KUALA LUMPUR: Rubberised roads, which last longer and are cheaper to maintain, could soon be the future for Malaysia.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong (pic) said plans were afoot to make changes to some small roads and parts of highways this year.
The pilot project will focus on the roads regularly used by heavy duty vehicles, especially those from palm oil plantations and rubber estates.
"Rubberised roads consist of a mix of scrap rubber and bitumen, which are more durable so they will not easily wear out with regular movement of palm oil lorries.
"It does cost 16% more than regular roads but the maintenance cost is lower so it will be more economical in the long run," he told reporters at Gerakan's Chinese New Year open house Saturday.
Mah said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in the last Cabinet meeting, had given the go-ahead for a test run.
He added that research into rubberised roads had been ongoing for a few years, and that the ministry had allocated a RM3mil budget for it.
On Gerakan's Chinese New Year resolution, Mah said the party would focus less on political issues and do more to alleviate problems faced by the people.
"We've been conducting surveys to get feedback from the people and they always bring up the rising cost of goods," he said.
Mah said the party plans to hand a memorandum of its findings to the Government in the next two months to help formulate relevant solutions.
"Some people find this boring but we must do our part to help the rakyat," he said.
In his Chinese New Year greeting, Mah said he hopes Malaysia's economic and social standing will improve in the Year of the Fire Rooster.