• The Rural Development Ministry has applied for an allocation of RM50 million under Budget 2023 to instal more than 19,000 units of lights for residents of rural areas nationwide.

KOTA KINABALU (Sept 20): The Village Street Light (LJK) programme should be continued under Budget 2023 to improve the quality of life of people in rural areas, said Rural Development Ministry secretary general, Datuk Ramlan Harun.

He said, to realise that goal, the Rural Development Ministry has applied for an allocation of RM50 million under Budget 2023 to instal more than 19,000 units of lights for residents of rural areas nationwide.

"This year there is no provision [for the LJK programme], and we have applied in Budget 2023 to continue this programme. If approved, we will continue this project nationwide starting next year, and [more than 19,000 units] will be distributed according to the needs of the states.

"If you look at the individual scale of this LJK project, it looks small, but it has a big impact on the rural population because it can brighten up the village, especially the area that is the focus, and the villagers can carry out activities more safely," he said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Earlier, he officiated the handover of the LJK programme for 2019/2022 Phase 10, and the rural electricity supply initiative of the village restructuring programme of Kampung Balat and Kampung Litang.

Also present were Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd chief executive officer, Mohd Yaakob Jaafar, and Rural Development Ministry deputy secretary general (development), Mas Rizal Mohd Hilmi.

Ramlan said that for Sabah and Labuan, a total of 49,856 units of village street lights have been installed in rural areas, involving 45,051 units of high pressure sodium vapour (HPSV) lights and 4,805 units of light emitting diode (LED) lights.

He said, out of that amount, 4,000 units of HPSV lights and 1,000 units of LED lights were installed under the LJK programme for 2019/2022 Phase 10 from Jan 7, 2020, to Dec 8, 2021 involving a cost of RM5.96 million, with the liability period until Dec 9, 2023.

He added that RM2.3 million was allocated under the rural electricity supply initiative to resume the abandoned diesel power station project, meant for the village restructuring programme of Kampung Balat and Kampung Litang in Kinabatangan.

"A total of RM 8.26 million [has been allocated] for village street lights and rural electricity supply, [to be] implemented simultaneously to benefit 1.24 million residents," he said.

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