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PH government still needs to pay its share of bridge project
Posted on : 09 Nov 2018  Source of News: The Borneo Post Online

PH government still needs to pay its share of bridge project

 November 9, 2018, Friday

Julaihi (left) going through his documents for the question and answer session of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting with an officer at the lobby of DUN Complex yesterday.

KUCHING: The Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government will have to shoulder RM400 million of the RM1 billion as the cost of the Batang Lupar bridge project if it faces budget constraints, with the remainder borne by the Sarawak government.

Assistant Minister of Coastal Road Datuk Julaihi Narawi said the project to build the 5.1km bridge would have to be carried out as the pulse of communication links on the coast of Sarawak.

Under the agreement with the previous BN federal government, the cost of construction is jointly borne on a 50-50 basis between the state and federal governments.

However, the construction of the project was postponed after the federal government was taken over by Pakatan Harapan.

In this regard, Julaihi urged Works Minister Baru Bian, who is also Ba Kelalan assemblyman, to convince the PH leaders in Putrajaya that the federal government has to refund RM400 million to the Sarawak government under the 12th Malaysia Plan (RMK12).

In a meeting with Baru, Julaihi said Baru was positive and agreed to submit the state government’s application to Putrajaya for consideration in the RMK12.

“We want to convince PH leaders that we want RM400 million to be refunded in RMK12 if the federal government does not have any financial resources, and we can continue to build the bridge under RMK11 (11th Malaysia Plan),” he told reporters at the State Lesgilative Assembly building yesterday.

Julaihi said the state government will bear the additional cost of construction to make the bridge an iconic and new tourism product for Sarawak.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, in tabling the state budget, had announced to take over and resume the project.

“This proves that the Sarawak government has taken into consideration the interests of the rural and coastal people. This is also because the Batang Lupar bridge is one of the most strategic bridges in the coastal area of Sarawak. We need to build this bridge as it is strategic,” he explained.

Julaihi said the RM1-billion project involves the construction of the road from Sebuyau and Triso, each at a length of 5.7km.

“With the infrastructure, we will be able to bring more development to the rural areas. We do not want any parties who want to sabotage bridges and roads projects in the rural and coastal areas. It is the pulse of development for rural areas.

“The connection of rural areas remains the state government’s utmost importance,” he added.

Regarding the Batang Saribas bridge project estimated to cost RM495 million and Sungai Krian at RM174 million, he said both were planned to be built in the first quarter of next year while the Marudi bridge project will also commence in the first quarter of next year at a cost of RM90 million.  He also said the RM67.1-million Long Lama bridge will be completed on March 31 and open to the public in April next year.

He disclosed that the bridge projects are fully funded by the state government.