By Emma Victoria
VILLAGERS from Kampung Beliong in Samarahan are longing for a better connectivity with urban areas as their only mode of transportation across Sungai Samarahan is now with a sampan.
Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong said the villagers pleas have fallen on deaf ears for the the past 57 years as nothing has changed.
She said the villagers were overjoyed when the state government promised there would be a ferry service starting next March.
“I was informed by the Infrastructure and Port Development Ministry last December that instead of constructing a bridge, they will provide a ferry service. The residents there are looking forward to it and their agony of having to rely only on sampan services to travel will soon come to an end,” she said.
“It will also boost the local tourism and the cottage industry as the villagers can make extra income by selling handicrafts and local produce.”
Each year, thousands of tourists from all over the world including Taiwan and Singapore make special trips there, to visit the famous Beliong Chinese Temple, she said in a statement.
However, Yong said she has received feedback from the locals that nothing has progressed since the announcement last year and it was just six months away from the much anticipated commencement of the ferry service.
“Obviously, the project is not progressing as planned and is expected to be delayed. All these years, it has always been the wishes of Kampung Beliong villagers that the government construct a bridge over Sungai Samarahan to improve the connectivity between Kuching, Samarahan and their village.”
“Sadly, the request has fallen on deaf ears despite the fact that the local community there always gave their unwavering support to the ruling government in every state and general elections for the past 57 years.”
“I urge the Ministry to keep the people updated on the progress of the project and on when the ferry services will begin as it is important to serve the area,” she said.