THE Sarawak government is spending RM8.7mil to build three additional highway rest areas for travellers to take a break on the 1,000km Pan Borneo Highway from Kuching to Miri.
These rest areas are being built in Betong (in Sri Aman division, southern Sarawak), Sebangkoi (in Sarikei division, central Sarawak) and Bekenu (in Miri Division in the north).
Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) is handling the construction of the projects, which were drawn up by the state.
SEDC chairman Datuk Talip Zulpilip said the additional rest points would have public toilets, suraus, eateries and shops.
The big amount of money spent on such facilities is an indication of the states concern for the welfare of highway users. We need to provide them with the necessary basic facilities in as many places as possible, he said.
Talip was speaking during the opening of the Bekenu centre recently.
He stressed that federal authorities in Peninsular Malaysia had established a comprehensive network of rest areas in all states in the peninsula.
Talip said that 26 bumiputra entrepreneurs would manage and operate the outlets in the Bekenu rest area, adding that SEDC had issued them permits at very special rates to encourage them to prosper in their businesses.
The Bekenu rest area is located 90km from Miri City. It is a transit point between Miri and Bintulu town.