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Allocate special provisions for Kota Marudu, urges Wetrom
Published on: Thursday, November 30, 2023
By: Sherell Jeffrey
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Allocate special provisions for Kota Marudu, urges Wetrom
Wetrom emphasised the need for State and Federal governments to act to bring balanced development to Kota Marudu and uplift the area from its current state of poverty, which has persisted for 60 years.  
BANDAU Assemblyman Datuk Wetrom Bahanda hoped that both the State and Federal governments would consider implementing special provisions for the most underprivileged districts in the nation.  

“How can we improve the status of this district when our allocation is the same as other districts?” he inquired during the debate on the 2024 State Budget, here, Tuesday.  

He emphasised the need for State and Federal governments to act to bring balanced development to Kota Marudu and uplift the area from its current state of poverty, which has persisted for 60 years.  

“A substantial budget has been announced, which is considered an ideal allocation of funds. We hope it will achieve effective coordination and implementation at the grassroots level,” said Wetrom, highlighting that his constituency is among the most economically disadvantaged districts in Malaysia.  

He also discussed the importance of fast-tracking the planned dual carriageway in Kota Marudu, which experiences significant traffic congestion on a daily basis. “This road provides an alternative route to the east coast from Kota Kinabalu, Kota Marudu, Pitas, and Sandakan,” he said.  

He emphasised the pressing need for the construction of the dual carriageway, highlighting incidents where women have had to give birth in their cars due to being trapped in traffic and unable to reach the Kota Marudu hospital in time.

He touched on the importance of regular road maintenance in his constituency, linking the frequent accidents to the lack of upkeep, particularly on the route bordering Kota Marudu and Kota Belud.  

In addition to roads, he also emphasised the importance of the government addressing the housing needs of villagers who are in desperate need of secure and suitable homes.  

Referring to an incident where a single mother’s house collapsed in his constituency, he said the urgent need for proper housing for many others in similar situations.  

He commended the government for the SMJ housing initiative, expressing hope that it would be implemented in his constituency as well.  

“I have submitted the application at the State ministry level, but I am still awaiting a response or approval.   I suggest that the State Government consider implementing specific measures to address situations like this, where individuals’ homes are destroyed by floods or collapse due to their poor condition. 

“Urgent action should be taken promptly, without the need to wait for allocations from the appropriate ministry.   Efforts must be made to swiftly address the suffering of the people.

It is important to prioritise the immediate addressing of people’s welfare needs, regardless of the size of the budget,” he said.  

He also raised the importance of accelerating the land application process by villagers.  

“My area concentrates in agricultural products, particularly rubber commodities.   Unfortunately, many farmers who cultivate rubber under Safoda’s land are still waiting for their land application to be approved. 

“Last year, I expressed the need for prompt government action to ensure that these individuals receive complete ownership. So that they can cultivate rubber plants as well as other types of plants. I kindly request that the land issue under Safoda be addressed promptly. 

“During my time as an assistant minister to the chief minister, we had discussions with Safoda regarding the transfer of cultivated areas to the people. They informed us that they are currently in the surveying stage. I urge for this process to be expedited for the benefit of the people.   

“If the government is concerned about the possibility of villagers selling the land, one solution could be to convert it into a communal grant. I recall when the government implemented the communal grant.   

“One of the requirements of the communal grant is that the land can only be transferred to family members and cannot be transferred to anyone else.   They can only be inherited by the descendants of the original owner,” he said. 

He also talked about the need for increased funding to enhance infrastructure, including irrigation systems and road networks in areas designated for paddy cultivation.  

“Bandau has been officially designated as a paddy field area. Unfortunately, our progress is hindered by the absence of irrigation and road access, which are significant challenges. How can we effectively work if there is no access road to the area? This should also be taken into account by the government for inclusion in the budget,” he said.  

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