The Federal government will allocate over RM400 million from the RM5 billion annual Malaysian Road Records Information System (Marris) allocation to Pahang to ensure roads in the state are restored to good condition, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He said potholes on federal roads may lead to accidents and that it was among issues raised by Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail at the National Finance Meeting in Putrajaya this morning.
Anwar also explained that part of the total allocation for regular maintenance of federal roads, which has been increased to RM1 billion from the RM750 million announced in the 2023 Budget, was also earmarked for Pahang.
“In the past, state roads were in bad conditions and federal roads were good. Now, with the MARRIS allocation, the state roads are good, and the federal roads have potholes here and there. I have increased the allocation (for maintenance of federal roads) to RM1 billion to fix the roads immediately.
“Immediate action is not direct negotiation because I do not agree with leaks, but through tenders, immediately and limited,” he said in his speech at the Prime Minister’s Mandate with Pahang officials here today.
Also present were Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali and over 3,000 Pahang civil servants from various agencies and departments.
Anwar said the increase in federal road maintenance allocation to RM1 billion was possible because the country’s revenue soared after ‘high-income earners’ started to pay tax to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).
“This is because I told IRB that I don’t care what rank they are, whether you’re Tun or Datuk Seri, if you don’t pay tax, action will be taken and if the revenue increases, we can announce projects for the people,” he said.
In this regard, the Prime Minister said the government also gave flexibility to the Pahang government to use the MARRIS allocation to repair public facilities damaged by floods such as buying modular steel panel bridges or Bailey bridges.
This is in recognition of the fact that Pahang is a state that is hit by natural disasters every year, causing various damages to public facilities.
In addition, Anwar also assured that under his administration, projects to meet the needs of the people, particularly the rehabilitation of dilapidated schools and clinics, as well as quarters for government employees, will be given priority.
Anwar added that the dependence on consultant services need to be reduced because he has confidence in the ability and capability of civil servants to handle projects.