New development policy to breathe new life into rural areas

JEMPOL: The new rural development policy outlined by the Negri Sembilan government aims to provide a new lease of life to rural areas in the state.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said through the new policy, the state government wanted to develop rural areas without compromising on their identity.

"We do not want to carry out development rashly ... whereby in the end, it will be like 'menang sorak, kampung tergadai' (winning the battle but losing the war), we do not want that to happen. We want to make the rural areas conducive to live in with the same accessibility and facilities enjoyed by city dwellers.

"In addition, efforts are also being made to develop rural areas, encompassing the provision of basic infrastructure, generating higher income through private sector engagement, economic activities, entrepreneurship and job creation," he told reporters after a working visit to the new Kok Foh-Kampung Sungai Kelai-Felda Palong road project in Rompin here, today.

Also present were Public Works Department director Datuk Abdul Karim Mohd Tahir; State Human Resources, Plantation and New Village Action Committee chairman Datuk L. Manickam; State Education and Health Action Committee chairman Datuk Shamshulkahar Mohd Deli and Jempol Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Senator Datuk Mohd Salim Sharif.

Mohamad said all rural development plans by the state government were part of its efforts to bridge the gap between urban and rural areas.

Commenting on the new road, he said it was part of the rural development policies outlined by the state government, namely to enhance infrastructure development to ensure better connectivity for the rural community.

"I am convinced that residents around Kok Foh, Kampung Sungai Kelai and Felda Palong are very happy because it gives them a new access road. The new Kok Foh-Kampung Sungai Kelai-Felda Palong route is the nearest alternative and connecting road to the towns of Bahau and Rompin.

"Travel distance will also be reduced, saving time for residents of Felda Palong 9, 10, 11, 12 and Kampung Sungai Kelai. The road starts from Kok Foh to Felda Palong 23 and 13, spanning 10km. This new road project is also a catalyst for development and will promote population and economic growth," he said.

He said the RM42.1 million road, which received allocation from the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development, began construction in January this year, and was expected to be completed by January 2020. — Bernama