For rejecting the bridge project, he deserves such ban: Batang Lupar MP

KUCHING: When the time comes, Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sri Aman branch chairman Leon Jimat Donald may be banned from using the Batang Lupar bridge.

This was emphasised by Batang Lupar MP Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim during Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house at her home in Taman Sejoli near here, yesterday.

Rohani (centre) during her Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house in Taman Sejoli.

Expressing her dismay at Leon’s recent statement against the approval of Batang Lupar bridge project, Rohani said that she intends to request a “No Entry for Leon” signboard from the Public Works Department (JKR).

Recently, Leon claimed that Rohani’s request for the Batang Lupar bridge project worth RM1 billion is a waste of the people’s money.

However, Rohani yesterday took offence at the remark, saying the project is something that Sarawak leaders, including Leon’s late father Jimmy Donald, have been fighting for.

“So, when it was announced twice in the two budgets, we look forward to building the connectivity route for the people throughout Sarawak and our Borneo neighbours such as Brunei and Sabah because this new bridge will be the coastal highway new link,” Rohani explained.

Rohani said while the project will cost a huge amount of money, on the bright side, the bridge will be a “breakthrough and game changer” for the state.

“When something is good for the rakyat (people), there is a common ground to be shared by all political leaders no matter their political affiliations. One would expect Leon to share the joy of many others when this topic is brought up,” she said.

When asked to elaborate the “game changer”, Rohani pointed out that Batang Lupar constituency has a lot of potential to be developed in various fields.

She said what is holding the area back is its current lack of connectivity.

“In the past, investors were hesitant to come to Batang Lupar because there was no connectivity such as the Internet as well as water and electricity supplies.

“But today, much of that has changed. Even Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub has announced that he will bring up a big project in Lingga (which is within the Batang Lupar parliamentary seat).”

On Leon’s assertion that the money for the bridge project is much better off used to connect Lingga and Sebuyau, quoting a local Malay saying, Rohani said, “Nya sik nengar beduk (he did not hear the large drum).

“It has been announced many times that there will be a road linking Lingga and Sebuyau. What else does he wants?

“If he really wants to fight for the people of Sarawak, do it properly-lah.

“Sometimes there are matters which are above politics. I do not understand what he is trying to do when we can actually pull this off together,” she said.

Batang Lupar bridge project is undergoing final tender process. Construction is expected to start in November and completion by the year 2023.

If Rohani ever gets her wish for a “No Entry for Leon” signboard granted, the Sri Aman DAP chief will surely live to regret his political fishing trip.