MIRI (Nov 8): The upcoming Northern Coastal Highway and beautiful green hills between Limbang and Lawas will make it a beautiful scenic drive even better than in Capetown in South Africa, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said this would be integrated into the Sarawak-Sabah Link Road (SSLR), which links Marudi to Long Terawan in Baram as well as Bukit Buda and the upper reaches of Limbang and Lawas – offering a second road link bypassing Brunei.

“This will take between six to seven years to materialise,” he said when officiating the Limbang Division ‘Sarawakku Sayang’ programme at Long Tuma, Lawas.

Abang Johari said the highway, proposed deepwater port and other infrastructure are part of the government’s efforts to turn these two districts into attractive tourist and investment destinations.

“Sarawak has the capacity to fund such developments as its revenue has increased substantially with the introduction of sales tax for petroleum products exported.

“This (developments) include the proposed bigger Lawas Airport costing RM600 million, which could be funded by the state government first. In all humility, if Putrajaya cannot give us the money, we can build it first and they can reimburse us later – then the money can be used for other things,” he said.

To do so, however, Abang Johari said Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) needs a resounding mandate from Sarawakian voters to put its candidates in all 31 seats the coalition is vying for in the 15th General Election (GE15).

“It is imperative the state is in the position of strength in Parliament to continue its struggle for a better future for Sarawakians and to realise the plans to fast-forward them into the new economy,” he said.

Also present were Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Speaker Tan Sri Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar, Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department Datuk Gerawat Gala and Deputy State Secretary Datu Dr Muhammad Abdullah Zaidel. -Source: The Borneo Post