Abang Johari (centre) witnessing JKR Sarawak represented by its director Datuk Ir. Zuraimi Sabki (fourth right) handing over of the Letter of Appointment of Project to contractor Golden Matrix Sdn. Bhd. represented by its managing director Stefanie Evelyn Inte Bubong (fourth left). Also witnessing from left are Ministry of Infrastructure and Ports Development Permanent Secretary Datuk Safri Zainudin, State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, Assistant Minister Infrastructure and Ports Development Datuk Julaihi Narawi, Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, MBKS Mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng and MPKS chairman Datuk Peter Minos. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KOTA SAMARAHAN: The people of Kota Samarahan can heave a sigh of relief as the traffic jam that has plagued them all this while is being addressed by the state government.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said complaints by the residents have not fallen on deaf ears with five roundabouts across the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway now being upgraded to Smart traffic light systems.

“Two years ago, I received complaints from residents here that Kota Samarahan has always been plagued by traffic jams and this affected the lecturers of the university here as well as those working in the Sama Jaya Industrial Area.

“Today, I am upgrading the roundabouts with Smart traffic lights and I am delivering my promise,” he said when officiating at the launch of the project to upgrade the five roundabouts along Kuching-Samarahan Expressway on Saturday.

Abang Johari said Kota Samarahan has evolved quickly from its humble beginnings some 25 years ago.

Abang Johari (seated centre) with Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian (seated right) and Assistant Minister of Infrastructure and Ports Development Datuk Julaihi Narawi (seated left) being briefed on the upgrading works on the five roundabouts in Samarahan by JKR assistant director (Road) Meehan Jorai. Photo: Ramidi Subari

“Back then Samarahan wasn’t like this. The then Chief Minister Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud opened up Kota Samarahan and turned the area into an education hub with lots of development.

“To those who claimed that there is no development, they must open their eyes to see what is happening today. We are here (to upgrade the roads) as it is the result of developments that we planned previously,” he said.

The chief minister said with the increasing population in Kuching and Samarahan now accounting for 1.2 million residents, there is a need to improve the facilities to benefit the people.

“We will create an alternative road from the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway to the area near the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) and by building a bridge crossing Sungai Sarawak.

“This means that the people will be able to go to Petra Jaya without needing to go through Kuching city,” he said.

Location of the existing five roundabouts in Samarahan.