Lest We Forget


Compiled by Faruq Aiman Bostaman

Brunei and Sarawak linked by new road

APRIL 11, 1987 – Travellers have waited for it for half a century or more, but the road from Kuala Belait to Miri is now sealed all the way.

Brunei beat Malaysia in the race by completing its section between the Belait River crossing and the Sungai Tujoh border post last year.

But Sarawak’s State Assistant Minister with Special Functions, Dr George Chan, last week officially opened the newly-completed, 9.8-kilometre tar-sealed road from the border to the Baram River.

Together with new ferry landings on both sides of the river, the Miri-Lutong road (11 kilometres) and the Lutong-Kuala Baram road (13 kilometres), the two new sections of road on both sides of the Brunei/Sarawak border form an important link of what will one day be the Pan-Borneo Highway stretching from Kuching all the way to Kota Kinabalu.

Brunei has got the jump on Sabah and Sarawak with the completion last year of the new coastal highway from Tutong to Bandar Seri Begawan, and work is also progressing well on the new bridge crossing the Belait River in Kuala Belait, as part of the Seria bypass project.

The Brunei part of the Pan-Borneo Highway will soon be just about the only section worthy of the name, until Malaysia gets serious about sealing the long stretch between Miri and Bintulu.

But the new road between Kuala Belait and the Baram River will give impetus to improve the Miri-Bintulu road, if only because there will be increasing numbers of travellers coming from the Brunei end.

The Sarawak Government has also commissioned a much bigger ferry to operate the Baram crossing.

Dr Chan officially put the Feri Harapan (pic) in service on the same day he opened the new road. The new ferry can carry 40 cars and 200 passengers, doubling the capacity of the old ferry.

More importantly, the new vessel is of the roll-on roll-off type, with cars driving in at one end and driving out straight off at the other end.

This will allow much faster turnaround times than were possible with the old ferry where cars had to drive on board and go through a complicated reversing manoeuvre before driving off again via the bow ramp.

The new Lutong-Kuala Baram road has been widened from 18 feet to 24 feet and a section has been moved inland because the old road was under constant attack through erosion.

Dr Chan said that the Pan-Borneo Highway was a much-cherished project whose completion would improve communications between Sabah and Sarawak and facilitate inter-state travel.

It would boost business contacts between Sarawak, Sarah and Brunei.

Dr Chan said the long-awaited completion of the stretch between Sungai Tujoh and the Baram River would undoubtedly cause an increase in the number of people crossing the border.

Maktab Sains pushes green envelope

APRIL 26, 2007 – Maktab Sains Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan has recently taken on the initiative to further its effort in preserving the environment, in conjunction with the World Earth Day celebrations.

The school will add a new recycle bin for paper to its two existing bins for aluminium cans and plastic bottles.

Principal Pengiran Hajah Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Kamaluddin, in her welcoming speech, said, “We are very proud to celebrae the World Earth Day, which falls on April 22. The World Earth Day was declared in 1970, and has since been recognised by 175 countries worldwide.”

She added, “Since 2006, through the environment and recycling club, our college has taken the initiative to educate the students to be responsible towards the environment. And all of us are aware of the coloured bins around the college.

“However, from today onwards, we are going to take one step further. All classes will provide two boxes: one for used papers that can be reused, and one for recycling purposes. Once the box for recycling is full, the students on duty will empty the box into the green bin, which is found on every floor of the premises.”

Students dropping an empty aluminium can and plastic bottle into the recycle bins
Students dropping an empty aluminium can and plastic bottle into the recycle bins

She also explained that the objective of the recycling campaign is to reduce paper wastage. “In addition, there will be a suggestion box for students to offer ideas to help make the college become more environmentally friendly.

“Taking care of the environment doesn’t stop here in Maktab Sains,” she said. “In a few days, we will be holding our sports day at Belapan Sports Complex, and it will be a good time to put into practice our responsibilities towards the environment. All sport houses will also prepare bin bags for aluminium cans, plastic bottles and miscellaneous items.”

Earlier, students recited a collection of poems relating to the environment. – James Kon