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Villagers protest against Beluru-Lapok road upgrading works proposal


Long Lapok, September 01 2010 -Villagers affected by the proposed road upgrading works between Beluru-Lapok held a protest outside a local coffee shop, Kedai Kopi Nyamai this afternoon. Armed with placards condemning the state government, some 80 villagers also chanted slogans during the 30-minute protest.

The protest is held as a response to the announcement made in last month by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who flew  in a Black Hawk helicopter to Long Banga and declared “I will ensure that the RM100 million Beluru-Lapok Road is implemented.”

Long Banga is situated very close to the Sarawak-Indonesia border. It requires an eight to 10-hour drive from Miri, or one hour by helicopter.

The untarred Lapok Road, off the highway, is full of huge potholes; some so big they can swallow up a small car, which is a pride among the locals here. During the rainy season, the entire Lapok Road turns into a slush of mud, sand and loose stones. A spokesperson from Tourism Ministry who refused to give his identity revealed that the Tourism Ministry will make this into a niche tourism attraction for the gullible tourists.

Led by the Lapok Aggravated and Mistreated People’s Association (LAMPA) chairman Lipahim Tali, the protesters voiced their disapproval against the state government’s decision to upgrade the Lapok road.

Lipahim claimed that the road have important historical and cultural value, having existed for 40 years and should be preserved as native heritage in the state. The villagers are very happy with the current condition of the road.

“Historically, we are long staying residents here since the James Brooke era. We have the right to keep the road in its current state. We do not want it to be upgraded,” he said.

Some 16,000 villagers from the settlements and villages along the stretch from the Miri-Bintulu highway to Lapok Bazaar are affected by the proposed road upgrading works.

Cargo-transporter Tee Tok Kok regularly sends supplies to shops in Lapok Bazaar.

His five-tonne lorry had been damaged many times. Punctured tyres, twisted axles and rims are just some of the resulting troubles he had to put up with travelling along the road. But this is something Tee looks forward to as he aspires to be in Malaysian Book of Records for the vehicle owner with most frequently break down vehicle - for category lorry below five tonne.

“During the rainy season, it is very risky travelling along this road, and that is the best time to travel for me. There have been times when I get stuck in the mud and cannot get out, and I truly enjoyed the experience. I am confident I will make it into Malaysian Book of  Records soon,” he said.

“I hope the government will let us endure this for as long as it takes. Why is it that the Government leaders keep saying year after year that funds to repair Lapok Road has already been approved? We don’t need that. The government can use that fund for more important and better things like new State Legislative Assembly building or sending another space tourist.

Tee happily shared a video from his personal collection to all the readers.

SOURCE : MY TRUSTED BIRD-BIRD

Thursday March 25, 2010

Major bumpy ride along Lapok Road

Story and photo by STEPHEN THEN

stephenthen@thestar.com.my

LAPOK Bazaar is 120km from Miri city but the distance is not the problem. It is what you encounter along the Miri-Bintulu highway that makes the trip one you will not soon forget.

The untarred Lapok Road, off the highway, is full of huge potholes; some so big they can swallow up a small car.

During the rainy season, the entire Lapok Road turns into a slush of mud, sand and loose stones. Driving on then becomes not only a rough experience, it becomes dangerous.

Muddy: All sorts of vehicles can get stuck along this Miri-Lapok road that had remained in horrendous condition for the past 40 years.

The condition of the road is so bad that accidents and vehicle breakdowns are a daily event.

There are some 16,000 people living in settlements and villages along the stretch from the Miri-Bintulu highway to Lapok Bazaar.

They have to travel on this horrendous road every day to get to Miri to work, shop and school.

The Lapok Road was built 40 years ago and its condition has gone from bad to worse.

Cargo-transporter Teo Boon Seng regularly sends supplies to shops in Lapok Bazaar.

His five-tonne lorry had been damaged many times. Punctured tyres, twisted axles and rims are just some of the resulting troubles he had to put up with travelling along the road.

“During the rainy season, it is very risky travelling along this road, but I have no choice. Whenever the shops in Lapok run out of supplies, my boss in Miri will assign me to deliver these goods.

“There have been times when I get stuck in the mud and cannot get out. I have to call for help from tow-trucks,” he said.

“How much longer are we going to have to endure this? Why is it that the Government leaders keep saying year after year that funds to repair Lapok Road has already been approved?

“Where are the funds? If the funds had been channeled, why hasn’t repair work started?” Teo questioned.

Baram MP Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan recently said a RM150mil budget for the repair and upgrading of the road had been approved by the Treasury Department.

He said the authorities were now in the process of hiring a contractor to repair the road.

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5 Responses to “Villagers protest against Beluru-Lapok road upgrading works proposal”

  1. haritz wrote on Sep 3, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Some should be leave like that

    [Reply]

  2. Cyril Dason wrote on Sep 5, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Bro, mana idea buat filem jalan ya? I’m waiting for that… 😛

    [Reply]

  3. fara wrote on Sep 8, 2010 at 12:38 am

    ive been to lapok.

    [Reply]

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