Better road infra: Premier celebrates Sarawak’s progress as Sarawak Merdeka Convoy arrives in Bintulu

Abang Johari cutting a ribbon as symbolic to launching the Sarawak 60 Years Independence Digital Exhibition at Naim Street Mall, Bintulu on June 10, 2023. Also seen are Abdul Karim (right) and Tiong (second right). Photo credit: Ukas

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, June 10: The reduction in travel time from Miri to Bintulu due to improvement in road infrastructure stands as a testament to the significant transformation and progress that Sarawak has achieved.

Premier of Srawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg highlighted this to the press as the Sarawak Merdeka Convoy arrived safely at Naim Street Mall in Paragon, Bintulu at 3.15pm, completing a 168.3-kilometre road trip.

“We cannot deny that Sarawak has changed significantly. In the 80s, a journey from Bekenu to Miri on gravel roads took more than two hours. However today, if I did not make a pitstop at Bungai (Beach in Subis), I could have reached Bintulu in a little over one hour.

“This is evident of the development and progress Sarawak has experienced,” he expressed with pride.

Abang Johari further highlighted the various signs of growth observed along the road trip, including the presence of agriculture plantations and heavy industries in Samalaju.

Abang Johari (third right) signing a plaque upon arrival at Naim Street Mall, Bintulu on June 10, 2023. Photo credit: Ukas

As he personally witnessed the positive changes taking place, he also experienced the harmonious coexistence among the people of Sarawak.

He praised the unity displayed by Sarawakians, especially with local residents and students came out in drove, lined the streets in many parts of the towns, to welcome and give support to the Sarawak Merdeka convoy.

The Sarawak Merdeka Convoy, led by Abang Johari, involved nearly 100 vehicles and over 140 motorcycles. The journey commenced from Miri Indoor Stadium this morning after a ceremonial flag-off.

The convoy made its first pitstop at Bungai Beach in Subis at 10.41am, during which Abang Johari also announced a grant of RM10,000 for the Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) of SMK Bekenu in recognising their outstanding achievements in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination for 2022.

Continuing their journey, the convoy group arrived at Kampung Nyalau, Bintulu at 1.10pm, where Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development Dato Majang Renggi warmly welcomed their arrival with drumming and a bermukun performance.

Departing from Kampung Nyalau at approximately 1.50pm, the convoy continued its journey to Naim Street Mall, the final destination.

Abang Johari, riding his three-wheel high-powered motorcycle arrives at Kampung Nyalau,Bintulu on June 10, 2023.
Abang Johari accompanied by Majang visiting a market at Kampung Nyalau, Bintulu. Photo credit: Ukas

Abang Johari’s presence throughout the road trip and the warm reception from the people of Sarawak reaffirm the spirit of unity and progress within the region.

The Sarawak Merdeka Convoy’s safe arrival at Naim Street Mall marks an important moment in celebrating Sarawak’s journey towards greater development and prosperity.

Hundreds of people have gathered at the Street Mall where several exciting activities are being organised including the Sarawak 60 Years Digital Exhibition, e-sports tournament and a bazaar featuring 50 booths.

Minister of Youth, Sport and Entrepreneur Development Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Sarawak Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki, Federal Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Dato Sri Tiong King Sing, Federal Deputy Minister of Health Lukanisman Awang Sauni, and Deputy Minister of Education and Innovation Datuk Dr Annuar Rapaee were among those present. — DayakDaily