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Thursday, 29 February 2024 8:19pm

High-Impact Development at Mukah District

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Between 2019 and 2021, Mukah District Office had undertaken a few initiatives to enhance its service delivery capabilities.

Among them were increasing the number of engagement programmes with local communities, and strengthening its information management system with the creation of a systematic development project bank and inventory, and visual-friendly (i.e. pictorial and infographic) profiles of Mukah District and villages and longhouses within it.

Menara Pehin Setia Raja in Mukah Town, where Mukah District Office is located. Photo from Borneo Talk

It had also undergone the MS ISO 9001:2015 exercise to improve its quality management system, specifically for the Management of Office Statutory Functions (Business Name Registration; Probate Registration; Adoption Registration; Shotgun Licence Management; Ammunition Purchase) and Management of Ketua Masyarakat dan Ketua Kaum (KMKK) as well as Jawatankuasa Kemajuan dan Keselamatan Kampung (JKKK).

Unique to the district office – and thus far the only district office in Sarawak to implement this – is the formation of the Other Religions Affairs Committee or Jawatankuasa Pengurusan Hal Ehwal Agama-Agama Lain (ORAC).

ORAC Mukah aims to bridge the communication gap between non-Muslim communities and the Sarawak Government. Photo from Foursquare

In a written response to RAKAN Sarawak, Mukah District Office says that the committee aims to assist the Unit of Other Religions (UNIFOR) of the Premier of Sarawak Department, and facilitate and connect Christian, Buddhist, Hindu and pagan communities with the Sarawak Government (Table 1).

Chaired by the Mukah district officer, permanent members of ORAC Mukah District are:

  • UNIFOR officer;    
  • Mukah Division unity officer;
  • Roman Catholic Parish Church Mukah chairperson;
  • Mukah Methodist Church chairperson;
  • Borneo Evangelical Mission (BEM) Church Sibu District Branch chairperson;
  • Mukah Full Gospel Church chairperson;
  • Mukah Buddhist Association chairperson;
  • Mukah Chinese Temple Trust Body chairperson;
  • Balingian Chinese Charity Board chairperson;
  • Baha’i chairperson;
  • Seven-Day Adventist (SDA) Mukah chairperson;
  • Mukah Baptist Church chairperson;
  • St Charles Church (R.C.) Selangau chairperson; and
  • Chairpersons of other religious bodies in Mukah District.

Committee meetings are conducted once every four months or three times annually, with its secretariat being Mukah District Office. The office’s Development Section handles project-related concerns, while the Social Section works on matters pertaining to programmes, activities and data.

ObjectiveTo be responsible in supporting UNIFOR in the management of assistance to other religionsTo protect the welfare of other religious institutions and promote harmony between religions in Mukah District
ScopeMonitoring, coordination and facilitation of projects funded by UNIFORCoordination of religious / spiritual programmes, events and celebrations
FunctionCoordinate and monitor the implementation of projects / allocations approved by UNIFORFacilitate project applicationEnsure programme coordination and collection of relevant information / dataPrepare reports pertaining to the implementation of projects / programmes funded by UNIFOR

Table 1: Objectives, scopes and functions of ORAC Mukah District. Source: Mukah District Office

High-Impact Development at Mukah District

On development projects that have been carried out in Mukah District, Mukah District Office noted, among others, how all Rural Transformation Projects (RTP) have had a “positive impact” on local communities.

Courtesy of Mukah District Office

One of the district’s most comprehensive and high-impact projects is the upgrading of dry and wet markets (incl. areas for cake vendors) under Projek Pembangunan dan Infrastruktur di Kawasan MDDM (Majlis Daerah Dalat & Mukah).

With the completion of the upgrading, “the hawker area is now organised, making it easier for shoppers to walk, and providing comfort to all visitors and sellers in the market,” comments the district office.

Courtesy of Mukah District Office
Courtesy of Mukah District Office

In terms of high-impact large-scale development, it cites the New Mukah Airport for having an immense effect on the growth of Mukah District.

Located about seven kilometres from Mukah town centre, the airport that has started operations since June 2021 is constructed to replace the small Mukah short take-off and landing airport (STOLport).

Aerial view of New Mukah Airport. Photo from Malaysia Airports’s Twitter page

It features various facilities such as a new terminal building, and a runway spanning 1,500m that can be utilised by an ATR aircraft.

“(The airport) has increased the number of (flight) passengers and boosted the number of visitors or tourists (entering Mukah), whether for work, business, education, travel and so on.

“This is turn has promoted the development of the tourism industry in Mukah, and simultaneous has improved the socio-economics of local communities as well as accelerate development in Mukah District,” states the district office.

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