MIRI: The Baram Peoples Action Committee wants all rural native communities to be consulted and their views considered in the Works Ministry’s proposal to kick-start a mega northern Sarawak road link bypassing Brunei.
Committee chairman Philip Jau said yesterday the rural folk in the vast parliamentary constituency of Baram were happy that the Pakatan Harapan-led Federal Government was taking up this project again.
If realised, he said, the mega road project would result in economic and social progress for at least 50,000 people in Baram.
“The Federal Government is looking into reviving a mega road project linking Miri to Limbang and Lawas as well as the rural northern frontiers, by-passing Brunei.
“Works Minister Baru Bian had informed us during his weekend visit to Miri that his ministry would look into the project’s financing.
“This road will open up vast economic and tourism opportunities for northern Sarawak. The Baram Peoples Action Committee wants the ministry to consult us on this project and also brief the rest of native communities. We want to be in the know with regard to the master plan.
“We have our views on the routes that should connect to such a road. This is an exciting project as it will open up the Miri-Baram-Lawas-Limbang region to new prospects for tourism, agriculture, commerce and industries,” he said.
At present, road travellers from Miri heading to Limbang, Lawas and the Bakelalan highlands have to pass through Brunei.
“They face many immigration procedures at the various checkpoints and must also meet Customs requirements.
During his visit, Baru had said that his ministry was looking at building a road by-passing Brunei that connects Miri to the interior of Marudi, Long Lama and across Baram to Bakelalan highlands, and then on to Lawas and Limbang.
Baru, who was briefly in Miri to meet Pfizer Malaysia volunteers who were on providing health checks and talks at Bakelalan villages, spoke to native groups about the proposed mega project.
The present checkpoint between Miri and Brunei is at the Sungai Tujuh point while the Brunei-Limbang checkpoint is at Sungai Pandaruan.
These two checkpoints serves the existing Pan Borneo trunk road from Miri into Brunei into Limbang.
Currently, this is the only road for those travelling from Miri and Limbang as well as onwards to Lawas and Sabah.
The issue of a direct land route from Miri to Limbang has been discussed by the federal and state governments since the 1980s.