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Illegal agriculture main source of damage on federal roads, says Works Ministry

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KUALA LUMPUR: The illegal use of land for agricultural purposes in the highlands has been identified as the main cause of damage to federal roads and slopes that are under the purview of the Ministry of Public Works.

The situation is endangering road users, especially during heavy downpours, when landslides or mud flooding are likely to occur in those places.

One of the sections prone to landslides is the East-West Highway, especially in the Lojing area in Gua Musang, Kelantan.

A recent media survey, which accompanied ministry staff on the third edition of their FTRoadpedia tour of the East Zone, found that illegal agricultural activities have encroached on the road reservoir in the area in question, causing rain collects there. Landslides have occurred in the area and have caused the road to be closed.

The risks posed by illegal land use along federal highways were among the main issues KKR focused on during the FTRoadpedia Tour 3.0 from August 11-13. Public Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof was one of 38 high-ranking officials from KKR and its departments and agencies who participated in the program.

Fadillah told reporters that as part of efforts to curb damage to his roads and slopes, his ministry will take strong action to end illegal farming activities by conducting integrated enforcement operations with the state government and other agencies. related.

He said that agricultural activity in the highlands must be managed properly, together with proper coordination, planning and comprehensive action, especially if it is the issue of the acquisition or use of land without authorization.

“(Invading the road reserves) will affect the existing infrastructure (roads), in addition to exposing the land acquired without following the appropriate procedures to various risks. What we fear is the occurrence of critical events like a mud flood as it can cut off the road,” he said.

When this happens, many parties will be affected, including road users and farmers who will not be able to deliver their produce due to the road closure, he added.

Meanwhile, the East Zone FTRoadpedia Tour 3.0 took delegates on a 1,105-kilometre journey on federal highways from Kuala Lumpur to Pahang, Kelantan and Perak, where they also stopped to visit some interesting places that federal highway users can also visit. consider visiting.

The minister said continued efforts must be made to encourage people to use federal highways more often, as the government does not want its infrastructure to be underutilized.

“We want to increase traffic flow on the highway network in question so that people don’t see them (the federal highways) only as alternative routes to avoid congestion during the holiday season,” he said, adding that driving on federal highways it can be a beneficial experience.

“Road users can get beautiful views of the forests and green hills, and there are also many recreational and tourist places nearby. In fact, they can even choose to spend a night in one of these places. For example, the old Bentong to Raub road (FT218 at Section 24.80) in Pahang and the main road from Raub to Fraser’s Hill are full of tourist spots,” he said.

Pointing to Jalan Simpang Pulai-Blue Valley in Perak’s Kinta district, he said users of the federal highway can visit the Cameron Highlands in Pahang, known for its scenic views, tea and strawberry plantations.

The Malaysian Federal Road System is the main national road network in the country. According to the Ministerial Functions Act of 1969, KKR is responsible for planning, building and maintaining all federal highways, totaling 17,830 kilometers in length, including in Sabah and Sarawak, under the Federal Highways Act of 1959 .

However, following the development of highways across the country since the 1970s, there has been a marked decline in the flow of traffic on federal highways.d.

“Usually during the festive season, road users tend to choose the federal highways. They can (for example) go from Kuala Lumpur to Raub using the Bentong-Raub highway to avoid traffic congestion.

“Those who use the old road will stop at one of the shops in Bentong to eat or buy something. Many local residents have also set up stalls along the road (Bentong-Raub) to sell their agricultural products,” she said.

FTRroadpedia Tour participants also visited the new Bailey Bridge on the Bentong-Raub route. This bridge, a temporary crossing, was built after the existing bridge collapsed on February 22 during a heavy downpour.

Work on the Bailey Bridge began on February 24, and the structure was completed three days later. An application has been submitted for the construction of a permanent bridge, at an estimated cost of RM10 million, under the 12th Malaysia Plan.

Wan Amir Hamzah Wan Ishak, 45, a Tras mukim leader in Raub, said residents are grateful for the quick completion of the temporary bridge, which has a capacity of 30 tons, as it offers them a short cut to Raub town. .

“There are eight Orang Asli, two Malay and three Chinese villages in this area and by using the bridge, it takes only 15 minutes for villagers to get to Raub to buy essential items or sell their produce. If the bridge wasn’t there, it would take us a time to get to town,” he said.- Bernama


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Peter Anthony uses Sabah budget debate to apologise for ‘words, actions’ during GE15

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KOTA KINABALU: Parti Kesejahteraan Demoktratik Malaysia (KDM) Chairman Datuk Peter Anthony (Photo) took the opportunity to apologize for any wrong words and actions that may have occurred throughout his campaign leading up to the 15th General Election (GE15).

He was giving his budget debate speech during the state legislature sitting here on Tuesday (Nov. 29), when he apologized without directly referring to any issue or issue.

“The general elections recently concluded and whatever has happened in the past, I hope it stays in the past,” he said.

“We are now in a new government and we hope we can all work together at the state and federal level to budget and move Sabah forward to bring political stability and economic growth,” Peter said.

Representing the party and all its members, he said, “if something wrong was said and done, I apologize.”

On November 5, a riot broke out at the Tenom nomination center when Peter’s nomination was rejected hours after it was accepted by the state Election Commission.

A group of supporters went on a rampage, forcing security forces to use tear gas to disperse the crowd at around 2:00 p.m.

Earlier, Peter spoke about the issues facing his Melalap constituency, which falls under Tenom’s parliamentary seat, including water and electricity supply issues, a lack of shops, economic opportunities and a lack of infrastructure development. .

I hoped that the government would take steps to address these problems, for the betterment of the people of Melalap.

He supported the State Budget 2023 which was introduced in the assembly by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor on Friday (Nov 25).


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PTPTN repayment incentive taken up by over 11,000 S’wak graduates since 2019

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KUCHING: Some 11,095 Sarawakian graduates have benefited from the Yayasan Sarawak Higher Education National Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan repayment incentive since 2019, says Datuk Roland Sagah.

The state’s education, innovation and talent development minister said the incentive has risen to RM36.1 million since it was introduced.

READ ALSO: Budget 2023: Streamline incentives offered, PTPTN borrowers urged

“Sarawak is the only state in Malaysia that provides such an incentive. Another 30 million ringgit has been approved for this incentive next year,” he told the Sarawak Legislative Assembly as he wrapped up business related to his ministry on Tuesday (Nov 29).

Sagah said the 30:30 incentive was part of the state government’s efforts to help ease the burden on Sarawak graduates of repaying their PTPTN student loans.

Under the scheme, the state government will subsidize 30% of the balance of graduates who have already repaid at least 30% of their loans.

For example, it said that a graduate with a loan of RM10,000 must have paid back at least RM3,000 to be eligible for the scheme.

READ ALSO: PTPTN loan discounts a welcome move

“With this, you are eligible for a 30% incentive on the balance of RM7,000, which goes up to RM2,100.

“Therefore, the remaining balance of the graduate’s loan will be RM4,900,” Sagah said, adding that the scheme encouraged graduates to meet their loan repayment obligations.

Sagah also said that the first Yayasan Sarawak International Secondary School (YSISS) in Petra Jaya began operations on April 4 with an initial cohort of 115 students from across the state.

READ ALSO: Abang Johari hopes Yayasan Sarawak International Schools will produce high-level students

“Once fully developed, the campus will have a capacity of 500 students in years seven to 11, which is equivalent to grades one through five,” he said.

It added that the construction of YSISS Kuching at mile 12 of Kuching-Serian Road was scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of next year, while the construction of YSISS Sibu was scheduled to start early next year.

“Both YSISS Bintulu and Miri are currently in the planning stage,” he said.


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Three killed, six injured in car-van collision in Kluang

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KLUANG: Three people were killed and six others injured after an accident involving two vehicles at KM15 Jalan Kluang – Teck Wah Hing here.

Kluang OCPD Asst Comm Bahrin Mohd Noh said the accident happened around 4pm on Monday (November 28), after a 20-year-old driver of a car lost control of the wheels and collided with a van.

“According to the initial investigation, the van was heading towards Kluang from Renggam, while the car was moving in the opposite direction.

“The driver of the car then lost control and skidded into the oncoming lane, causing the collision to occur,” he said in a statement here Monday.

He added that the family of four in the van sustained injuries and is being treated at Kluang Hospital.

“There were four people in the van, including two children between the ages of 11 and 15. They are currently receiving medical treatment at the hospital.

“Meanwhile, the four people in the van are colleagues. Two of them, including the driver, died at the scene, while one more person died while receiving treatment at the hospital,” he said.

He said the deceased are between 17 and 21 years old.

The case is being investigated under Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987.


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