Sabah And Sarawak Development Get Boost Under 10MP

Posted on June 10, 2010. Filed under: Environmental Policy |

(Bernama) — Sabah and Sarawak will get more new roads and basic amenities like water and electricity throughout the two states under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP).

Under the five-year blueprint, running from 2011 to 2015 tabled in Parliament, a total 2,540km of roads will be constructed in Sabah and 2,819 km in Sarawak.

“As a key strategy to drive domestic integration, major new rural road infrastructure will be built, particularly in Sabah and Sarawak. This will help ensure mobility of goods and people from the rural areas to urban markets and beyond,” according to the 10MP report.

Also, 98 percent of Sabah and 95 percent of Sarawak will have access to clean water with supply reaching an additional 112,700 houses in Sabah and 87,000 houses in Sarawak.

The two states will also enjoy 99 percent electricity coverage with supply in the rural areas to be extended to 59,000 houses in Sabah and 76,000 houses in Sarawak by 2015.

In Sabah, three new power plants will be commissioned with a combined capacity of 700 MW. Two are gas-based plants in the west coast and one coal-based in the east coast using clean coal technology.

In Sarawak, the 2,400 MW Bakun hydroelectricity project will be commissioned in stages.

Overhead lines will be implemented from Bakun to Similajau in Sarawak and other transmission projects in Sabah.

Air and water transportation will also be improved to increase connectivity and accessibility in rural areas and this will include upgrading the short take off landing (STOL) airstrips.

River transportation will be enhanced as a mode of public transport particularly in Sarawak and promoted as a tourism product.

Rail services will be enhanced in Sabah by modernising facilities and technologies to increase access to rural areas.

The government will also review the possibility of expanding the scope of the newly-established Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) to the two states pending its implementation in the Peninsula.

In transforming healthcare services in the country, mobile clinics, flying doctor services and village health promoters would be expanded to remote areas under the 10MP.

As the government adopts new strategies to develop an effective and sustainable Bumiputera economic participation, special attention will also be given to Bumiputeras in Sabah and Sarawak.

The government has also targeted to reduce poverty among ethnic minorities in Sabah from 22.8 percent in 2009 to 12 percent by end of 2015 and in Sarawak, from 6.4 percent to 3 percent.

Specific assistance will be directed to Bumiputeras in Sabah and Sarawak, particularly ethnic minorities such as the Bisaya, Orang Sungei, Rungus, Suluk, Tidong, Penan, Kajang, Kedayan and Kelabit.

These include those living in longhouses as well as settlements in the hinterland and remote areas.

With the government’s focus on helping help the bottom 40 per cent of households throughout the country, bumiputeras in Sabah and Sarawak will be eligible for support and resources.

According to the Plan, 65 percent of the households are located in six states, Johor, Kedah, Perak, Sabah, Sarawak and Selangor.

Entrepreneurship training and funding will also be provided to Bumiputeras in Sabah and Sarawak to establish businesses such as home stays and eco-tourism services.

Initiatives will be undertaken to help ethnic minorities, now dependent on middlemen to market handicraft products, to establish cooperatives.

On the environment front, six million hectares of forest in Sabah and Sarawak will be protected as “Heart of Borneo” and classified as sensitive areas to protect biodiversity and habitats.


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