$32m to light up village roads

Prime Minister Najib Razak launching the national Lamps For Village Roads Project at Kampung Pering, Kubang Pasu, in Kedah on Monday.
Prime Minister Najib Razak launching the national Lamps For Village Roads Project at Kampung Pering, Kubang Pasu, in Kedah on Monday.PHOTO: FOTOBERNAMA

JITRA (Kedah) • Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is bringing light to villages, spending RM100 million (S$32.4 million) on a Lamps For Village Roads Project.

"I want people in the villages, with the bright LED lamps installed, to ensure that at the next general election BN (Barisan Nasional) will also shine clearly," he joked at the launch on Monday, according to Sinar Harian newspaper.

The launch was held in Kubang Pasu in Kedah, once the stronghold constituency of former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

The project added to other government programmes to help Malaysians at the bottom of the economic pile. Other programmes include cash aid BR1M, the promise to build more low-cost and affordable housing, and scheme to help small entrepreneurs.

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Earlier this month, PM Najib announced that 4.2 million free decoders would be distributed to Malaysian homes to allow them to watch digital terrestrial television.

Under the new lighting project, the government will install 122,133 lamp posts in villages around the country.

The project is being undertaken by national power utility Tenaga Nasional, Bernama reported. The government has over the decades brought in lighting to remote villages, bringing along with it improved electrical infrastructure.

The launch of the national project in Tun Dr Mahathir's former stronghold was unlikely a coincidence, with the former premier now a leader in the opposition camp.

The opposition is hoping that Dr Mahathir and his son, former Kedah menteri besar Mukhriz Mahathir, would be able to wrest Kedah from BN at the polls, which must be held by August next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2017, with the headline '$32m to light up village roads'. Print Edition | Subscribe