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s federal cabinet comprise Sarawakians and Sabahans.
Prioritising East Malaysia
Some Ministries are entirely helmed by elected representatives from these states.
Under Najib’s transformation agenda, focus is on enhancing infrastructure and social development in Sarawak and Sabah, which is seen to be decades away from its peninsular counterpart.
According to the Pemandu website: “In spite of Malaysia’s very considerable achievements, there are many villages still not connected by roads, especially in East Malaysia.
“More than a quarter of households don’t have access to electricity in East Malaysia. And upwards of 40% of households in East Malaysia lack access to clean or treated water.
“Consequently, the Government has embarked on a major rural basic infrastructure development programme, centred on improving the quality and pace of the provision of roads, water, electricity and housing to the rural population.”