Source: Published by Rachel Lau from Borneo Post Online on November 23, 2018.

Villagers welcome Awang Tengah at Kampung Bangat to officiate the house upgrading programme for the Jalan Punang zone.

LAWAS: The State Government is allocating RM150 million for the earthworks of the proposed new Lawas Airport project through the Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA) to make up for the recently slashed funding that was approved by the previous federal government.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said this at the launch of house upgrading programme for the poor under Jalan Punang zone in Kampung Sungai Bangkat, Lawas on Friday.

He said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has approved this fund through the NRDA after the approval of the first phase of the project by the former Prime Minister was not honoured by the new federal government.

This would be for earth filling  and associated works of the approved site.

The State Government has taken over funding of several other people-oriented programmes by the previous government after funds were either slashed or excluded in the federal budget .

“There is no hope for such funding and that is why the State Government is taking up funding for roads, supply of water and  electricity, house repairs and other programmes which needed to be carried out,” he said.

The house upgrading programme for the poor was approved for State constituencies under GPS elected representatives to meet this need in the state, and Bukit Sari has already rolled out the first phase involving 60 houses.

This programme included recipients such as Kantel bin Wahab and Rokiah binti Bohari of Kampung Sungai Bangat who were identified by the selection committee chaired by PBB Bukit Sari deputy chairman Awangku Jinal Pengiran Jawa.

The first tranche of RM0.5 million is for 60 houses, and the organisers is hoping to complete the projects speedily to facilitate application for the next tranche of funds by December this year.

Awang Tengah said the big allocation for rural electrification scheme by previous government has also shrunk under the new federal government and the state government has to step in to cough up the funds from its own coffers.

Lawas was allocated over RM200 million by the state government for upgrading of water treatment and distribution infrastructures by the state government following the slashing of funds by the federal government.

Awang Tengah said GPS is the platform for Sarawakians instead of Pakatan Harapan where the local leaders are answerable to their political masters in Semenanjung Malaysia.

He said statements such as ‘Sarawak do not need bridges’ highlighted the lack of understanding by a federal minister of the needs of Sarawakians which is close to the hearts and minds of local based political parties in GPS.

Also present at the function were Lawas MP Datuk Henry Sum Agong, Lawas District Officer Ladin Atok, community leaders and heads of government department.

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