SIBU (April 1): Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda) will prioritise all proposals gathered from three socio-economic labs organised for Upper Rajang Development Agency (URDA), Highland Development Agency (HDA) and Northern Region Development Agencies (NRDA).

Recoda chief executive officer Datu Ismawi Ismuni said this was for successful implementation of a five-year socio-economic development plan for each development agency from this year until 2026.

“In a nutshell, this is the reason why Recoda organised the labs, and also to align ourselves with the aspiration of the state government’s Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS 2030).

“If we look at the agenda of PCDS 2030, it is to increase the people’s level of income from RM4,000 to RM15,000 by 2030,” he told reporters at the end of URDA Socio-Economic Lab on Wednesday.

Similar lab was held in Miri on March 3 for HDA, followed by NRDA in Lawas on March 22.

Earlier, Ismawi said when the state government set up URDA and HDA in 2017 and NRDA in 2018, the areas under them were lacking in terms of infrastructure and amenities.

He said all or most of the RM1.5 billion allocated each to URDA, HDA and NRDA from the state government had been spent to develop infrastructure and amenities in the areas, as they were deemed important enablers.

Recoda has to provide these areas with good road connectivity in order to attract investment, he said.

“But that is not the end of the story. If we look at the concept of total development we also need to include the socio-economic aspect covering the livelihood and income level of the people.

“What is most important here is to create both business and job opportunities and also to increase the income level of the people.

“This is the reason why we organised these labs for the three development agencies,” he said.

Ismawi also explained that previous labs focused on infrastructure and amenities development in the three development agencies areas. This time (for the second labs) the agenda was socio-economic development.

“For the next lab, we will do some fine-tuning. Maybe it is too soon for me to say but do not forget that we also have other projects.

“In Recoda when we do mega projects, we always do a lab. For example, we organise a value assessment lab where we bring in the stakeholders who will tell us what is happening on the ground.

“That way we can adjust the scope of our projects, for example, what we should avoid and which area we can go into.

“This is the methodology we are embarking on in Recoda in line with international practices of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

Recoda is a statutory body set up in 2006 to oversee and manage Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

In addition to drawing investments and creating job opportunities for Sarawakians, Recoda is also entrusted by the state government since 2017 to implement development projects in the regions overseen by its three development agencies with funds totalling RM4.5 billion. – Source: The Borneo Post