Ongoing RM848 million Batang Lupar Bridge fully funded by GPS govt

Milton Foo

KUCHING, Jan 3: The RM848 million Batang Lupar Bridge that is going to replace the Triso ferry service at Sebuyau is now fully funded by Sarawak government and ongoing, despite the previous agreement with the federal government of 50-50 per cent cost sharing during Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.

Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Youth secretary-general Milton Foo said broken promises by the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led government has left the state government to bear all the costs for the benefits of the people.

“When PH came into power in 2018, they including DAP (Democratic Action Party) cancelled our bridge projects of Batang Lupar Bridge and Batang Rambungan Bridge totalling at RM946 million, with the former at about 5.2 kilometres in length which will be the longest bridge in Malaysia upon completion.

“Notwithstanding that, the GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak)-led government still decided to proceed with the construction of the two bridges at our own costs by looking for funds by ourselves for the benefit of the people of Sarawak, adhering to the principle of ‘Sarawak First’,” he remarked in a statement today.

Today, the Batang Lupar Bridge project comes under the spotlight again due to the unfortunate incident of nine victims, including a baby, who drowned after their vehicle rolled off the Triso Ferry ramp on Jan 1.

Yesterday during a visit to the incident site, Deputy Chief Minister cum Infrastructure and Port Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing revealed that the construction of the bridge has already begun and scheduled for completion in four years’ time.

According to a news report by Malay Mail on Jan 2, Masing said by the time the bridge is completed in either 2025 or 2026, the people will not have to use ferries anymore.

He added the bridge might have been completed sooner if the previous PH government did not cancel it.

With the same thought in mind, Foo bombarded the PH government for cancelling the project which has cost the lives of Sarawakians.

“While DAP promised Sarawakians the stars and the moon, including the 20 per cent oil royalty and one-off RM2,000 ‘petrol bonus’ to every Sarawakian every year, we witnessed that during their 22 months in power, not only that they cancelled our infrastructure projects in Sarawak, including the Batang Lupar Bridge, but none of the election promises in their manifesto has come into reality to benefit Sarawak.

“Most Sarawakians are now awaken to see the true colour and the true face of the Malayan-centric and Malayan-based coalition party, DAP in particular, which commands the largest number of MPs and ADUNs in the country,” he said. — DayakDaily