The state government wants to build good roads that are on par with those in Peninsular Malaysia but it lacks money.
“It is the responsibility of the government to provide good infrastructure but we always lack of fund,” Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin said at the launch of JAC Light Commercial Truck Assembly Line here yesterday.
The RM10mil facility, which is located at KM13, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, is owned by NB Heavy Industries Sdn Bhd (NBHI).
It employs about 150 workers and has the capacity to assemble 6,000 trucks annually.
Manyin said he was aware of the many complaints and suggestions from various quarters regarding the upgrading of the state trunk road to a dual carriageway highway.
“Unfortunately to build a dual carriageway from Lundu to Miri would cost RM16bil,” the minister said.
He disclosed that his ministry had conducted studies on the roads in Peninsular Malaysia and found that most of the international standard roads there were toll roads.
Manyin said while it was not difficult to get takers for toll roads in Peninsular Malaysia, it was not easy to get the private sector to build them in Sarawak.
“Moreover the Government must provide an alternative as it cannot force people to use toll roads,” Manyin stressed.
He also said studies showed that a lot of accidents on our roads were caused by speedingon good, straight roads.
He disclosed that 1.2 persons died every day in road accidents in the state compared to about 19 persons in Peninsular Malaysia.
Manyin appealed to all road users to drive within the speed limit and always make sure that their vehicles were road-worthy at all times.
“We can’t afford to compromise road safety,” he stressed.
Then he praised NBHI, a subsidiary of NB Motors Group, for its initiative and far-sighted vision in giving skills training in the motor industry for local workers.
The group evolved from a humble automobile repair company established by Ngu Chung Beng and his five sons in 1971.
It gradually expanded and diversified into auto parts, manufacturing and distribution of motorcycles and commercial vehicles, distribution of passenger vehicles, machinery and equipment.
Today, it is a leading automobile company in the state with branches throughout the country.
NBHI executive director Johnnie Ngu said the misconceptions about China-made vehicles as being inferior and low quality were proven wrong with the solid reputation of JAC Motors, a leading automobile manufacturer in China.
Ngu said JAC Motors, which was founded in 1964, manufactured more than 700,000 units of world-class light, medium and heavy-duty trucks, vans, MPV, SRV, sedan and buses annually for export to over 100 countries.
Also presented at the launch were NBHI chairman Datuk Ting Ong Hua, managing director William Ngu, JAC Motors vice general manager David Zhang, Road Transport Department director Ibrahim Othman and director of Automotive Engineering Division and Road Transport Department in the Ministry of Transport, Mohamad Dalib.