By Peter sibon
KUCHING, Oct 14: The State government has spent RM8 million to carry our feasibility studies on the proposed deep-sea port at Tanjung Po, revealed Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.
“In any developed countries, there is no city that developed without deep sea port. Kuching tak ada. That’s why we want to develope a deep-sea port which we proposed to do it at Tanjung Po in order for Sarawak to move forward,” Masing told a news conference here today.
He disclosed that the studies will be ready by January and the State government will see how it could be implemented.
“Those (Senari Port and Kuching Port) ports that we have are inland ports. And that would not work because of siltation. It has to be deep sea port. That’s why we are proposing a deep-sea port to develop Kuching and Sarawak,” said Masing who is Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development.
On a related issue, Masing said the construction of the nine bridges along the coastal road and the Second Trunk Road will be implemented concurrently and all will be completed by 2025.
“The projects are now as planned. It would have been implemented a bit faster but due to Covid-19 pandemic, work stopped for three months. But now we have overcome the problem and (works are now) back again,” he said.
He said the Second Trunk Road which cost some RM6b to implement involves eleven packages including the bridges.
“The coastal road, the Second Trunk Road and the nine major bridges cost us RM11 billion,” he said, stressing that just Batang Lupar Bridge alone would cost RM1 bil to build.
On the Border Security Road, Masing, who is State Border Security Committee chairman said, the Sarawak Government has approved the project but would need the federal government to fund the 1,000km road project stretching from Sematan to Lawas which would cost a whopping RM24 bil to implement under the 12th Malaysia plan.
“We want the federal government to pay for the project. After all it’s a Malaysian border and not just Sarawak border,” he said.
Meanwhile, Masing defended the policies of GPS government on futuristic projects such as the hydrogen-powered buses and Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) as vital future plans to modernize Sarawak into the 21st century.
“Those are proposals that we have. I think the proposals into the future is correct. We have to look into the future. We don’t leap into the past.
“That can be done and it has been done in developed countries. We don’t wait until other people are doing it.
“I think what the CM did is correct. We got to move forward in order to be relevant when the 21st century is right in our doorstep.
“In term of infrastructure and other developments that we should have, its time is now to move forward. Just like the Chinese saying, the journey of a thousand mile start with the first step,” he added.— DayakDaily