KAPIT (Oct 12): Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi was appointed chairman of Upper Rajang Development Agency (Urda) during its Board of Directors meeting here today, taking over from the late Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing.

At a press conference held after the meeting, the caretaker Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs and Kapit incumbent announced nine sub-committees had been set up under Urda to address the issues and challenges in order to accelerate the socio-economic development in the region.

He also announced the appointment of Deputy Minister of Utility and Telecommunication Datuk Liwan Lagang, who is Belaga assemblyman, as the deputy chairman of Urda.

He said the sub-committees, to be headed respectively by an elected representative in the region, are infrastructure and amenities; agriculture, livestock and fisheries; forestry and sustainability; tourism, arts and culture; industry and entrepreneur development; health and security; social and community development; native land development; and youth, education and technical training.

During the meeting, Nanta informed that six projects in the region had been completed while another 25 projects were currently in the implementation stage, and 11 projects were still in the planning stage.

Urda was set up in 2017 and was allocated RM1.5 billion by the Sarawak government to implement 42 infrastructure and socio-economic projects in the Upper Rajang Basin (Kanowit to Belaga).

Nanta also revealed that a socio-economic development plan (SEDP) had been completed by the Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda).

He explained with a bottom-up approach, they had identified opportunities for the people to participate actively in socio-economic activities to increase their income with greater private sector investment for economic growth within the Urda area.

He stressed that Urda would continue to focus on rural development projects and to incorporate more socio-economic programmes to improve the livelihood of the rural communities.

The board meeting was attended by Recoda CEO Datu Ismawi Ismuni, Urda director Joseph Belayong, Kapit Resident Nyurak Keti, Deputy Kapit Resident Galong Luang and all the newly-appointed chairmen of the sub-committees except for Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Native Customs and Law) Jefferson Jamit Unyat, who chairs the Community Development and Land Matters sub-committee. -Source: The Borneo Post