Melilas laments poor road, network

, National 2 minutes, 49 seconds


THE poor condition of the road and network signal continue to be a problem to residents of Mukim Melilas, as these affect their communication with family members in urban areas of Belait.

When interviewed recently, residents of the area voiced out their woes as some services have yet to properly reach the Mukim, including cellular signals that could make it convenient to contact people outside of Ulu Belait.

Principal of Melilas Religious School Muhd Shahrin Muhd Halim told The Brunei Times that the poor condition of the road resulted in the difficulty to access the area by regular non four-wheeled drive cars.

The pathway leading to the village, he said, has yet to be covered with asphalt which could enable travellers to reach the area smoothly.

The road, which is basically soil, may get soft when it rains and cause the tyres of cars to be stucked in the ground.

The condition, he said, has made it difficult for some people to reach the area, including those from the telephone line services and government officers who need to check up on their network every now and then.

Muhd Shahrin added that it may also be risky for regular non 4WD cars including saloon types to go to the area.

“There have been talks about improving the road conditions (since) around two years ago,” he said.

“But until now, we have yet to see any works being done on it; and I do hope that it could be soon, so it will be easier for anyone to travel to and fro the Mukim,” he added.

Cellular network is also an issue as they are only able to pick up services from neighbouring Malaysia.

Muhd Shahrin said that he is currently subscribed to an internet plan with a Malaysian service provider, which is amongst those that could give the area coverage.

“But it is still slow, and it may take a while for simple messages to be sent and received,” he said.

The concern was shared with another resident at the Mukim, Hj Badaruddin Abdullah Balik who has been living in the area for more than 70 years.

Besides road conditions, Hj Badaruddin also said that at times, it is difficult for his children, who are working outside of the Mukim to speak with him through the phone.

While some areas have coverage, he said, most may not have it, and it will also be difficult to reach people outside of the Mukim with the limited landline.

Hj Shahrul Fauzi Adam on the other hand, highlighted the troubles residents have to face in stocking up their fuel and supplies, as the nearest filling station is located in Lumut, which may take around three hours to reach.

At the same time, he said should a car broke down, the driver may have to travelled to town areas to find spareparts, as towing vehicles are only able to come down to some areas, far from Melilas.

While Malaysian cellular coverage could reach the area, he said it may also be difficult to top up their credits as that would mean they would have to travel farther just to get the reload cards.

Hj Shahrul also expressed hopes that the roads may be fixed as soon as possible, which may open up more development, including an electricity supply and medical facilities to be placed in the Mukim.

The Brunei Times