PRS Youth: Not all Jiwa Murni roads are terrible

KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Youth information chief Andy Lawrence said not all Jiwa Murni roads are badly deteriorated.

“If the Long Luping-Ba Kelalan stretch of road deteriorates to appalling conditions then the government should address the problem. Simply criticising the government’s effort and labelling Jiwa Murni road projects as foolish was uncalled for,” he said in a press statement, in response to recent remarks by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) state chairman Baru Bian referring to the government’s decision to build Jiwa Murni roads as ‘penny wise and pound foolish’.

“It (the road in question) is a good start. To expand the road network to the sparse rural areas require significant resources. With a limited budget, our (government) approach must be practical. He (Baru) was nagging about walking with bare feet, now he blame the shoes,” Andy said.

He also criticised the opposition coalition, saying that they should be more proactive if they were truly sincere to fight for the good of Sarawakians.

“If Pakatan Harapan is sincere to Sarawak people and sincere to their fight for the good of the people, they should be more proactive. Selangor and Penang are the biggest industrialised states in Malaysia. These two states held by Pakatan Harapan, should allocate some of their fund for the improvement of the socio-economic and infrastructural development in those constituencies under them (opposition) in Sarawak.

“For instance, (allocating funds for) improvement works for critical roads in the rural areas or education funds for natives in their respective rural areas. If Sarawak can generate and share its wealth from its natural resources with all of Malaysia, why can’t they? Theirs [sic] (complaints) are just lip service and mere noise,” Andy stressed.

Baru, who is Ba Kelalan assemblyman, had said in a press statement on Monday the condition of the RM57 million Long Luping-Ba Kelalan road which was built as a Jiwa Murni project had deteriorated so badly that it was as good as having no road at all.

He pointed out that it was inaccurate to say that the damage was caused by heavily laden vehicles such as logging trucks as some of the roads in his constituency are in appalling conditions despite not being used by heavy vehicles.

He had also highlighted that the Auditor General’s 2016 report criticised the Jiwa Murni roads for less than satisfactory quality of work such as unbuilt road shoulders and drains, potholes, uneven and muddy road surfaces. Road maintenance and road safety were also deemed unsatisfactory.