Batang Baleh Bridge.

KUCHING: The Nanga Mujong and Nanga Sepanggil-Tunoh roads are currently under construction, hence the poor condition is normal and part of the situation, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar James Jemut Masing.

He was responding to Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh’s recent statement in two Chinese dailies who claimed that infrastructure, particularly roads in Baleh, were in deplorable conditions notwithstanding that Masing is the Minister for Infrastructure as well as the assemblyman for Baleh.

To this, Masing clapped back by revealing that nearly RM3bil had been allocated for infrastructure development in Baleh.

“The 73km Ng Mujong Road, which is the access road to the proposed Baleh Dam, at a cost of RM1.2bil as well as Ng Sepanggil-Tunoh, the access road to Tunoh, at RM600mil, are currently under construction.

“Meanwhile, the construction of Rh Nyamok/Ng Serau/Ng Gaat/SMK Baleh/Sg Kain road, at a cost of RM380mil, divided into two phases, will begin year-end.”

Masing also said the road to Tunoh (Ng Mujong/Ng Tiau/Tunoh) at an estimated cost of RM550mil had been approved for implementation under the 12th Malaysia Plan.

“Batang Baleh bridge, Sg Mujong bridge and Sg Banyau bridge have been completed at a cost of RM123mil. Meanwhile, the RM3.9mil Sg Merirai bridge is under construction.

“The facts speak for themselves,” the Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president said in a statement on Friday (Oct 2).

Masing further described Wong’s statement as a personal attack to portray himself as a better leader in boasting the latter’s achievements and denigrating Masing’s.

“If indeed Wong has succeeded in building roads to all longhouses within Bawang Assan, he did only what was expected of him as he was the Infrastructure Development and Transportation Minister for eight years from 1996 to 2004. He took over from the late Datuk Dr Wong Soon Kai, who was the Minister for Infrastructure and Transportation for 15 years.

“However what is surprising is that he failed to develop any rural road within Bawang Assan during his tenure as the Minister for Infrastructure and Transportation.”

Masing has been the Minister for Infrastructure and Port Development for only four years and it is only during his tenure that the Sg Bidut/Kpg Tutus/Kpg Sebedil/Kpg Bungan road was approved.

“The said road, within the Bawang Assan constituency, is currently under construction,” said Masing.

He noted that Wong also questioned the Sarawak government’s decision to build an airport in Tunoh since Tunoh is underdeveloped.

“In questioning the Sarawak government’s decision to build the airport in Tunoh, Wong has lent further credence to the view that he opposes development to the rural areas.

“For someone who relies on rural constituents for support, Wong has shown himself to be self-contradictory.”