Monday, September 8From The Broken Shield
The projects mentioned include roads linking Sarawak new federal administrative centre, Jalai Nanga Buai to Ulu Spak in Betong, Jalai Tanjong Assam to Saribas, Betong, Jalai Awat-Awat to Kuala Lawas, Bengoh dam in Kuching and integrated wastewater management system in Kuching. And all these areas happen to be in constituencies held by elected representatives from Parti Bersatu Bumiputra (PBB).
It is natural for the people of Kapit to be angry with the government when they find out that Kapit Division is not mentioned in the budget. After all, they have not only been loyal BN supporters, but have also been waiting for 45 years for roads to be constructed linking Kapit with other towns in the State. And they have expected something to be given to them as rewards for their loyalty. Thus, Kapit has created a record of sorts that can be included in the Malaysian Book of Records or even the Guinness Book of Records as the only town in Malaysia having no road links with other towns in the State and in Malaysia. Even Pulau Pinang has a bridge linking it with other parts of West Malaysia. (In fact the second bridge has been proposed.)
But a SUPP leader asks the people of Kapit to wait patiently and for how long? Another 45 years? And the statement from YB Yong Khoon Seng, deputy federal Minister of Works makes the people of Kapit even angrier, when he said: “The project will come, don’t worry. Just don’t jump to conclusion regarding this matter because we have already planned for the road to be constructed. But it may take some time”.
The road, he said, might be constructed (I stress the word “might”) between Kapit and Song or Kapit and Sibu, pointing out that it would be a State road with funds might (again the word “might”) come from the federal government directly or indirectly. The word “might” indicates uncertainty. Between Yong and James Masing, Masing being the State Minister should know better if there is a plan for the State to build the road to be funded by federal funds.
Considering the importance of Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) and the construction of 12 dams in the State, it is likely that the federal funds will be concentrated on the development of SCORE infrastructures along the coastal areas from Bintulu to Tanjung Manis and as well as infrastructures leading to the proposed 12 dams. The possibility of Kapit being excluded in the 2010 budget and in the 10th Malaysia Plan or even the 11th Malaysia Plan is very real unless and when drastic changes take place in the country such as the formation of PR government.