|KUCHING (Jan 26): Serian MP Dato Sri Richard Riot Jaem is hopeful the Tebedu Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) Complex will get substantial amount from the additional RM1 billion allocation from the federal government to upgrade border infrastructure.
Riot, who has brought up the Tebedu ICQS issue several times in the Parliament, said he was thankful to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for approving such additional allocation to improve security and increase the capability of the ICQS complexes at Sarawak and Sabah borders.
“I welcome and would like to say million thanks to our 10th Prime Minister for announcing the additional RM1 billion allocation. Hopefully, this will include the ICQS in Tebedu, a subject I brought up in Parliament several times. We also need to upgrade the present Serian-Tebedu road into a four-lane carriageway,” he said when contacted yesterday.
Riot had prior to this asked for more funds to upgrade Tebedu ICQS to be on par with the impressive and modern facilities across the border in Entikong, Indonesia because the RM100 million approved by the previous federal government was ‘too little’.
On a related matter, Riot also expressed gratitude to Anwar for announcing that the federal government had agreed to increase the special grant to Sarawak as provided for in Article 112D of the Federal Constitution to RM300 million.
He said this represented an increase from the RM16 million received prior to this.
“Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim did all these in less than 100 days in office as Prime Minister. I am confident he will do more for Sarawak and Sabah including the rights under Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“Sarawak is close to his heart,” added Riot, who is eight-term Serian MP.
Anwar had made the announcements on the additional allocation for upgrading of border infrastructure and increase of special grant to Sarawak at a press conference in Kuching after chairing the MA63 Implementation Action Council meeting on Jan 20.
Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, was quoted as saying the Ministry of Finance has given preliminary approval for an additional allocation of RM1 billion to commence upgrading and increase the capability of ICQS complexes.
He had said the approval was given following his recent discussion with Indonesian President Joko Widodo regarding the relocation of Indonesia’s capital to Nusantara, Kalimantan, which shares a border with Sarawak and Sabah.
He was quoted to have said the allocation is for basic border infrastructure such as roads, as “we don’t want to be seen as too obsolete”.
Anwar had also said the RM300 million amount agreed as special grant to Sarawak as provided for in Article 112D of the Federal Constitution was only for the initial stage before a specific formula is announced by the federal and Sarawak governments.
| The Borneo Post