BARIO, April 14 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today visited the Bario highland in the north-eastern part of Sarawak to mingle with the Kelabit community living in a settlement 1,100 metres above sea level.
Upon arriving by helicopter from Marudi, the Prime Minister was given a traditional Kelabit welcome at the gathering of the people with the leader at the Bario Community Hall.
Najib also went on a walkabout to visit the Bario new clinic and also a rural internet centre using a satelite network.
Kelabit is one of the smallest ethnic groups in Sarawak with approximately 5,000 people.
It takes one hour by air from Miri to Bario on a MAS Twin Otter 19-seater aircraft.
The Prime Minister announced an allocation of RM40 million to build a 30km road from the Ba’Kelalan settlement to Bario under the “Noble Soul” programme of the Defence Ministry.
Najib also approved an allocation of RM6 million to build four Bailey bridges at gabs in the road in the highland area now accessible only by light aircraft.
A road from Lawas to Ba’Kelalan is being built at a cost of RM60 to serve the highland residents.
Najib said that 100 houses of Bario residents would be repaired under a programme of the 1Malaysia Development Board which would also finance the building of village roads in the area.
Also present were Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala, and Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
Source : Bernama