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Bigger authority for Sabah, S'wak
Published on: Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Kuching: The Federal Government wants to award the state administration in Sarawak and Sabah with greater decision-making authority on rural development projects in both states.

Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said this was reflected in the setting-up of two committees in both states to decide and monitor projects affecting rural folks in Sarawak and Sabah.

"I would like to announce the formation of a working committee, which is jointly chaired by the Ministry's Secretary-General and the Permanent Secretary (to the State Rural Economy Ministry).

"This committee will convene frequent meetings to plan and monitor every project which is being implemented in the State.

"We have also established a supreme committee which is being jointly chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah and myself, to look into every rural development project planned for Sarawak.

"Douglas and I will be holding our first meeting after the 2018 Budget has been tabled," he told reporters after chairing a meeting with State Ministers and State Executive Councillors in-charge of rural and regional development nationwide, here, Monday.

Ismail said two similar committees would be established jointly between the Minister and the Sabah State Government.

"We want to give the state governments of Sarawak and Sabah a greater voice on rural development projects which are going or have been implemented in the two states," he said.

Ismail said the country's leadership was always concerned with the welfare and livelihood of rural folks in Sarawak.

This, he said, has been manifested in the amount of allocation spent to improve the lot of rural folks in the State.

He said to date, the Ministry had spent more than RM5.2 billion to carry out infrastructure development projects for the rural areas in the State.

"The Government spent RM3.78 billion to improve supply of electricity to rural areas in Sarawak from 2010 until this year, which is 48 per cent from the budget allocated nationwide.

"We have also spent RM1.49 billion for water supply projects for the rural areas under the 10th and 11th Malaysia Plan (11th MP). Under the 11th MP, the Ministry has spent RM177.9 billion to construct and upgrade roads in the rural areas.

"For this year alone, the Government spent RM94.4 million to run Housing Project for the Hardcore Poor in Sarawak," he said, adding they were not delayed projects under the Ministry in Sarawak.

"Previously there were a number of delayed projects in the State. However, all those problems have been resolved.

"This was my pledge to the late (former Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem) Tok Nan and I am thankful that the issue has been addressed and resolved," he said.

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