One of the easiest ways for the people of Limbang to get to Sabah or Miri is to pass through Brunei.
This is because of Limbang’s unique location in Malaysia. To its west lies Brunei while the Gulf of Brunei lies in the north and Sabah and Kalimantan are in the east.
However, after Brunei closed its border because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been difficult for the people of Limbang to travel to Sabah or Miri.
Although there are alternative roads to Miri or Sabah, they can only be used by four-wheel-drive vehicles when the weather is good.
If it rains, the roads are impassable due to safety factors.
The difficulty of Limbang residents in commuting to Sabah or Miri has prompted the Sarawak government to build alternative routes so that they do not have to go through Brunei anymore.
Deputy Rural Development Minister Datuk Hasbi Habibollah said the road to Miri would be linked to various road projects under the Highland Development Agency (HDA) and the Public Works Department (JKR).
It would connect areas from Marudi to Gunung Mulu, he explained.
“Currently, the R3 road extension work, which passes through Mount Buda and Mount Mulu, is underway. This road will also connect the road from Baram, which is also being implemented.
“The Covid-19 threat has created the need to build this road,” he added.
This road project under the Sarawak government started in 2019; it is now entering the first phase for the construction of the Bawang Obor to Tanah Merah in Hulu Medamit to Gunung Buda road.
“This road will also be the main route that connects Limbang to Marudi and Baram, It will cross Mount Buda and Mount Mulu,” said Hasbi.
He added the alternative route from Limbang to Miri would also boost the tourism industry in Mount Buda, which had been gazetted as a world heritage site after it met the requirements set by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).
Limbang division comprises two main districts, namely, Limbang and Lawang as well as three sub-districts, namely, Nanga Medamit, Sundar and Trusan.
Limbang has a multi-racial community including Malays, Kedayan, Chinese, Ibans, Bisayas, Lun Bawang and several other ethnic groups.