The progress and the wellbeing of the people in Sabah and Sarawak continue to be a top priority for the Unity Government under the Malaysia MADANI Budget 2024 as a number of development projects are lined up for implementation.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim when tabling the national budget in the Dewan Rakyat today said this includes efforts to upgrade dilapidated buildings and facilities at 450 schools, comprising 185 projects in Sarawak and 155 in Sabah, with an allocation of RM930 million.

He said two new schools namely Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Baie, Bintulu in Sarawak and SMK Laya-Laya in Tuaran, Sabah, will be built next year, along with 24 other schools in Pahang, Perak, Kelantan, with an allocation of RM2.5 billion.

To strengthen access to healthcare facilities, Pulau Mantanani in Kota Belud, Sabah, will be one of five areas where new health clinics will be built next year, along with Rantau in Negeri Sembilan, Kuala Tahan in Jerantut, Pahang, and Kuala Jengal in Dungun, Terengganu.

“To address the issue of water supply, especially in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, the focus for next year is to repair and replace infrastructure and equipment at water treatment plants,” he said.

In order to ensure a good road network to facilitate the movement of people, boost economic activities, and support local businesses, the Prime Minister said major road infrastructure projects in both states will continue to be intensified.

He said the Pan Borneo Highway in Sarawak will be completed next year, while the tender process for 19 work packages for Phase 1b of the Pan Borneo Highway in Sabah, involving a stretch of 336 kilometres and costing RM15.7 billion, will be completed next month.

Apart from that, the implementation of Phase 2 of the Sarawak-Sabah Link Road (SSLR) project, covering over 320 kilometres and costing nearly RM74 billion, will begin by the end of this year and the government will also continue to subsidise air transportation with an allocation of RM209 million for the benefit of residents in rural and remote areas of Sabah and Sarawak.

Anwar said to enhance efficiency and control at international entry points, seven border posts will be built next year, including in Melikin and Pa'Daleh in Sarawak, as well as security posts in Sungai Desa Aji Kuning on Sebatik Island, Sabah.

“Preliminary construction work for two Integrated Immigration, Customs, Quarantine, and Security Complexes (ICQS) in Nabawan and Kalabakan, Sabah, will be carried out next year,” he said.

Also next year, 26 new preschool buildings under the Ministry of Education will be built involving an allocation of RM82 million, including at Sekolah Kebangsaan Abang Kadir Gedong in Simunjan, Sarawak.

An allocation of RM10 million has also been set aside to intensify cultural activities in Sabah and Sarawak.

“Thirty-three high-priority flood mitigation projects costing RM11.8 billion will also begin next year, including the one at Sungai Likas, Kota Kinabalu in Sabah and in Kuching, Sarawak.

“A total of RM80 million is also set aside for the preservation and restoration of heritage buildings and sites that have the potential to be recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), including Gua Niah in Sarawak, Lembah Bujang in Kedah, and Pantai Teluk Kemang in Negeri Sembilan,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency