Works minister: Over RM2b needed to build and upkeep roads in Malaysia

Works Minister Baru Bian speaks to reporters in his office in Kuala Lumpur April 26, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Works Minister Baru Bian speaks to reporters in his office in Kuala Lumpur April 26, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — Works Minister Baru Bian said over RM2 billion is needed for his ministry to build more roads and to upgrade and maintain existing connecting infrastructure in the country.

He said he hopes that his ministry's budget allocation will be increased as currently, it doesn't even receive 50 per cent of the amount required.

“If I had it my way, I would like to have a huge budget for the construction of roads in Malaysia, especially in Sabah and Sarawak as it is not complete in that sense... to have that connectivity in terms of infrastructure. I think that would be an achievement.

“The greatest challenge for me is the restriction on budget. We should have at least over RM2 billion every year, just enough to maintain the roads under the government throughout the nation. Unfortunately, we only receive not even 50 per cent of that amount,” he told the press in conjunction with Pakatan Harapan’s first anniversary celebration.

Baru said he was satisfied with his ministry's work so far and added that it has been a privilege to lead a “cooperative ministry”.

The Sarawak PKR chairman said having a cooperative ministry has helped him to learn the ropes quickly.

“I am very privileged to have taken over a ministry that is readily cooperative. The top management officers were very helpful when I took over.

“There was a lot that I did not know and needed to learn to be able to improve the ministry’s performance and it is an ongoing process for me,” he said.

Baru said his greatest achievement as Works minister in the past year included the abolishment of three tolls for motorcyclists, namely the bridges connecting Penang and the mainland and the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link Expressway in Johor, which was implemented on January 1.

He said this has reduced the cost of living for motorcyclists utilising the routes by between RM24 to RM66 per month.

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