In peninsular Malaysia people were complaining paying pittances for crossing the Penang bridges, PLUS highways. But, in Sarawak, specifically in Belaga district no one dares complaining paying RM950 per crossing to get to the other side of the manmade lake near Murum.
PLEASE READ THESE UPDATED STORIES:
- See follow up report here Outcry over RM150 per crossing.
- Sarawak Government: Stop charging RM150 toll on Murum bridge to all motorists
Are you surprised by the toll rates! Actually, that’s the cheapest rate (RM150) this unauthorized toll concessionaire is charging motorists in this part of Sarawak.
The rate can go as high as a whopping RM2500! Toll bridges are not uncommon in Sarawak – there are several of them in Kuching, Sibu and Miri.
None of them charging as high as the RM150 being charged in Belaga. The Asean bridge crossing Baram River is RM10, Sibu RM3 lowest rate.
What mind boggling about this concept of charging locals whatever they want – as if Belaga is somewhere in Africa or Syria governed by local warlords, who could do whatever they want.
According to reliable sources to visit remote settlements in upper reaches of Belaga district, you would be paying roughly RM800 for the road and RM150 for crossing the bridge!
It is learned that it was not officially sanctioned by the state authorities, but the concessionaire just doesn’t care!
In this remote isolated areas of Belaga District, which cover an area about the size of Perlis, you are at the mercy of local landlord – the timber concessionaires!
They almost have a free hand in governing this part of Sarawak.
Ironically, part of the official logging concessionaire agreement is for the ‘concessionaire’ to bring development, road access within the concessionaire areas – free of charge. Of course in return for timber and the destruction of the native homeland.
Thank Berita Belaga.