KUCHING, Dec 9: The Sarawak Government is appealing for more funding from the Federal Government for infrastructure projects in Sarawak, said Assistant Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development Datuk Julaihi Narawi.
This is because, currently, the State government will spend some RM11 billion from its own coffer to build the coastal road as well as the Second Trunk Road due to the lack of funding from the Federal Government.
Additionally, the State government will also have to absolve half of the total cost of three major bridges along the coastal road which have been canceled by the Pakatan Harapan, namely the Batang Rambungan Bridge, Batang Lupar Bridge and Batang Igan Bridge.
“So far, all the coastal road and Second Trunk Road are State-funded projects. We have budgeted RM5 billion for the coastal road projects and RM6 bil for the second trunk road project; making a total of RM11 billion. This is all under the State budget.
“You are able to access as to why we have to put up so much budget on our own. That shows the amount that we received (from the Federal Government) to date.
“But hopefully in the future, they will consider giving more fund for Sarawak,” Jalaihi told reporters after witnessing the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) for Sarawak Road Safety Strategic Plan (2021-2021) between his ministry and Unimas at a hotel here today.
However, Julaihi was quick to point out that the Federal Government still channel allocation to Sarawak under the Malaysian Roads Records Information System (MARRIS) funding.
“Of course they (Federal Government) does give us fund under the MARRIS funding. That is its yearly contribution. But we are looking forward for more allocation from the Federal Government for road construction in Sarawak,” he said.
Julaihi reiterated that the State government is hoping for the Federal Government to allocated funding to build the Border Security Road.
“Maybe for the Security Border Road in the future because Sarawak is proposing to put up the road at our Sarawak-Kalimantan border. That is under nation-to-nation. So, we hope the Federal Government will consider that in future,” he said, adding that the project is now still in the proposal and infant stage.
Meanwhile, Julaihi explained that currently, works have begun at both the Batang Rambungan and Batang Igan Bridges.
“Batang Lupar Bride is yet to start but should it start antitime soon. But the approach road has started on the ground,” he said.
As for the Second Trunk Road, works should start by next year as there were still a lot that needed to be finalised. – DayakDaily