CM: Macro Approach Is The Way

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg aspires to bring about social reform for Sarawak through macro approach.

According to him, such move would comprise all components of society including families, the environment, infrastructure and participation of the community.

I want to have social reform by means of macro approach � from accommodation to connectivity, recreation to interaction. The community must not be segregated, he said when launching the Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Ministry’s Open Day at Kuching Waterfront yesterday.

Abang Johari said he was adamant in implementing the proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT) system in the state, naming it ‘a top priority to have social reform in Sarawak’.

LRT, to me, is very important. Our people need a friendly public transport, (one) to be mobile.

Through LRT, we would go for transit-oriented development.

The chief minister said the LRT system would be implemented outside the city where the cost of the land would be lower than those in the city areas, adding that the state government would then build affordable houses along the LRT track.

When the cost of land is lower, we can build houses at a lower cost which the people can afford. And there will be connectivity between the new developed areas and the city, he pointed out.

Abang Johari said the proposed affordable housing areas would be located within a 30-minute ride to and from the city.

He observed that some advanced countries faced such a problem, where many a family have no choice but to live in a place measuring between 400 and 600 square feet � not spacious enough for a family; one where the children might not be able to study well.

This is a problem in advanced countries. But our strength is our land � we still got land up to Bau, Serian and Lundu, and we can build houses on this land.

Therefore, I’d prefer to build a public transport (LRT) on which people can travel between Kuching and (other) places. This is why I am willing to spend money on LRT � I don’t care.

Tourists can use this public transport too and will not feel cheated. With LRT, the fares are fixed. Furthermore, we will use hydrogen to power our trains. This is a new technology, we are not ‘paloi’ (stupid), he said.

Earlier in his speech, Abang Johari stressed that a society must have happy families to continue enjoying peace and harmony.

He said if families, the basic units of any society, were not happy, more time and energy would have to be channelled to solve such the issue of unhappiness.

When you solve unhappiness, the process is long and will be costly. So we need to intervene and put in place a proper ecosystem so that there is a common platform for the people to move forward.

At the launch, Petronas Sarawak Regional Office general manager Shamsur Taha also handed over RM2 million to the state government, meant for 224 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to run their voluntary work.

Abang Johari and his wife Datin Patinggi Dato’ Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang attended the event yesterday where Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah; Assistant Minister of Community Well Being Datuk Francis Harden Hollis; and Assistant Minister of Women, Family and Childhood Development Rosey Yunus were also present.

Source: The Borneo Post