PUSA, Dec 11: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg renamed Sungai Rimbas Bridge to Tandang Sari Bridge while officiating the opening of the bridge here today.
He said he had read about the history of Saribas, an area made up by three rivers namely Batang Rimbas, Batang Paku and Batang Layar.
The history, according to him, showed that Saribas had played its part in contributing to the whole development of Sarawak.
“For that reason, I declare the name of this bridge as the Tandang Sari Bridge,” said Abang Johari when officiating at the opening of the bridge here.
He further relayed the story of how the bridge came about,
According to him, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was visiting Pusa to campaign for the state Barisan Nasional (BN) during 2011 state election.
Najib was expecting to meet the people of Pusa and he thought he would be traveling to Pusa by land transport.
However, he had to take a longboat instead.
While in the middle of the river, Najib proposed the building of a bridge over Batang Rimbas on the condition that BN managed to defend Beting Maro constituency.
Although Najib did not make it to Pusa due to time constraint, he kept his promise by ensuring that the bridge was built.
Abang Johari expressed his gratitude to Najib and the federal government for their concern in developing the coastal areas of Sarawak.
“In Sarawak, especially in the coastal areas, bridges are very important because there are many rivers along the coastal areas.
“The availability of bridges will ease the people in moving about as bridges will link them to land mass that is separated by rivers,” said Abang Johari, citing Batang Lupar, Batang Sadong, Batang Saribas and Batang Samarahan as examples.
He said because both state government and federal governments are from the same coalition, negotiations were possible for funds to be allocated to Sarawak to build basic infrastructure.
“Prior to this, we have successfully completed the Batang Sadong bridge which is the longest bridge in Malaysia and now, both state and federal governments are planning the building of the Batang Lupar Bridge which is a joint venture between the two governments,” he said.
He said the construction of the Batang Lupar Bridge was also an inspiration of Najib’s where the state and the federal governments will come up with RM500 million each to build the bridge.
Also present were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim, Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Coastal Road Assistant Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi. — DayakDaily