KPLB serious in improving Sarawak rural areas infrastructure – Hasbi

KPLB serious in improving Sarawak rural areas infrastructure – Hasbi

KUALA LUMPUR,. Eighteen new projects and 61 extension projects for the rural roads (JALB) initiative in Sarawak were approved under the First Rolling Plan (RP1) of the 12th Malaysia Plan (RMK12) Year 2021, involving an allocation of RM112.5 million, said Deputy Rural Development Minister, Datuk Hasbi Habibollah.

He said that it was among the various initiatives planned, as the government understood the importance of improving basic facilities in rural areas in the state.

“Meanwhile, two new projects have been approved for rural road network (JPD) projects in the state, involving an allocation of RM156.44 million,” he told Bernama recently.

He said that the people’s housing project for the hardcore poor (PPRT) in rural areas nationwide involved an allocation ceiling of RM2.035 billion for implementation during the 12MP, where for RP1 2021, two new projects were approved for Sarawak, involving an allocation of RM111.97 million.

“Apart from that, under RP1, a total of 405 new construction projects and 3,077 repair works have been approved for PPRT in Sarawak, which involves an allocation of more than RM79 million. This shows the government’s seriousness in increasing the coverage of basic infrastructure in rural Sarawak,” he said

Hasbi, who is also Limbang Member of Parliament, said that in the 2022 Budget, a total of RM768 million was allocated for rural development in Bumi Kenyalang, involving a total of 205 projects to be implemented, being 97 new projects and 108 extension projects.

He said that for the Sarawak Rural Electricity Supply (BELB) project, a total of RM83.64 million was allocated in 2022, involving three new projects and 14 extension projects, while an allocation of RM124.2 million for Sarawak’s Rural Water Supply (BALB) involved 35 new and three extension projects.

In the 2020 Budget, his ministry received an allocation of RM10.53 billion, covering a management allocation of RM3.52 billion and a development allocation of RM7.01 billion.

Apart from development, Hasbi said that the focus will also be on reducing poverty in rural Sarawak, through socio-economic development programmes under his ministry.

Citing an example of the initiative implemented this year, he said that through the Skills Training and Career Programme (PLKK), which provides opportunities for youths in rural areas, a total of 15 participants from Sarawak benefited from the initiative.

“PLKK provides short-term training opportunities, not exceeding six months, for rural youths from the B40 income group, the poor and the hardcore poor.

“For this year’s Quick Win programme, held under the Community Development Department (Kemas), a total of 110 participants from Sarawak benefited from the initiative. This programme aims to improve existing skills in an effort to enable participants to increase income and get out of poverty,” he said.

Apart from that, a total of 41 Sarawak youths who participated in the income enhancement programme (PPP) this year had the opportunity to receive equipment or training on a one-off basis to carry out their respective economic projects.

On rural development planning in Sarawak, Hasbi said that continuous cooperation with the state government was always emphasised, apart from KPLB intensifying the monitoring of its development projects to follow the plan and meet the set targets.

He said that his ministry will also pay attention to several issues in Sarawak such as improving access to early education for rural communities, as well as access to Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET), construction of rural roads and education.

“For example, the Rural Water Supply project still needs to be given attention as the coverage of tap water supply at home is still at 69.8 per cent,” he said.

— Bernama

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