GERIK, August 25 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has announced an additional allocation of RM30 million for the upgrade of the East-West Road connecting Gerik and Jeli. He stated that this allocation is in addition to the existing road maintenance allocation, estimated at RM80 million, bringing the total allocation to RM100 million. Anwar, who also serves as the Finance Minister, mentioned that there are numerous requests for road maintenance allocations across the country, which he will review in the upcoming second Madani Budget to be presented in October.
But today, I can approve an additional RM30 million to repair the road,” he said during a speech at the launch of the MyJalan campaign by the Ministry of Works (KKR) here today. Also present were Minister of Works Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi and Perak Chief Minister Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad. Earlier, Alexander had announced an initial allocation of RM30 million from the Ministry of Works for the upgrade and maintenance of the road. Meanwhile, Anwar stated that the government has approved an additional RM370 million for federal road maintenance throughout Malaysia this year.
He explained that RM300 million is allocated for federal road maintenance not covered in concession company contracts. “RM20 million is designated for district engineers, and RM50 million is for the installation and maintenance of lights in high-risk accident areas,” he said. The Prime Minister added that the government has also allocated RM250 million for maintenance work involving small Bumiputera contractors. Anwar also presented a token of appreciation of RM1,000 to 87 families of Public Works Department (JKR) workers who were involved in the construction of the East-West Road (FT004) as a symbol of gratitude for their dedicated service.
Anwar also presented commemorative gifts to 37 former employees and family members who were involved in the construction of FT004. On May 21, 1974, communist terrorists damaged dozens of heavy machinery units, and on August 27, 1974, three JKR officers were killed while working on the construction of this road. During a subsequent media briefing, Nanta stated that the road repair work would be carried out as soon as possible and would be managed by the concessionaire company. With this additional allocation, we can spend on more substantial work, not just patching the road because this road has been around for a long time.
“The road can also be rebuilt, maybe any necessary work in the future will depend on the technical team to determine what repairs need to be made using this allocation,” he said in response to whether the allocation would also be used for additional streetlights due to areas being too dark, stating that all needs would be examined first.