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Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani




Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani


Sarawak Tribune



Government to continue improving people’s living s
Oct 25, 2004 DEBAK -The Deputy Minister of Transport, Datuk Douglas UggahEmbas yesterday reassured the people, particularly those in rural areas,that the government would continue to draw up and implemented developmentprogrammes to uplift their standard of living.The development of oil palmand rubber plantations in various parts of the State were testimonies ofthe government’s commitment to upgrade the socio-economic status of ruralfolks, he said during a joint ceremony for the closing of an in-sitetraining on rubber tapping and handing over of a mini rubber estate tofive longhouses in the Ulu Rimbas near here, yesterday.

The 311-acre mini-estate was developed at a cost of RM1.9 million underthe supervision of the Department of Agriculture.Uggah, who is also theMember of Parliament for Betong, told the people that they had todiversify their agricultural undertakings to safeguard against thefluctuation in the prices of agricultural commodities such as pepper, palmoil and rubber.Broadening their agricultural base into rubber cultivationwas considered an appropriate move as rubber was envisaged to have thepotential to provide good returns to rubber tappers in the near future, hesaid.

He pointed out that the government had carried out extensive research todevelop new clones of rubber trees that could mature in a shorter periodand yield more latex while the new technique for tapping had already beenput to use.The shorter maturity period, in addition, allowed replantingwhile felled trees could be used as timber to produce high-qualityfurniture for export, he added.Uggah said the government, through theAgriculture Department, also encouraged women to be involved in tailing,handicraft-making and food processing as part of the cottage industry.Hereminded the people to remain united and not to allow politicaldevelopments and sentiments take the better to them and the community.

He said for the people to continue cooperating with the government was ofgreater importance in the efforts to improve their livelihood.AssistantDirector of Agriculture, Bumphrey Kuntoi also spoke at thefunction.Earlier, 68 participants of mini-estates attended a short courseon the new rubber tapping technique called “Low Intensity Tapping System”(LITS) conducted by the Agriculture Department.The longhouses involved areRh Michael Subat in Ulu Rimbas, Rh Wilfred Abu (Nanga Pek), Rh Achan(Nanga Tut), Rh Jampang (Karibau) and Rh Godwin Jawie (Nanga Bayor).Uggahlater handed over certificates to the headmen of the five longhouses.Amongthose present were a Political Secretary to the Chief Minister, RichardTawau Sidu, heads of government departments and community leaders.