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Masing to meet stakeholders on maintenance of state’s Jiwa Murni roads
Posted on : 10 Oct 2017  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Masing to meet stakeholders on maintenance of state’s Jiwa Murni roads

October 10, 2017, Tuesday


Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing

KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing will call for a high-level meeting soon to solve issues surrounding the maintenance works for all ‘Jiwa Murni’ roads in Sarawak.

He said the meeting will involve the Ministry of Defence (Mindef), Public Works Department (JKR), Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Transportation (MIDT), Ministry of Defence, the Prime Minister’s Office, State Financial Secretary (SFS) Office, Land and Survey Department and Forest Department.

“I am calling for a meeting with JKR, MIDT, Mindef, PM’s Office, SFS, Land and Survey (Department) and Forestry (Forest Department) to discuss and solve problems of maintenance on all Jiwa Murni roads in Sarawak,” Masing told The Borneo Post yesterday.

Masing, who is Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation, revealed that he had frequently used the Bakun road since its construction but had stopped using it since 2016.

“For your information, I have driven through Mejawah-Bakun road (34km) many times since it was constructed. The last time I used the road was in 2016.

“Off late, due to lack of maintenance, wear and tear takes its toll making it (the road) not as safe as it used to be,” he said, admitting the road is no longer well-maintained.

Masing also explained that JKR was not willing to take over maintenance of the road because certain requirements were not followed when the road was built.

Jiwa Murni roads – built by army engineers by compacting the soil, spreading a thin layer of crushed stones over it before sealing it with tar – costs about RM3,000 per kilometre.

In comparison, R3-standard roads cost between RM10,000 and RM15,000 per kilometre.

For the record, JKR had estimated that the construction of the 34-kilometre Belaga-Mejawah road using the conventional method would have cost over RM320 million, instead of RM62 million.

The Royal Engineer Regiment of the Malaysian Armed Forces has constructed a total of 1,223km of roads throughout Sarawak, through its Jiwa Murni programme, involving a cost of RM743 million.

Other than Bakun, roads in Marudi and Ba Kelalan are also constructed under the Jiwa Murni programme.

“Once solutions are found and agreed upon by all stakeholders, the damaged Jiwa Murni roads, including Mejawah-Belaga road, will be repaired by JKR. Till then, please drive with care,” Masing concluded.