Balingian is a low-profile town in Mukah, seems has no potential at the early years but suddenly turn itself to one of an important growing town for Mukah. Located about 60 km from Mukah Town, the town is slowly transform itself from agro products on oil palm plantation to an energy town for Mukah Division.
I was in Balingian for the first time in early millennium, witnessing this isolated cowboy town and of course my first impression is that: it is a hopeless sleeping town, where nothing seems to offer. I still remember, driving on the wavy road surrounded by oil palms and crossing the Batang Balingian by private wooden ferry for RM10.00 per vehicles plus another RM1.00 for every passengers. The worst is that, we have to cross without insurance cover and we have no other choice to choose.
By declaration of Mukah as a new division, Balingian has develop tremendously. First by upgrading the coastal road which link it to its mother town, Mukah and other major towns in Sarawak. Than slowly, other basic infrastructure, water supply and electricity where the long-waited dreams of longhouses and kampongs along Mukah-Balingian Road comes true. All of this happen in less than 10 years, and definitely have upgrade the lifestyle of the locals.
Other major projects in Balingian are Mukah Coal Plant, located about 30 km from Balingian Town. This of course produce huge impact and sacrifice on the natural resources along Matading-Selangau Road which is estimate to be supplied coal for the plant for about 40 years. Ohhh... I will be too old when the time comes!
The plant not only supply the electricity demands for Mukah Town but also the other nearby towns in central region of Sarawak. So the Mukah folks now has enjoy the excellent runs of electricity. I am among of them of course, while before we have to suffer the blackout or run off supply due to extra demands for the energy.
By introducing of Sarawak Corridor of Renewal Energy (SCORE), Balingian already in front line of developments. The latest is the development of aluminium factory, about 25 km form the towns. The factory buildings reported had been completed and will be ready for operation.
This few years, there are rumors that Balingian has potential to be second (or maybe first) after Bintulu as his potential on petrol and gas industries. I don't have the official references to support this rumors. However, if it is really true, than Balingian will be the younger Energy City for Sarawak.
Whatever developments bring by the government, hope that it will benefit the locals. More job vacancies, basic infrastructures, and upgrading of the hospital and schools. The other impact, of course I believe has been think deeply by the government are the pollution. However, I believe that anything that we produce will have the side impact.