Bukit Mabong airport among projects facing delays in Kapit due to logistical problems

Abang Johari (front left) being welcomed by Nanta (right) as he arrived in Kapit today (Feb 1, 2023). Also see are Julaihi (back left) and Dr Sim (in yellow shirt). Photo credit: Alexander Nanta Linggi Facebook page

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Feb 1: The Bukit Mabong airport is among several infrastructure projects in Kapit facing delays due logistical constraints with contractors having difficulties in transporting construction materials and equipment by road to sites.

Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, in disclosing this, said logistic challenges remained the biggest problem that has affected the progress of some of the infrastructure projects implemented by Upper Rajang Development Agency (Urda), especially in areas outside of Kapit town.


“Urda has carried out and implemented several infrastructure projects like roads connecting areas in Kapit, Baleh as well as Bukit Mabong. The projects are progressing well but there are challenges faced.

“While Kapit town itself is seeing rapid development, areas outside of Kapit will require more time due to logistics problems,” he told a press conference after chairing the State Development Coordination Committee meeting at the State Government Complex in Kapit today.

Despite the logistical problems, Abang Johari gave assurance that projects including the Bukit Mabong airport will continue to be implemented, except they will be expecting delays instead of meeting the project completion targets.

“We will look for alternatives (to resolve the logistics problem) such as by using waterways for transportation of construction materials. Most contractors will opt for roads and could have forgotten that they can transport using our rivers. It could be cheaper to use a barge which can load a bigger volume to deliver the materials,” he said.

While he did not name the other projects affected, Abang Johari added that a reevaluation of the projects’ implementation will be carried out under the mid-term review of the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

“We have invested some RM400 million over three years but there are additional development funds due to the project delays,” he said.

Apart from logistical problems, he revealed that other obstacles causing project delays involved land matters where there were landowners who disagreed with the projects to be implemented.

“Although initially they had wanted the project, but due to certain issues which can be resolved, as such the implementation of the project will be delayed,” he explained of the issues raised during the meeting which was also attended by State cabinet ministers.

Touching on the rapid development taking place in Kapit town which has caused traffic jams, the Premier pointed out that an extension plan for Kapit town will be carried out.

As the masterplan for the extension development is already in place, he said the components of the project included a commercial area, housing schemes and roads that would connect the back of Kapit town to the new Kapit town and be linked to the main road heading to Sibu.

Deputy Premiers Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian; Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah; Utility and Telecommunication Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi; Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom; Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah; amd Federal Works Minister who is Kapit MP Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi were among those present. — DayakDaily