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Kemaskini Pada: 20 Jul 2018
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Urda to give greater focus to Kapit’s development — Masing
Tarikh : 06 Aug 2017  Sumber Berita: The Borneo Post

Masing (centre) is seen in a group photo with (from left) Leslie Chai – representing the SEB CEO; Rickson Jauk – representing the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports permanent secretary; Urda board members Belayong, Wilson, Nanta, Ismawi, and Yakub; as well as Knot Atok – representing the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development permanent secretary.

KAPIT: The creation of the Upper Rajang Development Authority (Urda) will give greater focus to the development of the interior areas of Kapit Division through Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) projects.

Established under the Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda), Urda will focus on accelerating development in the upper Rajang area by initiating projects to capitalise on the hydroelectric plants (HEPs) in the region, namely Bakun and Murum, as well as Baleh HEP.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing, who is Urda chairman, explained that the new agency would identify and prioritise development projects that will bring the most benefit to the people in the area.

These include greater focus on food production where Urda will set its sights on enabling farmers throughout the upper Rajang area to increase their yield in the short and medium term.

At Urda’s first board meeting here on Tuesday, Masing explained the board had decided that Urda’s headquarters will be here and that the structure of the agency will be formalised soon.

One of the first major decisions made at the board meeting was to include Kanowit District as part of the area under Urda’s purview, which will now cover about four million ha.

Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development and Kapit Member of Parliament Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi, who has also been appointed as Urda deputy chairman, pointed out that apart from infrastructure development projects, the authority should also focus on the socioeconomic development of the upper Rajang area.

Thus, he looked forward to creating more opportunities for the people in the area, especially in agriculture and aquaculture, through Urda.

Recoda chief executive officer Tan Sri Datuk Amar Wilson Baya Dandot explained that with the input from Urda, Recoda would be able to better facilitate the investments headed towards the upper Rajang area.

Apart from that, he acknowledged the contributions of the people’s representatives from the area, who also attended the meeting to provide their input and feedback to ensure the success of Urda’s initiatives.

Members of the Urda board present at the meeting included Deputy State Secretary (Socio-Economic Transformation) Datu Ismawi Ismuni; Kapit Resident Joseph Belayong Punan; Bintulu Resident Muhamad Yakup Kari; representatives from Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports; Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development; and Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB).

Also present were Katibas assemblyman Datuk Ambrose Blikau Enturan, Hulu Rajang Member of Parliament Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong, Pelagus assemblyman Wilson Nyabong Ijang, Bukit Goram assemblyman Jefferson Jamit, Murum assemblyman Kennedy Chukpai Ugon, Ngemah assemblyman Alexander Vincent, and Machan assemblyman Allan Siden Gramong.

Heads of departments and representatives from various government agencies were also on hand to brief the board on the latest updates related to development efforts implemented in the upper Rajang area.

The formation of Urda, as well as the creation of the Highland Development Authority (HDA) were mooted by Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, who is also chairman of Recoda, who also approved both these agencies at the Recoda Board of Directors meeting held in Kuching last month.

Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Water Supply Belaga assemblyman Liwan Lagang and Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture representative Datu Chaiti Bolhassan did not attend the meeting as reported yesterday.