Kuala Kemena Bridge, affordable housing to upgrade Bintulu

Abang Johari (black face mask) being briefed by an officer on the Kuala Kemena Bridge project.

By D’Drift Team

BINTULU, July 2: The state government has identified a few sectors for development to support and boost economic activities here.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg elaborated that the development plans to upgrade Bintulu will focus on Jepak.

“I also visited the Kuala Kemena Bridge construction site (in Jepak) where I was briefed that the progress is going well and hopefully it will be completed in 2023 as scheduled.

“This means that the distance from Bintulu to the airport will be shortened to 6km as now we are going around,” he told a press conference during a visit to the methanol plant project site in Tanjung Kidurong here today.

Abang Johari and his entourage inspecting the Kuala Kemena Bridge project site.

Earlier, Abang Johari attended the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) Board of Directors meeting at a hotel here.

“At the meeting, we also discussed about developing new villages and commercial areas in Jepak.

“Thirdly, we discussed about developing affordable houses. Previously, we have developed such housing on a 30-acre land in the area,” he said.

Abang Johari pointed out that the plan for affordable houses in Jepak, for which a site has been identified, will be similar to that developed in Kuching and Sibu.

“The house is built on an ideal land size of 10 points and priced between RM90,000 to RM100,000.

“This will enable the people in Bintulu, and especially when the methanol plant is set up, to buy a much more affordable house which won’t carry a price tag of RM600,000,” he added.

He emphasised that the Sarawak government will bear the infrastructure development cost such as roads, drainage and foundation in order to keep house price affordable.

“The actual market price of building the houses will be at least RM300,000.

“This is because one third of the cost to build a house is because of the infrastructure of the land. If the infrastructure price is absorbed and land premium reduced, then it will be affordable,” he explained.

Infrastructure for the housing project, he continued, will be developed concurrently with the Kemena Bridge project.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari said this will also enable people living in squatter areas to relocate to the affordable housing area.

“If the houses are too expensive, the squatters won’t move because they can’t afford to buy if the price is up to RM400,000.

“This is a new approach for us to help these groups of people by designing a zone for them,” he added.

Abang Johari gave assurance that the state government will definitely improve Bintulu town including addressing its flooding problem for which allocations will be given, and that the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) will clean up the blockage.

Abang Johari (second right) witnessing Haidar (left) handing over the tithe mock cheque to Mohd Nailie.

At the meeting, he also witnessed BDA deputy chairman Haidar Khan Asghar Khan handed over a mock cheque for tithes amounting to RM1 million to Tabung Baitumal Sarawak which was received by general manager Datu Abg Mohd Nailie. — DayakDaily