Desmond Hellegers Achong

KUCHING: Roads, including the Second Trunk Road (STR), are the catalyst for other developments in rural areas, said Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Pelagus Youth chief Desmond Hellegers Achong.

As such, he said, one of the main objectives of STR was to shorten the travel period from the western to northern part of Sarawak, “thus it is logical the route will be almost along the coasts.”

“Areas like Kapit Division is far inside the mainland of Borneo, and the best solution is a tee-off or loop road from Kapit connecting to Pan Borneo,” he said in response to Parti Sarawak Bersatu, Pelagus chairman Datuk Kristoffer Nyuak’s recent remarks.

Desmond, in a statement, said Kristoffer’s remarks on the STR were misleading.

“Question of priority is not an issue here when all development projects for road, water, electricity and other infrastructures have already got their own allocation in terms of budget.

“And Pelagus assemblyman Wilson Nyabong Ijang supports the STR because he can see it will bring benefits to the rural folk and the state as a whole,” he said.

He added that the Pelagus constituency under Nyabong had improved a lot and more development projects were in the pipeline for the area.

“STR will shorten travelling time for people from northern Sarawak when they travel to Kuching. YB Wilson and other YBs from Kapit Division not only focused on their constituencies but are also looking at the overall development of Kapit Division,” he said, which was why the Upper Rajang Development Agency was mooted to expedite its development.

He said there was an approved 117km Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score) road alignment under the Regional Corridor of Development Authority from Sangan, Anap, Merit to Ng Tulie Kapit, and this road would give accessibility to Bintulu town, already under the Score planning.

“There will also be a ferry service at Ng Tulie, including road connecting both sides of the ferry point, approximately 1.6km. The ferry service will help people from Ulu Pelagus and Merit to reach Kapit town,” he pointed out.