New Stapok-Matang bridge officially opens, named after late Petra Jaya MP

Abang Johari (fourth left) activates the gimmick for opening of the new Tan Sri Sulaiman Daud bridge as Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof (right), Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (second left) and others look on.

KUCHING, April 19: Road users plying the route between Matang and Stapok can now enjoy faster travel times and shorter travelling distances after the official launching of the new Tan Sri Sulaiman Daud bridge today.

The late Sulaiman was federal Education Minister and Petra Jaya MP between 1981 and 1999. He passed away in 2010 due to cancer at the age of 77.

The RM122 million 320-metre bridge connecting E-Mart, Matang and Kampung Sungai Maong, Stapok could shorten the travel time from Matang to Kuching International Airport and Kuching Central by more than half — 15 to 30 minutes — as compared to the route which requires passing over Satok bridge, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg during the opening ceremony this afternoon.

He said this was just one among the many projects in Kuching which the state government had initiated to ease traffic congestion stemming from the booming population of cars in the city.

“People have been complaining of traffic jams all around the city. Therefore, we (state government) want to disperse our traffic flow by implementing several projects in the city, especially around the Petra Jaya area.

“We acknowledge the traffic jam; however, this positively means that the rakyat’s income is improving. We are lucky because we have good leaders who can plan for our future.

“Hence, I will name the bridge the Tan Sri Sulaiman Daud bridge, in memory of the past Petra Jaya MP himself,” said Abang Johari.

Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof (third left) presents a memento of appreciation to Abang Johari as (from left) Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah (right), Abang Johari’s wife Datin Patinggi Datuk Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang (second right) and Deputy Chief Minister and Infrastructure Development and Transportation Minister Tan Sri James Jemut Masing (centre) look on.

Overall, the bridge plus the connecting four-lane roads cost around RM145 million in total. However, Abang Johari also announced that there would be some additions to that later as an additional access road at the roundabout before the bridge is to be built to go to Kampung Gita Lama and Kampung Stapok which are located right under the bridge on each end.

Last week, Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof acknowledge the plight of the villagers demanding for an access road, and has applied for a RM4 million allocation.

On that note, Abang Johari hoped that once proper access roads have been built, the villages would be able to be integrated so that more plans for new townships could be implemented in that area in the future.

“This is not an election promise. This has been in the planning for a while now. However we must remain united and ensure that Barisan Nasional (BN) be given the mandate so that we can continue to bring development to the villages,” he said. — DayakDaily