PUTRAJAYA: The newly-minted Rural Development minister Rina Mohd Harun aims to narrow the gap between urban and rural areas.
Speaking to reporters at her office in Presint Four, Rina said she wants to ensure those living in rural areas get to enjoy same facilities as those living in urban areas.
“When we talk about rural areas, we always think about villages, Orang Asli, lack of facilities and internet connection.
“Therefore we aim to bridge the gap by providing facilities just like in urban areas.
“By doing so, those living in rural areas will find that there is no need for them to move to urban areas.
“We want them to feel that it is okay to live in rural areas as they also get to enjoy the same facilities just like in urban areas,” she said.
Rina said she also aimed to make the ministry beneficial to the people.
“We were elected by the people and now they are waiting for changes from the new government.
“We will try our best to serve them and meet their needs as well as to ensure they get to enjoy all the facilities.
“But at this stage, it is too early for me to talk about new policies or changes that we want to have as I was just given a briefing at the ministrial level.
“After this, I will have briefing sessions with 132 agencies under the ministry.
“I am giving myself a week for my own blue print for the ministry,” she said, adding that she was looking for feedback from the public too, to better improve the ministry.
When asked for her reaction on being named Rural Development minister, she said she herself was from the city,
“At first, I questioned it too. I am an MP for Titiwangsa and it seems like I am going to take care of the whole of Malaysia
“The prime minister (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) has put his trust in me to helm the ministry, I also must believe in myself.
“If other people trust you, then you should trust yourself too and prove to them that you can do it, ” she said cheerfully.
Meanwhile, when asked on moves to combat corruption, Rina said she will ensure that strict distribution, implementation and monitoring will be carried out on projects under the ministry.
“We want the people to enjoy all the facilities as announced.
“If we are able to curb corruption, we will get to save a lot and the people will get to benefit from it too.”
Earlier, at 9.20am Rina reported for her first day at the ministry. Upon arrival, she was greeted by the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Borhan Dolah, deputy secretary-general (development) Datuk Azizan Mohamad Sidin, deputy secretary-general (policy) Norison Ramli and senior officers at the lobby.
Rina was then taken to Level 29 for short briefing with the ministry’s officers.
Yesterday, Rina and 13 others were sworn in as the new cabinet lineup at Istana Negara, by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, at Istana Negara.