MIRI: Repair work on the Pan Borneo Highway has to be carried out now, said the Bintulu MP.
Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said work could not wait until the next Budget because motorists using the highway had been losing their lives in accidents.
The latest accident along the Bintulu-Miri stretch near the Samalaju Industrial Estate that resulted in the death of five Indonesians on Wednesday night was yet another grim reminder of the many dangers faced by motorists, he said.
Tiong’s press secretary Jacky Chan Jet Hui told The Star yesterday that Tiong expressed his regret over the accident and also his concern about the overall condition of the problematic highway which had not yet been dealt with effectively.
“Datuk Seri has repeatedly stressed the need for the Public Works Ministry in Putrajaya to zero in on every problematic area along the highway.
“The latest accident is another tragic case caused by factors involving the condition of the road coupled with human negligence.
“All those involved in the accident were Indonesians working for an industrial plant at the Samalaju Industrial Estate (about 40km from Bintulu town).
“The van they were in rammed into a stationary lorry that had broken down on the side of the narrow stretch of the highway,” he said.
“That portion of the highway is known to be dark and narrow.
“There are no street lights. That is just one of the many danger spots along the highway in Bintulu Division. In other divisions, there are also similar danger spots that can easily turn into death traps for motorists.”
“These death traps need to be dealt with fast. The Federal Government through the Works Ministry must get these repair and re-alignment projects carried out immediately without any more delay.
“We (users of the highway) cannot wait until the next Budget or the next Malaysia Plan for the danger areas to be repaired.
“While the ministry prepares for the upgrading project to be carried out, they must also immediately implement the necessary repair and realignment in every danger spot,” he said.
Chan said Tiong had suggested that the Public Works Department (JKR) deploy mobile units of engineers and technical people to pinpoint every dangerous curve and sharp bend, blind spot, dark and narrow stretch and route with potholes and eroded portions.
“As immediate measure, the JKR can seek the help of the local authorities to help them in the repair work.”