Building road on hilly terrain in rural Sarawak is not easy nor cheap. Thus many of rural villages still inaccessible to the outside world.
In order to expedite rural connectivity, the Government came out with an idea of using the Malaysian Army to build road and bridges linking these remote places.
They call it “Jiwa Murni” or Pure Soul project. A conventional road construction method is not cheap nor fast. So the army adopted fast and easy road construction method – by simply compacting the soil. A thin layer of crushed stone then laid, sprayed with tar to glue everything together.
The Public Works Department (JKR) had estimated that the construction of the 32km Belaga – Mejawah road, using the conventional method would have cost over RM320 million instead of RM62 million.
According to Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the allocation for the projects had been channeled directly to the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Rural Development.
The Royal Engineer Regiment of the Malaysian Armed Forces has constructed a total of 1,223km of roads throughout Sarawak, through its Jiwa Murni program involving the cost of RM743 million.