Abang Johari arrives at the Pesta Kaul Mukah opening event. – Screengrab via Facebook/Ukas

SIBU (April 29): There will be about 60 development projects under Rajang Delta Development Agency (Radda) around RM1 billion in Mukah area, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said this would change the landscape of Mukah in terms of economic activities.

He added that the Sarawak government, under the leadership of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), is able to provide allocations for those projects because it was able to generate more income.

“Why are we so daring to give such big allocation? During these four years, we were able to generate more income for our state. In the year 2022, our state income was RM12 billion.  Never in history we achieved this high.

“We pray that this year our income will continue to grow. We will improve our basic economic; our ‘cake’ so that the people can enjoy the development of infrastructures, water and electricity supply,” he said during the opening of Pesta Kaul Mukah here today.

Abang Johari said with an increased income, the Sarawak government was able to connect all Mukah areas with the construction of bridges such as Batang Lassa, Batang Paloh, the bridge connecting Kuala Rajang from Sarikei, Igan bridge, and also highlighted a new RM60 million waterfront for Mukah which is now at the designing stage.

“Batang Lassa is the second longest bridge after Batang Lupar costing about RM400 million.  Then, we construct Paloh bridge and because of that Pulau Bruit no longer would be isolated,” he said.

He said the whole Mukah area will be connected in two or three years once the construction of bridges are completed.

He also said that after the Sarawak government took back education assets from Swinburne University of Technology, Curtin University, University of Technology Sarawak (UTS), International College of Advanced Technology Sarawak (iCATS) and Centre of Technical Excellence Sarawak (Centexs), it was able to provide affordable education to Sarawakians, especially in new disciplines.

On that note, he pointed out that Sarawak is moving into the right direction with the digital economy.

“When we faced Covid-19 pandemic, we saw how important it is to use technology – we need to meet online, we pay everything online. It is only through this we could finally see how important it is to use this new method (digital economy) in our daily lives today,” he said.

On the Pesta Kaul Mukah, he said the event is not foreign to him because when he was the state’s Tourism Minister, he worked with the state leaders to ensure the success of the festival.

Due to its attraction, he said the state government also requested to have an airport in Mukah.

Meanwhile, Federation of Sarawak Melanau Association president Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Leo Michael Toyad Abdullah said there are more than 60 stalls during the festival and there are many participants from outside Mukah participating in this year’s Pesta Kaul.

Also present at the festival opening were Minister for Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah; Deputy Minister of Economy Datuk Hanifah Hajar Taib; Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Corporate Affairs, Information and Sarawak Public Communication Unit (Ukas)) Datuk Abdullah Saidol; Deputy Minister of Urban Planning; Land Administration and Environment Datuk Len Talif Salleh; and Deputy Minister of Integrity and Ombudsman Datuk Dr Juanda Jaya among others.