KUCHING: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is confident Sarawak's goal of becoming a developed state by 2030 can be achieved under the leadership of Sarawak Premier Abang Johari.
He said in addition, the federal government will continue to prioritise the development of Sarawak. This, he said is proven by the development expenditure allocation of RM4.55 billion provided under the Second Rolling Plan of 2022 of the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).
"Apart from that, to ensure the comfort and convenience of future generations, an allocation of RM5.77 billion has been provided under 12MP to develop and upgrade schools and educational institutions in Sarawak," he said in his closing speech at the Keluarga Malaysia Aspirations (AKM) Tour Sarawak chapter here today.
According to him, out of 409 new development and extension projects, 111 of them are now fully completed, 109 are at the implementation or construction stage and another 189 are in the pre-construction phase.
"An allocation of RM2.16 billion has also been provided to cover 361 projects to upgrade and rebuild schools with dilapidated buildings," he said.
Ismail Sabri said four localities in Sarawak have also been identified for the Keluarga Malaysia Hardcore Poverty Eradication Programme (BMTKM) which aims to achieve zero hardcore poverty by 2025.
In addition to BMTKM, he said a total of 867,967 families in the state had received benefits through the Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM) initiative which involved an allocation of RM745 million.
"This proves the government's commitment to the Malaysian Family in Sarawak," he said, adding that the RM16.1 billion Pan Borneo Highway project which was launched in March 2015, is now at 85 per cent and is expected to be fully completed in the first quarter of next year.
He added that the government will also continue with the second phase of the Sarawak Sabah Link Road (SSLR) project which will connect Miri to Limbang and Lawas without having to go through Brunei.
"This SSLR phase two project from Simpang Gelugus to Long Lopeng in Lawas will connect Mulu to Long Merarap for a distance of 326km at a cost of RM7.68 billion. Construction is expected to start early next year," he said.
The Prime Minister said the government is also improving the existing road network between Miri to Limbang and Lawas via Brunei under the Trans Borneo Highway (LTB) project, involving upgrading works along 96.35km for a period of three years at a cost of RM2.93 billion.
"This (highway) will be a catalyst for local socio-economic development because the Pan Borneo Highway is beginning to have a positive impact and economic spillover for Keluarga Malaysia doing business at Pasar Tamu Simpang Bekenu," he said.
Ismail Sabri said the government also allocated RM4.09 billion under 12MP to ensure comprehensive broadband access in Sarawak by 2030.
The recent launch of the country's eighth satellite, MEASAT-3d, costing RM1.2 billion, will increase the speed of existing internet access while bridging the digital divide between urban and rural populations.
"This is a sign of the government's concern and initiative for the people in Sarawak. The government hopes that after this there will be no more Keluarga Malaysia who has to camp on the hills just to find internet coverage," he said.
At the event, the Prime Minister also distributed assistance under the Yayasan Keluarga Malaysia (YKM) to nine young beneficiaries who have lost their parents, either mother or father, to Covid-19.
He also presented laptops, under the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) initiative, to five university students from B40 families.
Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and several federal and state cabinet ministers were also present.
The three-day Sarawak chapter of the Keluarga Malaysia Aspirations Tour, which ends today, has managed to attract more than 80,000 visitors since it started on Friday.