The works ministry is hoping for a bigger budget allocation from the government when Budget 2020 is tabled in parliament on October 11. It says the funds are sorely needed to upgrade federal roads, as Bernama reports.

According to deputy works minister Mohd Anuar Mohd Tahir, there have been many complaints about the quality of federal roads, but these have not been addressed due to budget constraints. “So, (hopefully, there will be) increased budget, more than last year, because federal roads, highways, and bridges, people use every day, every hour, and they need to be upgraded,” he said.

Mohd Anuar said the additional funding will ensure that states with long federal roads, such as Pahang, Kedah and Perak, will see much needed road repairs and upgrades. “For instance, in Pahang, there are long federal roads and they are not in good condition, so they must be given priority,” he said.

A year ago, prior to Budget 2019, works minister Baru Bian said that while the yearly cost for maintaining federal roads was around RM2 billion, the ministry only received between RM600 million and RM800 million a year. He said the allocation for maintenance had to be increased.

“It is important to make road maintenance a priority as it is related to safety for the users,” he said. He added that according to the ministry’s officers and experts, federal roads needed to be resurfaced every seven years, but this practice had yet to be carried out.