MIRI (May 10): Limbang and Lawas districts will be connected to the state grid by 2024, which will be a vital cog in the economic development in the northern region of Sarawak, said Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

With road and telecommunication connectivity infrastructure development already underway, both districts will be well-linked to Brunei, Sabah and Kalimantan where the new Indonesian capital will be relocated.

“Ba Kelalan in Lawas and Belaga are the nearest to the upcoming new Indonesian capital and we have already started with the coastal highway project linking it to Brunei which will be integrated with the Sabah-Sarawak Link Road,” he said.

The state is planning to have joint border development with Indonesia in Lawas in the north and Entikong in southern Sarawak to meet the future needs and boost economic development in these border areas.

The Northern Regional Development Agency (NRDA), which Awang Tengah chairs, was set up by Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg to help accelerate the infrastructure and economic development of northern Sarawak.

The deputy premier said this when gracing the Hari Raya Aidilfitri reception of Anak Jati Lawas Association in Miri on Tuesday.

Awang Tengah, who is also Minister of International Trade and Investment and Second Minister of Natural Resources and Urban Development, said the state government was keen on the joint border development in Ba Kelalan in Lawas that would be linked to Long Midang in the Indonesian side.

NRDA has taken a holistic approach in physical and economic development with inputs from government officials and the community from the onset but the overall blueprint will take time for it to pan out.

There is already unprecedented infrastructure development rollout in both districts and the deputy premier called for it to be complemented by collective efforts of associations, NGOs and community leaders to contribute to the wellbeing of the respective communities.

He commended Anak Jati Lawas Association in Miri for playing a commendable role with its outreach efforts to help those from Lawas needing assistance in seeking medical treatment, education, times of bereavement and other endeavours in the city.

“There are those without relatives in the city who don’t know how to go about or who to see when it comes to furthering education, treatment for their illness or others which Lawas people in Miri who are already familiar with can help out,” he said.

On the Raya celebration, he said it is a manifestation of prevailing unity and harmony in the state and this should continue to be upheld for future generations.

Earlier, chairman Basar Nasib called on those from Lawas to register as members to assist fellow Lawasians through the association which has been handling many welfare activities for the community.

Awang Tengah later presented incentives to 25 outstanding children of Lawas families in Miri.

Among others present at the function were Deputy Minister of Women, Childhood and Community Development Datuk Rosey Yunus, Deputy Minister of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development Dr Ripin Lamat, Deputy Miri mayor Ariffin Mohamad and PBB executive secretary Datuk Awang Bujang Awang Antek. -Source: The Borneo Post