Thursday, December 8

Work on surau to start after status of cables known

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SANTUBONG: Construction of a surau at Kampung Gersik, which has been delayed, will start as soon as the status of the cables underneath the site is determined.

Santubong MP Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar yesterday told reporters that the Public Works Department (PWD) and Sesco had been alerted to check whether the old cables were live.

“It was only recently that this matter was brought up by the contractor. We have taken immediate action to solve the delay.

“Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi (Pantai Damai assemblyman) has also held a dialogue with all relevant parties to address the delay to the project,” assured Wan Junaidi when met after officiating at the earth-breaking ceremony for the new mosque at Kampung Santubong.

The controversy surrounding the delayed Kampung Gersik surau project was first publicised in the media on Feb 5, when a group of 200 demonstrators led by Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Kampung Gersik sub branch chief Kushairi Aman held a peaceful assembly at the project site to protest the delay. A notice board in front of the project site stated the date of commencement as May 6, 2011 and completion to be March 5, 2012 which is next month.

It was reported that the villagers were unhappy that they were never told of the reason for the delay. Because of the delay, the villagers had no choice but to use individual houses as temporary surau. This was due to the fact that the new surau was to be built on the same site as the old surau.

Following last week’s episode, Wan Junaidi said it was crucial that there must be effective communication between the contractors, PWD and the mosque committee including the village development and security committee (JKKK) to keep everyone informed of any shortcoming.

“If there is better communication and dialogues regarding the delayed project, the villagers would be content and not resort to the demonstration on Feb 4. The contractor should have told the elected representative, community leaders and the village surau committee about the delay,” he pointed out.

Wan Junaidi also questioned the project consultant for not monitoring the project and notifying all relevant parties about the delay. When asked on what action would be taken against the contractor, he said that the matter would be handled by PWD.

Initially, the plan was to upgrade Kampung Gersik surau into a mosque, with an allocation of RM2.25 million but the project had to be scaled down because a big mosque was to be built at Darul Hannah.

“Now the project costs some RM1.3 million, making it the most expensive surau in the city,” he commented, adding that part of the original allocation would be used for the building of two mosques at Kampung Santubong and Muara Tebas.

When completed, the Kampung Gersik surau will be able to accommodate a congregation of 300 worshippers.