News

Construction of Spaoh airport shows fulfilment of promises made, says Abang Johari
Posted on : 10 Apr 2021  Source of News: The Borneo Post
 

Abang Johari (middle) gestures as he greets those who welcome him at the event. Behind him is Uggah.

SPAOH (Apr 10): Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is glad that the construction of an airport for Spaoh will begin soon, saying that it marked the fulfilment of his promise to the folks here.

ADVERTISEMENT

Speaking at the ‘Janji Ditepati’ (Promise Fulfilled) event at the Spaoh Community Hall today, Abang Johari said the project was initially doubted by many people who questioned the need for such airport.

Based on the short take-off and landing airport (STOLport) concept, the project costing RM108.19 million will be built at a site in Bebuling near Spaoh and is expected to be ready within 30 months.

“A lot of people did not believe it. They were wondering, ‘Is Abang Jo really doing it?’. Today, I have fulfilled my promise to build the airport in Spaoh.

“This airport is important because it is is located in our food basket. Agriculture produce must be sent to the market as soonest as possible for them to remain fresh. These are not just for local market but also to be sold outside the country, we will use cargo plane to send the products to Singapore,” he said.

Citing ‘midin’ (a local edible fern) as example, he said it was now very popular in Singapore and could fetch prices of up to RM60 per kilogramme.

He also said the airport in Spaoh can also boost tourism as it will shorten travelling time to tourist attractions in the rural and interior areas.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I was formerly tourism minister, I once led a trip for tourists to Batang Ai on a four-hour bus ride. For the tourists, four hours is too long. With the airport, the tourists can take the journey from Betong to Batang Ai, which is about 40 minutes,” he added.

He also touched on another exciting project which he had promised the people of Spaoh, namely the Spaoh Iconic Bridge costing RM26.75 million.

He said the project was an upgrade on a previous proposal, to enable the folks here to have bigger bridge which would enable bigger vehicles to pass through while the unique design of the bridge would be a new landmark which will attract visitors to the Spaoh bazaar.

This bridge is also expected to take 30 months to complete.

Touching on promises, Abang Johari said he would never make empty promises and if he did promise anything he would eventually implement it.

Saying that it was a Muslim belief that those who tell lies would get their tongues cut out, he said not fulfilling a promise was equal to lying.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We Muslims believe in that, because if we don’t fulfil our promises, we are telling lies. So, I don’t want my tongue to be cut out.

“If I promise it, I will implement it because I have given my word,” he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said the chief minister had approved RM464.9 million worth of projects for Spaoh.

The Bukit Saban assemblyman revealed these projects also included two agroparks, agriculture packaging centre and the newly completed Spaoh sub-district office.

“On behalf of Bukit Saban and Spaoh, we want to say ‘terima kasih apai besai mayuh-mayuh’ (big thank you to the chief minister). He fulfilled his promises, and the promises are not ‘bula’ (lie),” he added.

He was also confident that the Bebuling airport is going to be a major landmark for all those in Spaoh.

On another matter, he requested Abang Johari to look into recognising land in Betong involved in the Jubilee Application Ticket during the British colonial time as native customary rights (NCR) land.

At the function, Abang Johari and the other guests witnessed the handing over of documents to the successful tender bidder for the Bebuling airport and Spaoh iconic bridge projects.

Abang Johari also declared open the newly completed Spaoh sub-district office and toured the Spaoh Riverfront projec during the visit here.

Also present were Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Betong MP Datuk Robert Lawson Chuat and local elected representatives.