MIRI: Politicians from both the Barisan Nasional and opposition are having a common worry – the impending floods.
Leaders from both sides of the political divide are getting increasingly anxious over preparations to face the onslaught of the coming wet season which is expected to come in full force next month.
They are concerned that more and more roads will get muddy and pose difficulty for rural folk to navigate.
Sarawak PAS commissioner Jofri Jaraiee said he went to visit Kampung Subak in Bekenu district, about 60km south of Miri City, last week and found the roads there already in bad conditions.
“Most parts of the kampung are difficult to reach due to the muddy roads. Why is it the BN wakil rakyat here do not take measures to repair these roads earlier when the weather was still good?
“Now that the rain is starting, it is going to get worse,” he said.
Many stretches of rural and semi-rural roads in parts of Sarawak are already in bad shape and there is a danger they will be completely inaccessible soon when the rainy season enters its full swing.
Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing had also expressed his concerns during the weekend when visiting various settlements in the Kampung Padan vicinity near the Miri-Bintulu divisional borders.
Tiong, who is Bintulu MP and the PM’s special envoy to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, said he agreed with the villagers that something urgent needed to be done immediately to prepare for the impending floods.
“The road conditions in many areas are in very bad shape. The villagers living in the deep settlements rely on these timber roads as their only land connections to the urban centres,” he said.
“When these roads are not passable the villagers will have to use boats to reach the outside world.
“This will be very risky if the river current becomes too swift.”
Tiong said he was trying to get the Army Corps to include this area as part of its Jiwa Murni road construction package.
“The area has been neglected for so long and longhouses located along the rivers are facing flood problems all the time, so it is urgent to give immediate help to all those living here,” he said during his dialogues with the villagers.
Tiong said the villagers’ livelihood was affected as most of them were farmers and they faced difficulty im getting their produce to sell in the urban centres.