No Mee Segera Recipe
Life seems tough as an administrator when politics comes knocking into town. Suddenly everything gets politicised - even the simple Instant Noodles are not spared. When you shake hands with someone in the town now, they will think you are asking them to vote for someone. I informed them that I am not campaigning or anything. Their response would be "Anang irau tuan, kami ukai penyakal. Maioh projik pemansang udah diberi perintah" (Translated: Do not worry, we are not the opposition. We acknowledge the development given by the Government). Okay, I told myself, that's a good sign as we do not want people to percieve that the presence of government officers to be interpreted as vote fishing. Government service or activities do not stop just because a By Election is around the corner. If that happens, that'll be a great joke. People still need to get medical treatment, the poor needs assistance and so on. Even the kind efforts of giving fuel rebates to the outboard engine owners were not spared. Some of them will never know that we had started the groundwork to help the people since last year when oil prices skyrocketed. This undermines our ongoing efforts in implementing the projects which people will percieve as 'Instant Mees', thanks to the the unfair labeling by certain quarters who are paranoid of any 'government related activities' that spring up. My guess is that they must be from outside town. Activities, functions, or Pestas or Fiestas are often held here and I often report them in my blog. To them Lubok Antu seems to be a dead town or cowbow town. Not only that - after the election these people will be making their way out of town after the election is over. I can say some of the faces I met - be it from any parties involved have never come to this part of our world. My hope is that during their next few weeks here, they will not raise some unecessary storm which can harm relationships amongst the simple minded longhouse folks. The fallouts (pecah rumah) between friends, relatives and families living in or within the vicinity of the longhouses will be felt by us when the outsiders leave. Harsh words let loose during the campaign period are uneccessary please.
Click for larger view of SALCRA and the junction to Lubok Antu - development creeping at the entrance to Lubok Antu
BN Recipe is the People's Choice
Anyway I noted that most of Lubok Antunians that I met at the Dewan Sukan Lubok Antu a few days including those in the Nanga Serubah Ili area were happy with the candidate. I went around to ask the people there randomly with Borneo Post's Mr. Churchill to gauge the people's mood. Its not exact science that i used when I sampled the people's thoughts but the general feeling I got from them was an all rounded support for BN.
Face to face with Penghulu Batu and almost 30 or more Tuai Rumahs at Serubah Ili (lost count due to the langkau tasting and wine tasting event at the back of the house earlier). My random discussion with them also indicate majority were pro BN.
Right Recipe: Party, Candidate & People Support
Development Recipe: No Mee Segera Here
Having done that I will now go into my the "deny any Mee Segeras exist" mode - just to share with anyone who cares to know, that our efforts to develop Sri Aman Division have never waived even when the late YB Datuk Dublin Unting was critically ill. The Ninth Malaysia Plan has seen several major projects being implemented in Sri Aman Division. I cannot imagine one calling these Mee Segeras even if including the Minor Rural Projects. YB Snowdon Lawan recently announced the planned construction of the RM19 million Pantu bridge and the upcoming Rural Electrification Supply project which he also announced is set to benefit those in Lachau, Pantu and Sungai Tenggan area of his constituency - and there's no By-Election there. So we can't call these Mee Segera. So now I feel its appropriate to share the major projects coming up in Sri Aman Division (including Lubok Antu) so that someone won't suddenly cough up some cerita dongeng on how these transformed into Mi Segera next time. One evident project estimated at RM11 million is the Custom, Immigration and Quarantime (CIQ) checkpoint which will link Lubok Antu to Badau, Kalimantan Indonesia. This will jumpstart the town as a tourist attraction and unleash the potentials of the border towns. Expected to complete in February or March 2010 this will help to jumpstart the tourism industry in the area.
JKR's artist impression of the Lubok Antu CIQ
JKR's artist impression from another angle
Latest photo of ongoing Lubok Antu CIQ in march 2009. It is almost 10% under way with land clearing activities before the construction materials are brought to the project site (click for larger picture of activities at site)
Artist's impression of Engkilili Sub District Office by JKRCompleted soon (by June 2009) - the Engkilili Sub District Office being fitted with roofing
Lubok Antu District Office artise's impression
On the left above (click enlargeable thumbnail) is the Lubok Antu DIstrict Office under construction and is due for completion by July 2009
Apart from that, two new offices (costing almost RM2 million each) - the Lubok Antu District office and the Engkilili District Office are currently being built and will be completed by June 2009. This allows for better service delivery and ensure that the welfare of the people are well taken care off. So one cannot harp that the present District Offices in Lubok Antu and Engkilili are of colonial era and the people themselves can see these buidlings which are not far from the old office. Not mee segera item i think.
Artist's impression of Lingga Sub District Office
The almost complete Lingga Sub District Office - expected completion is in June 2009
Artist's impression of the the Batang Lupar Riverine Park Phase I
Artist's impression of the Tidal Bore Observation Tower - Station
The Tidal Bore Observation Tower - September 2009 one can enjoy the scenic view of Batang Lupar river and the occassional benak waves (Click for larger view)
Proposed site of the Batang Lupar Riverine and Tidal Bore Observation Tower set to transform Sri Aman town
Research & Development in Stumbin - Bijat area (Seeds Production and Processing Centre) will take off soon as Sarawak prepares to be the next Rice Bowl of Malaysia
Artist's impression of the Stumbin Seeds Production and Processing Station
Stumbin - Bijat area: Site clearing is ongoing (click for larger view)
Sri Aman New Township - drawing plans by the consultants
Work on the Sri Aman new Township is underway (click for larger view) and construction is phased with the Phase I to be completed in 48 months.Minor Rural Projects - again I have to deduce that there is no Mee Segeras as claimed by certain quarters. The MRP projects list are always prepared a year ahead (submitted to the various District Office by the JKKK or Security and Development Committee of the village/longhouse, or list submitted by the YBs). From there onwards the District Office will prioritse the projects ensuring a fair distribution and the final list is sent to Kuala Lumpur for the consideration of the Federal Government (click above picture for some of the project detail views) and channeled through the State Development Office. The process is quite long winded that one can't consider this Mee Segera.Recipe for Success
Mee Segeras in the making? I think not as there are a lot of already completed projects that I have not mentioned here. So one can beat one's chest and say "I WANT CHANGE". Ooppsss... Lubok Antu's landscape is different than it was say 45 years ago and is set to change with the upcoming infrastructures in place. What Change does one want? The kind of change that suits some outsiders' need to capture Sarawak to form a new Government or those to suit some disillussioned soul's interest? Or should it be one that is in tandem with the other developments built around a solid vision of our abled and tested leaders. By the looks of it, Sri Aman Division is set to thrive and transform at a pace which is to be set by the people of Lubok Antu and Sri Aman themselves. The completion of the infrastructure projects will opens up new opportunities and ensure that the objectives of transforming the Division holistically are met - with the right attitude and the right recipe. The next challenging stage is that the people here are ready to "manage success". Without the capacity and capability to cope manage success all would come to a standstill. The supporting opportunities that comes with success will not benefit the folks here if they are unable to capitalise on it. The people of Lubok Antu for example, will have to venture into new areas of entrepreneurship skills and identify the business niches that can succeed. Or else these opportunities would be taken up by outsiders who are more innovative and aggressive. With its 95% Iban population for example, it can certainly be a showcase of what the Iban community's capability. It is certainly a challenge for planner like us. The policy makers need to work in harmony with the administrators and the people. Even if there are Mee Segeras, it won't work as there is a need to coordinate the plans at all levels be it the Federal Government, State Government, or community leaders and those under their charge in kampungs and longhouses. Too much Mee Segeras will be too fattening and I believe the people will know if its Mee Segera or not. So don't waste our breath on the Mee Segeras issue as we have a lot of work ahead of us.