Sabah gets RM1.1 bil in federal funds for rural development

Rural Development Minister Rina Harun presenting a certificate to one of the participants at the programme.

KOTA KINABALU: More than half of the federal rural development ministry’s allocation this year will be spent on Sabah and Sarawak, its minister Rina Harun said today.

Speaking to reporters after attending an interaction programme with the Village Community Management Councils (MPKK) of Sabah and Labuan here today, Rina said the ministry had allocated RM1.125 billion for Sabah alone, an increase of 40% compared with the previous year.

“Up to July this year, we have carried out 101 rural road projects and 64 social amenity programmes worth more than RM30 million and estate roads worth RM2.5 million.”

She said the ministry continued to receive applications for rural development projects.

“This shows the rural communities are in dire need of infrastructure, particularly roads and social amenities. These projects, although small, actually give a huge impact to our people who live in the rural areas,” she said.

Other than these, Rina said, the ministry was ready to receive grant applications from villages worth RM10,000 each.

However, she said, so far the ministry had only received 12 applications.

However, she is confident that after the induction courses for the MPKK, more applications will be forthcoming.

She said Sabah had been allocated RM3 million for these grants, but added that she’d provide more funds if required.

The two-day induction programme organised by the rural development ministry was attended by more than 800 participants from eight districts in Sabah’s west coast, including Labuan.

It is the first in a series of three induction programmes to be held in Sabah to expose and instruct newly-appointed MPKK chairmen and secretaries.