Tuesday, September 27

Abolish toll at Asean Bridge, gazette Piasau Camp as Hornbill Park, Ling urges


THE government has been urged to consider abolishing the toll for the Asean Bridge in Miri.

Alan Ling (DAP-Piasau) said the Asean Bridge over Baram River provides the direct land access to neighbouring Brunei, and serves as the only land link to Limbang and Lawas towns in the northern part of the state.

He pointed out that the one-way toll rate of RM10 was too expensive considering the short distance of the bridge and that had deterred frequent travellers from making trips to Miri.

In this respect, Ling had suggested that the government should consider abolishing the tolls, apart from upgrading the facilities near the borders to boost tourism and commuter flow of more visitors from neighbouring Brunei and Sabah by land.

He stated this when debating on the TYT Speech at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting yesterday.

On another tourism issue, Ling informed the August House that most Mirians wished for Piasau Camp to be preserved as a green lung and to turn it into a permanent nature park or camp called ‘Hornbill Park’.

“The urgency to get the camp gazetted as a Hornbill Park is because the forest is home to a family of Oriental Pied Hornbills,” he suggested.

According to him, the local residents were all against building development projects there, as that will destroy the unique natural environment and habitat of the hornbills.

“Miri and Piasau Camp came about as part and parcel of the oil and gas industry that can be traced back 100 years ago. Thus, preserving Piasau Camp will also add another unique eco-tourism product top Miri as a resort city right at its doorstep,” he noted.

In his speech, Ling also highlighted the alleged negligence on the part of the Miri Hospital which he claimed had caused a miscarriage when the operation for childbirth was delayed by a day and the parents were told that the mother’s foetus had died two days before the operation.

“The parents were however refused the documents on the foetal echo-cardiogram the day before to prove that the foetus was alive and this situation is a mockery to the professionalism of our hospitals,” he said.

He also cited that prior to the case, he encountered a case where a young man had went into coma and almost died because a doctor in Marudi Hospital injected the wrong side of his lung.

“For that he was offered a compensation of a mere RM3,600 only, which is clearly an insult to the risks taken by the victim, the trauma that he went through, which nearly caused him his life.

“I believe that these two cases are enough to set alarm bells ringing on the quality of medical services our hospital are offering to the people,” he said.

In this respect, Ling suggested that the quality of medical services provided in Miri and throughout the state be seriously looked into.