Abdul Karim (left) with Assistant Infrastructure and Port Development Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi and Public Works Department officers inspect the area where the ferry ramp is scheduled to be built. Photo: Ghazali Bujang

ASAJAYA: Construction of the Tambirat-Beliong ferry ramp is expected to take place early next year, said Asajaya assemblyman Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

According to him, the provision of a ferry service in the area would be able to uplift the economy of the locals here, particularly through facilitation of transporting local farmers’ and fishermen’s produce.

“Most of the villagers there are involved in agricultural activities and in order to transport their products to nearby towns it needs to be brought in by boats and then lorries on this side of the river which is a hassle.

“Once the ferries are operational, it will ease the transporting process of one side of the river to the other,” he said.

Abdul Karim, who is also Youth and Sports Minister as well as Tourism, Culture, and Arts Minister said this during a press conference after visiting the Tambirat-Beliong ferry ramp site, here on Monday (Oct 19).

He also said the ferry ramp costs RM13 million to construct and operate per year and is set to be completed by early 2022 in line with the planned one-year construction period.

He added that it would also be the final piece of the puzzle in terms of providing interconnectivity in Asajaya.

“This is because Kampung Beliong and its surrounding areas cannot be accessed by cars.

“With the ferry ramp, ferries will be able to operate and interconnectivity will be provided through the ferries which are able to ferry 24 cars per trip. This also allows for connection between Kampung Beliong and other villages there,” he clarified.

Explaining further on the ferry service, Abdul Karim predicted there would be an increase in the number of personal vehicles owned by locals, which in turn, would call for the building of a bridge in lieu of the ferries.

“The ferry is just temporary. It might only be there for five years. After that, we will have to go into the bridge (idea) just like how Asajaya, Sadong Jaya, and Simunjan were before,” he noted.

However, he informed that the ferries would be on a trial run and its operations will be observed to see whether there is a need for a bridge to be built immediately.

“If there is a need for it, of course, the state government will implement the idea as well,” he assured.