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KUCHING, Sept 1: The road from Sibu to Kapit has been a gamechanger for the riverine town after five decades of waiting, according to Work Minister Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi.
Nanta stated that since its completion four years ago, Kapit town has become accessible to motorists and visitors from all parts of Sarawak. He added that with a link from Sibu to Kapit, political issues concerning the region have been resolved.
“Even though my late grandfather, Tun Datuk Patinggi Temenggung Jugah Barieng, was one of the signatories of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and hailed from Kapit, it still took fifty years to materialise,” he recalled.
“It was only in 2012 and 2013, when I was a deputy minister in the rural development ministry, that I took steps to ensure that we are linked to the rest of the world,” he said during an interview with SinarDaily as part of a special podcast collaboration with Bual Studios and Rena Sounds for Merdeka and Malaysia Day titled ‘From Malaya to Malaysia: 60 years’ released today.
Nanta shared that the people of Kapit and surrounding areas had to rely on riverine transportation for decades.
“We ferried passengers by express boat from Sibu to Kapit and vice versa. The faster boats took three hours, but in the early days, it could take up to nine hours.
“So, since its completion, we can now drive from any part of Sarawak to Sibu, then to Kapit and further out of the town. This is an example of how rural roads are built,” he explained.
Nanta believed that the waiting time for a road to Kapit was lengthy and should have been built 30 years after Sarawak’s joint formation with Malaysia.
“But never mind, it is better late than never,” he enthused.
Nanta explained that the benefit of roads in rural areas or elsewhere is that they become catalysts for social and economic activities.
“It’s not just about getting from point A to B or from town A to town B. When we have a road, we witness more economic activities as we go through to Kapit and from the main road, the road spurs to the remote areas.
“That is the positive aspect of infrastructure development in Sarawak,” said Nanta. — DayakDaily