A ROAD linking Miri and Mulu National Park will see the expansion of tourism business, said Dennis Ngau (BN-Telang Usan).
The assemblyman believed that the road will bring enormous benefits to all strata of the Orang Ulu community, be they in the city, town or longhouses, and ultimately money to the state and country.
“But despite the huge potential of economic returns I am perplexed why the government seems unable to make this strategic decision and start developing this road, a decision that will see the expansion of tourism business to the state,” he said when debating on the Yang Di-Pertua Negeri’s address at the DUN yesterday.
“The adventurous journey from Miri to Mulu National Park takes one on a trip to Long Iman, Penan settlement at Ulu Tutoh and also the fascinating boat ride down the Tutoh river and up the Melinau river,” he said.
“The road will not be built through jungle passing no human settlement but it will be passing various local longhouses belonging to the Kayans, Kenyahs and Penans – a potential tourism product not to be found anywhere else in the world,” he stressed.
“In fact I have requested Miri Public Works Department to do a survey on this proposed road linkage and they have come up with the budget. The total length of this road is only 160.7 km and cost about RM136.6 million only to upgrade and construct at certain parts of the proposed road alignment,” he said.
“I am sure the government has spent more than this amount on road building elsewhere without less return of investment but the proposed Long Lama town, Batang Baram-Long Bedian sub-district Sungai Apoh–Long Iman, Ulu Tutoh, if constructed, will give more options to local and overseas operators to create interesting and attractive tour packages, hence we could liken this undertaking to ‘The hen that lays golden eggs’,” he added.
Dennis said the road will benefit at least 20,000 locals besides the many visitors who will travel along the road for all sorts of reasons.