MARUDI: The over 40,000 people in Marudi constituency had every reason to rejoice when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced yesterday an allocation of RM60 million to construct the Marudi/Miri road.
The road will greatly facilitate travel between the two places which currently takes about three hours by express boat from Kuala Baram in Miri or two and half hours through the bone-shaking and treacherous oil palm road.
The road was on top of the people’s wish list as indicated by the several banners being put up by some among the 4,000 people who turned up at the Marudi town square to welcome Najib – incidentally the first prime minister of Malaysia ever to come to Marudi.
The announcement was received with thunderous applause and cheers by the people who later joyfully joined him to proclaim three times BN’s election slogan of ‘Hidup Barisan, Undi Barisan, Menang Barisan’.
In his speech, the prime minister reiterated the government’s commitment to bring development to the people unlike the opposition parties who only talk, promise and criticise, and even criticising him for frequently visiting Sarawak and alleging that he was scared that BN might lose in this election. Najib pointed out that as prime minister of all races, he is duty bound to help the people and pledged to uphold the 1Malaysia concept.
“I must state that in my service as prime minister, I will implement the principle of 1Malaysia – People first, Performance now.
“It is my duty to help and champion the cause of the people not because of election. I have visited Sarawak many times and long before the election, and don’t listen to the opposition parties who said I come to Sarawak because of the election and that I am scared BN would be losing,” he said.
The prime minister also urged the people in Marudi and Baram to continue having confidence in BN government and give the two BN candidates — Sylvester Entri Muran (Marudi) and Dennis Ngau (Telang Usan) — a resounding victory tomorrow. At the function, Najib approved an allocation of RM1 million for the building fund of SJK(C) Kee Tee at Long Lama, in the Telang Usan constituency. Earlier, he launched the 1Malaysia river mobile clinic at the Marudi Jetty.
Among those present were Minister of Health Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, BN candidates Sylvester and Dennis, Deputy Minister for International Trade and Industry Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan, Deputy State Secretary Datu Ose Murang, senior government officials and community leaders.
Meanwhile, Sylvester when met by reporters after the function, thanked the prime minister for approving the proposed 45 kilometre road, which will be constructed under the ‘Jiwa Murni’ project.
Contractors for the project have been identified and construction will be carried out once fund is available.
“This is the government’s commitment to help the rakyat and I urge the people in Marudi to prepare themselves and take advantage of the economic spin-off from good road network to further improve their living standard, he said.
He said it is anticipated that many investors will come to Marudi and Baram districts once the road is completed.
“There will be accelerated development including business opportunities such as the tourism and services related sector, so the people must be prepared,” he said, adding that they must remain united and work closely with the government.
Original Post by Cecilia B. Sman (April 15, 2011: Borneo Post Online)