JULAU: The state Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Communications has set its focus on linking all rural longhouses and villages statewide by road by 2020.

Belaga road

Its minister Datuk Sri Micheal Manyin Jawong said there were still many longhouses and villages without road connectivity.

“We want to change this in eight to nine years from now.

“Then by the 11th Malaysia Plan, we will have at least gravel if not sealed roads to all of the over 5,000 longhouses and villages in the state,” he said at a meet-the-people session at Andrew Banggau Longhouse in Lubok Guchi, near here, Tuesday.

He had earlier accompanied Julau Member of Parliament Datuk Joseph Salang, who is also Deputy Information, Communications and Culture Minister, to inspect two ongoing road projects costing RM6 million and the RM195,000 Julau Bazaar suspension bridge under the National Key Result Area (NKRA).

Later, he told Bernama that this was not going to be an easy task, given the state’s size, challenging terrain and the scattered nature of the longhouses and villages.

He said some existing logging roads would also be considered but the state was fortunate that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had approved the construction of a few major rural roads statewide by the military through their Projek Jiwa Murni” (Heart and Mind project).

“I will meet the military authority soon for the state Public Works Department to be involved in the construction right from the start and in matters of maintenance.”

Manyin also said that Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was only “shooting from the hip” when he claimed that 92 per cent of 310 projects worth RM2.3 billion approved for the state had yet to be implemented.

“He was lying to suit the opposition’s convenience and to discredit the Barisan Nasional government in view of the coming parliamentary election.

“Many of the projects have been successfully implemented or are going on now,” he said, adding that he would release a statement on the actual projects completed soon after getting the reports from his officers on the ground.

Earlier, Salang who also spoke at the function, disclosed that Najib had on Wednesday approved the construction of the Nanga Entabai-Rantau Limau Road here by the military through their Projek Jiwa Murni.

“The road construction will only begin after the army and other relevant authorities have done the alignment survey, determine the compensation to be paid to the landowners affected, and so forth,” he said.