Speech at Committee Stage of Budget 2013 Debate by Wong Ho Leng, MP for P.212 Sibu, on Kementerian Luar Bandar on 30th October, 2012:
I wish to raise issue concerning Code 02300 Jalan-Jalan Luar Bandar
I am happy to see roads being constructed in rural areas to improve living conditions there. However, many of these roads are small, and do not allow 2 cars to pass. I have seen one of the cars ended up stuck on the side of the road or even in the drain. The Ministry should be more far sighted and should construct roads which are wider. We also see heavy trucks using these roads. They carry timber logs. This has posed danger to road users as well as damage the road. Even bridges in my constituency have collapsed because of these heavy trucks. The Ministry should prohibit heavy vehicles from using these roads and not close both eyes.
I have seen wooden planks being used as foundation for road construction. Naturally the roads look good when completed, but will last only a few months, because the foundations of these roads are not strong. Can I know from the Minister whether it is acceptable practice to use wooden planks as foundation for road construction?
I have also seen contractors using bakau wood as support for road construction. Naturally, bakau wood which are exposed to air would rot within a few months, and the edge of the road will erode. This will endanger road users. Can the Minister enlighten this House whether bakau wood is acceptable for use on road construction?
While the contractors try to save costs using wooden planks and bakau wood, they are in fact forcing the Government to spend more money in the long run to have to repair and maintain these roads.
The problems that I have raised are not found in my Kawasan alone. They are in fact quite common in Sarawak. I shall appreciate some explanation from the Minister