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LUNDU, August 4: The Batang Kayan Bridge (or Kampung Selampit Bridge) may be a contributing factor to former Mas Gading MP Datuk Anthony Nogeh Gumbek’s downfall in GE14.
According to kampung village chief Giton Jenai, the bridge was promised in 2015 by then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during an official function at Kampung Stenggang, with an allocation of RM10 million.
Additionally, the state Public Works Department director had visited the area last year and told them that an additional RM20 million would be needed for the construction of the bridge.
“Since then, we have been waiting and hoping that the government can fulfill its promise as soon as possible. But until now, we see nothing happened,” Giton said in his native Bidayuh dialect when interviewed at Kpg Selampit today.
Besides Kampung Selampit, five other villages, namely Kampung Sedaing, Kampung Pasir, Kampung Bukit Batu, Kampung Kenda-ie and Kampung Pasir Hilir with an estimated population total of 5,000 people were also hoping for the bridge to be built.
Giton reiterated that it was crucial for the government to build the Kampung Selampit Bridge as the people would need it for emergency cases.
“And what if there is an emergency case such as a woman giving birth or other emergency case? How are we going to cross the river when the boat ferry does not operate?” said Giton.
At the moment, Sungai Kayan separates Kampung Selampit and five other villages from Bau-Lundu Road.
A ferry is operating daily from 6am till 10 pm and charges 30 sen for each passenger and RM1.00 for motorcycles.
Apart from the emergency factor, there was also an economic factor that needed to be addressed such as the villagers needing the area to be connected so that they can send their oil palm fresh fruit bunches to the nearest factory which is located along the Bau-Lundu Road.
“Now oil palm is being cultivated everywhere and we need to transport the fresh fruit bunches to the nearest factory which is along the Bau-Lundu Road.
“Presently, we have to use the plantation road which will take more than an hour to reach Lundu. And although the distance is only 22 km, it will take us so long to reach Biawak, then from there to turn back to Lundu Town,” he said.
Giton also hoped that the new Mas Gading MP Mordi Bimol would help in bringing about the implementation of the bridge.
Mordi had recently brought up the matter in the just concluded Parliamentary sitting. — DayakDaily