Barisan Nasional will do well in the tenth state election expected anytime between now and June 2011.

Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd. Shafie Apdal (pic) said he was confident of this based on feelings on the ground, particularly in the rural areas.

“What I have gathered from the many places I visited is that the people would still give BN their full support.

“But of course we cannot afford to be complacent. We need to continue to work hard,” he told a news conference after a meet-the-people session at the SK Kampung Bungan Besar school hall in Batang Igan, about two hours by speedboat from here, today.

He was invited to visit the area in the Bawang Asan state constituency by its assemblyman Datuk Sri Wong Soon Koh, who is also state Minister of Environment and Public Health.

Shafie has been a regular visitor to Sarawak, especially its rural areas.

Tomorrow, he will continue his three-day visit, including to a longhouse, Rh.Melintang in Sungai Gat, Upper Balleh area in Kapit before flying back to Kuala Lumpur.

In the May 2006 state election, BN captured 63 of the 71 seats contested. The DAP won five seats, PKR one and independents, two seats.

Shafie said the government under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was committed to developing the state’s rural areas.

“He has approved an unprecedented amount of RM3.4 billion to build more roads, houses and public amenities under the NKRA (National Key Result Area) within the next three years.

“The implementation is not going to be easy but we have identified the steps to ensure it can be done successfully,” he said.

On the proposed Sibu-Kapit Road, he gave the assurance that the project, costing over RM100 million, would begin this year.

“The amount was approved by the prime minister under the 2009 Budget. This is not going to be under the NKRA,” he said. — Bernama