I rode my old Honda EX5 motorbike along the Padawan Road heading to my village. It was a great ride on the gravel and dusty road though sometime I ramped some of the shallow muddy holes. I was lucky because there were fewer cars since the Padawanians use to travel using the Borneo Highland Resort asphalt road. It recalled my schooling time when we used to travel by bus from my village to Kuching. Padawan Road has changed a little bit where asphalt road can be found at several villages. The rest of it, I have to ride carefully. As I ride on the road, I said to myself, “It’s an old time riding as the memories are recalled.”
Borneo Highland Resort road was built for a better access to Borneo Highland Resort, Annah Rais Longhouse and any other places at Padawan area. Somehow, I purposely travel along the old Padawan Road to recall my memory when I was 13 to 16 years old as I was a college student in Kolej Tun Abdul Razak. The gravel road from Kampung Begu to my very own village made me ride slowly and carefully. I broke my shield guard knocked by small stone.
At Annah Rais, I found two piles of gravel stones and a pile of asphalt were used for the land breaking ceremony by Taib Mahmud. I got to understand that it was the third phase of the road construction for Jalan Padawan. The first phase was done from Tapah Baazar to Simpok at about 10 Kilometers length. The second phase is from Simpok until Teng Bukap and Kampung Begu. Padawan Road is changing and hopes to change faster. In fact, there were demand arose few years back but the government were out of money which I could not understand.
Sadly, Link Road, from Semeru to Bisira Rayang is still the same. I asked my elder sister who has she voted for during last election. “Barisan Nasional” she answered me. One night, we had a Gawai Dinner at my friend’s house. We talked about the Link Road and Padawan Road condition as Link Road has never changed since it first construction. I asked them who they have voted for. The same answer they have given with my sister’s one. Barang Naik (BN). The best answer I ever heard is all the old folks are giving their full trust to the “poor” state government. Somehow, there are many CMS quarry at Padawan area such as Beratok Quarry, Panquarry, Akud Quarry and others. Where are the state resources? Why should we ride on the gravel road when there are many quarries and asphalt? Are the stones and asphalt going to be used to build the corrupted politicians grave?
I saw one by one hill is being ruined to harvest granite stone but the Aborigines’ area is still undeveloped. It was a mistake made by the Padawanian to vote the cruel government. We are still riding on the dusty gravel road while the others are riding on a very nice asphalt road. However, I never feel sad to ride on the gravel road because the Aborigines had given their full “support” to those they like and to stand for their rights and demands.