As a Siburian who born in Sibu, grew up in Sibu and stay in Sibu should I feel proud? Sibu will have country's longest bridge across a river by October 2009!
This was what being announced by local politicians who called themselves "Sibu Visionary Development Team" and now this issue had became the hottest table topic in the town of Sibu. Sibu people were not discussing about how proud they are, but they started to express their worry about Sibu future after the completion of this bridge.
Why so? Definitely a good question! It is because the height of the Batang Leba'an bridge will disallow ships heigher than 20m from passing through it! Then what? Then the taller cargo ships which cannot reach Sibu Rajang Port Authority will have to berth at Tanjung Manis wharf for loading and unloading, and the goods will later been sent to Sibu through road transport. So what? So the containers cannot reach Sibu directly and need extra transportation charges to sent them through road transport from Tanjung Manis to Sibu through Batang Leba'an bridge!!
So what is the implication of this? The implication is consumers will have to bear all the unnecessary additonal transportation charges which also means goods prices in Sibu will increase!
There are symptoms showing that Sibu economic is going nowhere when most youngsters choose to work outstation as job apportunities are limited and the pay is among the lowest in major towns of Sarawak. Flooding and poor drainage system problem is still remain unsolved, and now Sibu people likely to face another "challenge"!
Here is the main question - the individual or authority concern should have aware of this bridge height issue since before the planning stage, but why nobody sound it out? Why those local politicians only choose to tell Sibu people the truth at the final stage of the bridge building? If really it will harm the economic of Sibu, why they still approve the project with such specification? Got rumours saying it is related to some personal interest which I also not sure what it is.
Building a lower bridge certainly will save cost, but who is gonna responsible if it affects the local economy and development from now on till forever? Is it worth to risk Sibu people's life just for the sake of costs saving?
In Sibu Municipal Council official site, it stated that upon completion, the bridge will link the town with Tanjung Manis new township which is the fastest growing and major industrial area. Who care if you build a bridge to enrich other town by risking your own town's future?!?!
Starting today, 1st of July, only ships with maximum height of 20m will be allowed to pass through the bridge because the bridge connection construction is started. Nothing we can do now when some people purposely want to hide the truth from us and only choose to tell us at the very last minute!