CM: Pakan town to be developed with funds from Petronas’ SST payment

Posted on : 23 Jul 2020  Source of News: The Borneo Post Online

Abang Johari signs a plaque to mark the opening of the second phase of Jalan Pakan-Ulu Julau-Ulu Kota. Also seen are Mawan (right) and Assistant Minister of Infrastructure and Ports Development Datuk Julaihi Narawi. – Picture by Conny Banji

PAKAN: Pakan’s township will undergo a major development during the 12th Malaysia Plan with funding from the payment of State Sales Tax (SST) owed by Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said today.

Officiating at the opening of the Pakan-Ulu Julau-Ulu Kota road here, the chief minister said he had instructed the Land and Survey Department to draw up a masterplan for the town’s expansion.

“We will restructure the town based on the new masterplan including expanding the township by building new shophouses, and residential and recreational areas up to 10km in radius.

“The cost is quite substantial but don’t worry, Petronas will pay the sales tax owed to the state government and we will use that for the development plan,” he said.

In May this year, Petronas had said it had agreed to settle the five per cent SST on petroleum projects, which amounts to about RM2 billion for the year 2019, after the state and the oil company agreed to withdraw their legal suits against each other.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari said Pakan could be the exporter of local vegetables such as ‘midin’ and ‘terung assam’ to Singapore where they are in high demand.

“I was informed by Mawan that there is a lot of ‘midin’ in Pakan. If packed nicely, we can sell at retail outlets in Singapore,” he said, referring to Pakan assemblyman Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom.

He said that Singapore has been depending on vegetables imported from Cameron Highlands in Pahang.

“But they said the vegetables contained chemicals. They want quality vegetables and I thought Pakan has what they want.

“I will inform Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah to provide allocation to help vegetable farmers in Julau and Pakan to realise our goal to make these areas as our food basket,” he said.

On the new road, he said the road construction would be carried out in three phases.

The first phase of the project, which was completed earlier, cost RM63 million and covered 13km, while the second phase of 15.4km cost RM122.5 million and was completed on Dec 3 last year.

“Under the third phase, Pakan is expected to be connected to Bukit Sadok Agropolitan Areas where the state government is building an air strip in Spaoh,” he said.

He said the road would open up more access to socio-economic opportunities especially in agriculture and agro-based activities.