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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Electricity to 90% of Rural Sarawak by 2010, Currently 66%, Says Minister. Plucking Figures Out Of The Air, Honourable Sir?

A recent news in Sarawak’s English daily quoted Public Utilities Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah as saying that at least 90% of Sarawak’s rural population will be provided with electricity supply by 2010, and currently 66% of the people statewide enjoy the benefit of electricity.

I beg your pardon, Honourable Sir. I just fail to see how you justify your figures. I have travelled the length and breadth of Sarawak and I have seen how communities living by the trunk road nearby the city and towns don’t even have electricity supply, let alone rural dwellers in the longhouses and villages.

Please examine carefully the pictures below.


You may be forgiven if you think these ‘structures’ belong to a third world country. You may also be forgiven if you think they are in the interior of Sarawak. But wait, these ‘houses’ are situated in a Malay kampong in the heart of Kuching! Are they fit for habitation? You bet. There is no electricity and there is no water supply. Just a communal water tap.

A stone’s throw away are the palatial mansions of Sarawak’s elite and top politicians.
I agree there is no abject poverty in Sarawak. After all, throw anything to the ground and it sprouts the next day. We are a blessed state. But, in this beautiful land of abundance, most of Sarawakians still live without the basic amenities of clean water, electricity and sanitation. I don’t know if that qualifies for poverty, as I am not an economist by profession.

December 2010 is just 18 months’ away. We will be watching your back, Honourable Sir. We hope you will live up to your promise and we just can’t wait to celebrate the day when 90% of Sarawak is electrified. After all we are going to have so many more dams and we will also be a supplier of energy to Brunei, Sabah, Philippines, Kalimantan Borneo and Semenanjung Malaysia.

Will we or, won’t we?

By: linasoo

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