State govt mulls widening Jalan Pahlawan in Sibu

Chieng (right) and his son Joseph (second from left) briefing Abang Johari on the problems faced by motorists along Jalan Pahlawan in Sibu. At left is Nangka assemblyman Dr Annuar Rapaee.

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Feb 9: The Sarawak government is considering widening the 1.5km Jalan Pahlawan in Sibu from the current dual lane to four lanes to ease traffic congestion during peak hours, said Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Sibu branch chairman Dato Chieng Buong Toon.

He said he presented the proposal to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg during his Chinese New Year open house in Sibu today.

“The chief minister said he will let the relevant authorities carry out feasibility studies before it will be implemented,” Chieng told DayakDaily today.

Chieng said that stretch of road would be congested during peak hours as there are four major schools located along the road. These schools have a total of about 5,000 students.

“So, we believe it is high time the road be upgraded to ease traffic flow.”

Chieng also highlighted the need for the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government to draw up a development master plan for Sibu so that it would not be left behind.

“We used to be number three after Kuching and Miri. But now, we are lagging behind Kuching, Miri and even Bintulu. So, we need to get the development master plan done as soon as possible so that we will have a blueprint to move forward.”

Abang Johari (front, centre) with Chieng on his right in a group photo with other dignitaries at the latter’s Chinese New Year open house.

DayakDaily reported Chieng as saying on Feb 6 that Sibu needed a masterplan to provide job opportunities to its graduates and school-leavers.

“Sibu needs a master plan to redevelop itself. Sibu used to be on the forefront but now it is far behind Kuching, Miri and Bintulu in terms of development. We hope the GPS government will come out with a master plan to redevelop Sibu.

“Sibu is situated strategically in the central region. It has a rich hinterland, which is further supported by many small towns such as Kanowit, Song and Kapit,” he said.

Chieng, who is a naval architect by profession, has identified shipbuilding as a niche industry that could be further developed and expanded for Sibu.

He revealed that there was a plan to develop high-rise condominiums and apartments in the area to accommodate those whose houses have been badly affected by the low-lying conditions. — DayakDaily