Len Talif Salleh

SECOND TRUNK ROAD

KUCHING: Assistant Urban Development and Resources Minister Datuk Len Talif Salleh has countered Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh and PSB Youth chief Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa’s recent statements that the proposed Second Trunk Road project is redundant, labelling their statements as ‘irresponsible’.

He said he has been travelling along the coastal road for many years, even as recently as last week, and every week since the implementation of the movement control order (MCO).

“So, I know exactly what is going on in this area,” he said yesterday.

Len Talif said that for Wong and Rayong, who he believed hardly utilised this road and did not understand the demographic or economic activities done in the area, to make such statements objecting the Second Trunk Road was irresponsible and without rural interest at heart.

He rebutted Rayong’s statement that the trunk road passed through no man’s land and the Maludam National Park.

“In fact, the section of the road between Maludam and Triso is mostly using the existing alignment without passing through Maludam National Park,” he clarified.

Section A3 shows the road alignment mostly makes use of the existing one and does not pass through Maludam National Park.

Referring to the attached photo, he said that Section A3 confirmed that the road alignment was, for the most part, using the current alignment and before approaching Batang Saribas, it made a right turn but is still outside Maludam National Park.

In addition, he said the stretch from Sebuyau to Batang Sadong Bridge provided access to the Sebuyau National Park, thereby supporting the state government’s ecotourism initiative.

“All these roads pass through villages and longhouses, and it is not true to say that it is no man’s land,” said Len Talif.

He said that it also passed through Native Customary Rights (NCR) land and plantation areas, explaining that this is important as it developed areas which are currently not easily accessible.

“This is how the state government is trying to develop the rural economy for the benefit of the rural population,” he said.

He added that the road also significantly cut travel time from Roban to Kuching, also going through towns, villages, longhouses, plantation estates, orchards, paddy fields, and NCR lands — certainly not ‘passing through no man’s land’ as claimed by Rayong.

He also commended the state government’s initiative in developing the coastal road, which he said would cover a significant portion of the population here.