Friday, July 10

‘Bad road condition tarnishes state’s image’


Assistant minister frowns on big potholes along road to Sungai Tujoh Immigration Border Post

SERIOUS DISCUSSION: Lee (seated right) talks to (from left) Goh, Yahya and Dennis (seated right).

MIRI: Accidents and damage to vehicles going through Sungai Tujoh Immigration Border Post in Kuala Baram would tarnish the name and image of the state, particularly Miri.

“We don’t want anything bad to happen to those driving along the road particularly visitors from Brunei. Any accident would deter them from going down to Miri thus bringing very negative image and name to Miri,” said Assistant Minister of Communication Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who visited and inspected the post yesterday.

Big potholes on the road posed dangers to road users and their vehicles, particularly when filled with water.

“Repairing works need to be done immediately as traffic is expected to be heavy especially before and during Christmas,” Lee said, hoping that the Public Works Department and its contractor would be able to complete the work within two days or before Christmas.

Initial works such as filling the potholes with gravel were carried out by the contractor yesterday. The works will also include resurfacing of the road to make it even.

According to the immigration chief at the post Yahya Suhaili, the submerged parts of the road might be caused by a blocked drain due to the recent series of heavy downpours, and urged the relevant agencies to look into the problem immediately.

Regarding this, Lee instructed Miri City Council and Drainage and Irrigation Department to act immediately.

From January to November this year, around 1.6 million visitors and locals passed through the post. The number is expected to swell to 1.8 million by year-end.

For the convenience of visitors and locals, the Immigration Department had taken its own initiative to open its departure booth until 12 midnight every day, from its usual closing time at 10pm.

On other development, Yahya said they were  expecting to have additional staff next year after the completion of Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex here. The staff would be increased to 100 from the present 46, he added.

Meanwhile, Border Customs officer Dennis Sadit disclosed that on average around 1,200 vehicles, including lorries and buses, go through the border in a day.

Accompanying Lee for the inspection was Public Works Department divisional engineer Goh Soon Boon.