Don’t politicise issues on BRS — Dr Jerip
Those settlers, who are residing at Kampung Mbuk Ayung and Kampung Sting, are supposed to come down and take possession of the houses together with three acres of land, which are given free by the Sarawak government at Bengoh Resettlement Scheme (BRS).
KUCHING: Non- governmental organisations ( NGOs) and political parties are urged not to politicise the lack of basic amenities at Kampung Mbuk Ayung and Kampung Sting in Ulu Padawan.
Assistant Minister of Transportation Datuk Dr Jerip Susil said many NGOs had gone over to the two villages and they had made a lot of unnecessary negative remarks.
Commenting on one of the remarks that these villages did not have any basic amenities like roads, electricity and water supply, he said they were not provided with these facilities because they were not supposed to be there in the first place.
“Those settlers, who are residing at Kampung Mbuk Ayung and Kampung Sting, are supposed to come down and take possession of the houses together with three acres of land, which are given free by the Sarawak government at Bengoh Resettlement Scheme ( BRS).
“The houses, which were built for them, are already there for them to take possession. These houses, if left unoccupied and not maintained, may deteriorate as time passes,” he told a press conference at Kampung Rejoi community hall in BRS here yesterday.
On top of that, the settlers would
Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, Assistant Minister of Transportation
be given a moving allowance of RM8,000 each family if they decide to come down to BRS, he added.
Dr Jerip, who is Mambong assemblyman, said instead of politicising the matter, the NGOs and political parties, particularly PKR and DAP, should work with the Sarawak government to encourage the residents of the two villages to move down to BRS.
Moving down to BRS, he added, would benefit the residents in the long term and also ensure that the water in Bengoh Reservoir Dam is not compromised in terms of quantity and quality.
He reminded that the Bengoh Reservoir Dam is very important because it supplies raw water to the whole of Kuching City; therefore must be well protected to ensure the level and quality of water is maintained.
Kampung Mbuk Ayung was established by some villagers from Kampung Taba Sait while Kampung Sting was established by some villagers from Kampung Rejoi and Kampung Pain Bojong.
Kampung Semban, Kampung Rejoi, Kampung Pain Bojong and Kampung Taba Sait were the four villages that were affected by the construction of Bengoh Reservoir Dam.
Some 150 families from the four villages had moved down to BRS while 47 had decided that they did not want to come down to BRS, but instead moved to a place called Mbuk Ayung and Sting.
Dr Jerip regretted that those staying in the two places seemed to have attracted the attention of some NGOs and political parties (not GPS).
He said some NGOs and leaders of political parties had expressed their concern openly on social media that the two villages were not supplied with clean water and electricity and did not have access road.
“I want to make it very clear that the families from these two newly established villages must now take possession of their properties over here at BRS.
“If they wish to move in, just inform us so that we can prepare everything for them. We will call the Resident to prepare their moving allowance and the various agencies concerned like Sesco and Kuching Water Board ( KWB) to help them to do the reconnection of electricity and water supply.
“They need to inform us for their own convenience and we are calling all the remaining 47 families in the two villages to come down,” he said.
On the last resort to bring these people down, he said he left the matter to KWB because that area is under its jurisdiction.
He believes KWB will probably consider that area as water catchment area, which needs to be protected.
“So we leave it to KWB on how they are going to implement their policies to protect the area to ensure the water quantity and quality is maintained,” he said.
Dr Jerip said there was no time frame given to the villagers to move in to BRS because doing so might cause more problems to the villagers and the government.
“We are giving them no time frame to reconsider moving down to take their possession, but we don’t want other NGOs and other political parties to come and instigate them and not help them to make the best decision for the long term benefits of their children and for the people at large,” he said.
Dr Jerip said the Sarawak government was also looking at and working out various options to resolve the NCR land issue above the reservoir.
Dr Jerip (seated second right) and officers from Public Works Department, KWB and Rural Water Supply Department as well as some residents of BRS.