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(File pix) The substantial amount of funds allocated by the government to develop rural areas in Sarawak and Sabah reflect the leadership’s commitment to ensuring that both states prosper said Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi (second, left). (pix by FRANK JULIAN MARTIN)

KUCHING: The substantial amount of funds allocated by the government to develop rural areas in Sarawak and Sabah reflect the leadership’s commitment to ensuring that both states prosper, Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi said today.

He pointed out that both East Malaysian states have been receiving the lion’s share of the national budget for rural development annually.

“For this year, the ministry received RM5.83 billion for rural development, out of which 50 per cent was allocated for Sarawak and Sabah.

“Such an amount is a manifestation of the government’s (desire) to improve the livelihood of rural folks in both states.

“Like other ministries, we also want to bridge the income gap between rural folks and people living in urban areas nationwide,” said Alexander when he concluded The National Transformation 2050 (TN50) community dialogue organised by the ministry here today.

More than 300 youth, mostly students from tertiary institutions in the state, attended the event, which was the third TN50 community dialogue event organised by the ministry after Kuala Lumpur and Kuala Terengganu.

Alexander, who is also the Kapit Member of Parliament, said a total of 21 ideas and suggestions were received during the day-long dialogue.

“There were some good suggestions, but there were some which fell short of the objective of the dialogue.

“Nevertheless, the government is addressing all of the issues affecting the people.

“We hope that the younger generation made (full) use of this dialogue (session to) voice their aspiration for the future of Sarawak and Malaysia,” he added.

The next TN50 community dialogue session organised by the ministry will be held in Sabah next month.

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