Today, Sarawak paved road network is stretching over 18,805km, gravel 6,036km, and 8,672km earth roads according to Tan Sri Dr. James Jemut Masing, Minister of Infrastructure and Development.

In total 33,513km of Sarawak road network has been registered under the Malaysian Road Records Information System (MARRIS) he said.

That’s a leap and bound from a few decades ago. Prior to 1958, Sarawak road network spanned only 130km long – confined to around major towns such as Kuching, Sibu, and Miri.

Punan Sama village in Belaga District. This village is about 140km from Bintulu, but as many settlements in rural areas it only connected via earth – abandoned logging road to Bintulu.

In 1983 the figure increased to 3,170km long, but only 25% of the road actually paved – the rest made up of gravel to earth road types. The State Government was only beginning to build a proper road network to link our major towns – from Kuching to Miri.

In comparison, during this same period, Sabah road network already spanning over 5,370km long and 31% paved road.

Surprisingly, despite our poor road condition then, the number of vehicles on our road were high about 128,000 in 1981 of which 44% were cars.

That figure jumped to nearly two million in 2015 (or 1,710,106) of which 781,811 cars, 756,411 motorcycles, 91,754 lorries.

But the State Government still has a lot to do. As noted by Dr. James there are 8,672km of MARRIS registered road classified as earth (formerly logging roads) and gravel road 6,036km.

This earth road network linked several longhouses or settlements in Kakus and Belaga to Bintulu.

Rural road network in Sarawa are mostly abandoned logging road.