Developing infrastructure like bridges is key to boosting socio-economic development in Sarawak, said Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
He said the revival of the RM848 million Batang Lupar bridge project, which is fully funded by the Sarawak government, was a clear reflection of Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s leadership in putting the interests of Sarawak people first.
As a former Member of Parliament for Batang Lupar, he said that he would always have a soft spot for places like Triso, Sebuyau and Meludam, and was delighted to learn of the revival of the project.
“I believe this infrastructure project is what the folks not only in these coastal communities in Batang Lupar but also all the coastal regions of Sarawak want as this will accelerate progress and development,” he said in a statement today.
He said the mighty Batang Lupar river is not something one should take lightly because it is wide and choppy and dangerous with strong currents.
Travelling by boat across or along the river then, before ferry service was introduced, was indeed very challenging, said Wan Junaidi, who spent part of his early life in the area.
According to Wan Junaidi, when a school in Triso was closed in the late 1980s, many children in the area had to stop schooling as going to school was certainly a risky undertaking.
He said that over the years, ferry services had been launched to connect Meludam Peninsula with Sebuyau and Sebangan complex but many weaknesses remain.
“The bridge is the only good solution to the people’s woes and the chief minister has fulfilled the people’s dream,” he said.
The dream was close to being realised when the late Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem managed to convince the then Prime Minister Datuk Sri Najib Razak on the need to build the bridge, a crucial component for the development of Sarawak’s coastal region.
It was then agreed that the estimated cost of RM1 billion to build the bridge would be equally borne by the state and federal governments, but Pakatan Harapan withdrew from sharing the cost after taking over Putrajaya from Barisan Nasional in 2018.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency