Ops Mai Pulai end of July, Alfred Jabu

KUCHING, June 29 (Bernama) – The remains of 21 Iban warriors who were killed by communist terrorists during the Malayan Emergency will make their final journey home to Sarawak by end of next month.

Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Alfred Jabu said under the Operation Mai Pulai (bring home), the remains of the Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers would be sent home and reburied with proper ceremony and Iban traditional customs.

“It is proposed that Chief Minister, Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud will officiate at the Operation Mai Pulai which will be held at the end of July,” he said in his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly sitting, here today.

Jabu said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud had made all the necessary arrangements and preparation to bring back the remains of the warriors.

“The Sarawak government is very thankful to the Defence Ministry, Home Affairs Ministry and Singapore government for allowing to bring back the remains of our fallen heroes,” he said.  — BERNAMA

Sematan-Merapok trunk road upgrading to cost RM16 billion, Manyin

KUCHING, June 27 (Bernama) — The upgrading of the state trunk road to a two-lane dual carriageway stretching for 1,080 km from Sematan, near here to Merapok, in Lawas is estimated to cost RM16 billion at the current rate.

Sarawak Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin said today, in view of the high cost of approximately RM13 million per km, the upgrading exercise would be carried out in phases.

“In the meantime, proposals have been made under the 10th Malaysia Plan’s second rolling plan (2012-2013) to provide some stretches of the roads from Sibu to Miri with overtaking lanes,” he said in his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly sitting at Petra Jaya, here.

He said the proposed project was to reduce road accidents and to allow drivers, who were being held up by slow heavy vehicles, to overtake.

On the issue raised by Ling Sie Kong (DAP-Piasau) for the construction of a road by-passing the Brunei territories linking Miri/Long Lama/Limbang/Lawas/Merapok and to Sindumin in Sabah, he said, a study had been carried out on the proposal.

Manyin said the implementation of the proposed Sarawak-Sabah link road, which was about 275 km with an estimated cost of RM3.5 billion, would depend on the approval from the federal government and availability of funds.

However, the federal government had agreed to construct a 52 km-long road linking Miri to Marudi, which would be undertaken on a fast track basis by the Defence Ministry under the Jiwa Murni programme, he said.

He said the development of road infrastructure facilities would continue to focus on establishing an efficient and effective road network to facilitate the state’s economic transformation and integrate the rural population into the mainstream of development.

On the possibility of constructing a railway system in the state, he said, the state government was undertaking a study on railway development master plan for the central region.

He said the study was in its draft final stage and scheduled to complete in August next year. — BERNAMA

Dennis Ngau question use of funds raised by BMF for the Penan

KUCHING, June 26 (Bernama) — A Sarawak backbencher today questioned the use of funds by the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) to help the Penan in the state.

Dennis Ngau (BN-Telang Usan) said facilities like schools, clinics and so forth were all provided by Barisan Nasional (BN) government in Penan settlements.

“Where have all the funds they have collected all this years for the so called victimized Penan go to?

“What has the organization done for the Penan, I don’t even see a single toilet built by them, let alone a clinic or school,” he said when debating the motion of thanks for to the Yang Dipertua Negeri’s aaddress the assembly sitting here.

Dennis also urged the opposition to stop making use of the Penan as tool to gain support or political mileage. — BERNAMA