Jiwa Murni road projects to use RM226.31 mln S’wak fund, says Uggah

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Uggah (centre) and his deputy Datuk Aidel Lariwoo (left) share a light moment with the Ministry’s officials as they look through the Deputy Premier’s winding-up speech. – Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING (May 15): The Sarawak government has undertaken the upgrading of Jiwa Murni roads using state funding amounting to RM226.31 million, said Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

According to the Minister for Infrastructure and Port Development, the works would involve the upgrading of timber road from Long Lopeng to Ba Kelalan at a cost of RM39.35 million; road upgrading and bridge construction for Kampung Saeh, Bekenu in Miri (RM24.92 million); as well as road upgrading works at Rumah Satu, Kuala Mendalam, Danau in Limbang (RM3 million); Miri to Marudi (RM75.46 million); and from Belaga town to Menjawah (RM83.58 million).

Many of the Jiwa Murni roads have deteriorated due to irregular maintenance, and this has posed a challenge for the rural residents to access essential services in town, said Uggah.

“These initiatives are a testament to the government’s commitment to improving access to rural areas and ensuring that these roads meet JKR (Public Works Department) standards,” he said in his Ministerial winding up speech at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today.

Adding on, he said there are altogether 16 projects worth RM928 million under the Jiwa Murni programme for the construction of 461km of Low Volume Rural Road (LVRR) and 82 bailey bridges.

He disclosed 14 completed projects have been handed to JKR Sarawak for maintenance and the remaining two are still under the defect liability period.

“Upon completion of the (defect liability) period, the Malaysian Armed Forces will repair all the defects before handing them to JKR Sarawak,” he said, while citing the two road projects that will connect Nanga Merit to Sungai Baleh, Kapit and from Belaga to Nanga Merit, Kapit.

On another related development, Uggah said as to date, a total of 24 contracts had been terminated of which 15 were state-funded while nine were federal projects.

Fifteen of these terminated works have been revived through the appointment of rescue contractors while the remaining nine are in the pre-contract stage, he disclosed.

“The process of termination and appointment of rescue contractors for federal projects are more complex, thus causing delays in efforts to revive the projects,” he said, adding that the Sarawak government has been working diligently to reduce critical project delays.

“From January to April 2024, we observed a remarkable reduction in project delays – from 22 projects to 11 (two state, nine federal projects).

This achievement, he said, has been made possible through a series of measures by JKR Sarawak which include timely payments to contractors, close monitoring of projects, and the implementation of ‘One Month Intervention Pledge’ by contractor and JKR.

These efforts, he added, have improved project efficiency and exemplified the Ministry’s commitment to delivering quality outcomes within stipulated time frames.

“My Ministry will continue to closely monitor all projects to ensure that they are completed expeditiously,” said Uggah.