Ahmad Johnie Zawawi

Batang Igan Bridge

KUCHING: Residents of the Igan parliamentary constituency, especially Daro and Matu, including Igan have waited patiently for the construction of the 1.6 kilometre Batang Igan Bridge.

Igan MP Ahmad Johnie Zawawi said the high-impact project costs RM285 million and is expected to be completed by 2024.

“With the construction of the Batang Igan Bridge, it will complement the rural coastal road network which will have a high impact in the context of socio-economic development of rural areas.

“Previously, residents of Daro and Matu Districts had to wait and queue for hours at the Batang Igan ferry base to go to Mukah town. It is also due to the limited ferry capacity with the increasing number of vehicles especially during the festive season.

“Now, the problem with waiting for the ferry will end, and will become a beautiful memory in history,” he said when contacted by Suara Sarawak.

He added that when the bridge is completed, it will also facilitate and speed up the journey of residents from nearby areas.

“This will directly have a significant impact in terms of socio-economic development of the locals who are mostly farmers and fishermen.

“Therefore, within four years this bridge will be fully completed, I urge the locals to be prepared from now on to create business opportunities in order to increase their sources of income.

“It is not only in terms of agricultural produce but also other products such as handicrafts and diversifying the products of the cottage industry,” he explained.

He also urged the residents to be creative in diversifying local products such as ‘Seraong Mato’ (Terendak Matu) which is famous for its unique weaving art, sago-based food products and many more.

“Besides that, the homestay industry also has potential to be developed due to the atmosphere and unique beauty of the villages in Matu and Daro,” he said.

He pointed out that the bridge would also attract many visitors from outside to come to Matu and Daro areas when the Batang Paloh Bridge and Muara Lassa Bridge are completed.

“The three bridges are the complements that will change the socio-economic landscape of the people in Igan,” he added.

This Batang Igan Bridge project was originally a project fully funded by the federal government. However, when the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) government took over, the project was cancelled.

Johnie said, as Igan’s representative, the matter was often raised in the Dewan Rakyat for the wellbeing of the locals.

“Even though it was cancelled by the PH government, the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government under the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is willing to take over and fully fund this Batang Igan Bridge project.

“Therefore, I represent the residents of Igan parliamentary constituency, wish to thank the chief minister and the GPS government,” he said.