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Friday, December 18, 2009

Projects on housing, roads and basic amenities to benefit 10 million

United we stand: (Fourth from left) Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam, Datuk Seri Idris Jala, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu at the launching of the Goverment Transformation Programme (GTP) at the Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre yesterday.

The Government is trying to reach out to the 10 million poor people living in the rural areas by building more roads, providing low-cost housing, delivering clean water and electricity.

It plans to build roads totalling 7,000km-long at an estimated RM10.5bil, supply treated water to 360,000 houses, construct new and restore 50,000 houses as well as provide electricity supply to 140,000 houses.

“We will implement these projects within the next three years.

“The clean water supply would be enough to serve an equivalent to the whole of Kedah’s population while the electricity supply would be enough to serve the whole of Malacca’s population,” said Basic Rural Infrastructure Lab leader Mohamad Sabari Shakeran.

Mohamad Sabari said once the basic infrastructure of the rural areas had been addressed, social development and other matters would fall into place.

“Can we deliver? Yes, we can. We have conducted a survey to see if we have enough contractors, supply and machinery to deliver these projects, and we have enough capacity.

“Yes, there is also enough money but the prime minister will announce the allocation later,” he said.

Mohamad Sabari said the lab had also identified internal red tape as one of the factors which would delay the implementation of government projects.

“We have met up with the various agencies to shorten the process.

“For example, the process for road construction open tender takes 136 days.

“We have now shortened it to 71 days. This does not mean we are stopping here.

“We are still looking into ways to shorten the process further. But this is a start,” he said.

Rural Basic Infrastructure

> Over 7,000km of new and upgraded roads nationwide

> 1,500km of roads in Sabah and Sarawak

> Piped clean or treated water for 360,000 houses nationwide

> Increasing water supply to 80% in Sabah and Sarawak

> Electricity for over 140,000 houses nationwide

> Electricity coverage to 95% in Sabah and Sarawak

> Providing 50,000 new and restored houses to the poor and hardcore poor

By The Star

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