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Promised community hall yet to materialise

by Lim How Pim, reporters@theborneopost.com. Posted on January 21, 2013, Monday

FREE PARKING: The old site of the Tabuan Jaya market has become a parking area.

KUCHING: Where has the RM1.5 million announced for constructing a multipurpose hall in Tabuan Jaya gone to?

The amount was pledged by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin before the state election in April 2011.

The multipurpose hall was proposed to be built on the site of Tabuan Jaya market, which is now vacant after its relocation to Stutong Community Market in 2008.

Almost two years have gone by, and the site has now become a free parking space for shoppers.

According to SUPP assistant publicity and information secretary Sih Hua Tong, the sum had been channelled to either the Resident’s or District Office here for implementing the project.

“I remember in the same year, either Resident’s Office or District Office has received the money,” he said, adding that the project was put on hold due to land application issues.

Sih, who was the BN-SUPP candidate for Batu Lintang in the April 2011 state election, recalled that a couple of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) headed by Tabuan Jaya Residents’ Association had submitted their application to the authorities concerned in 2011.

“But they are still waiting for an approval. I believe a blueprint for the multipurpose hall has also been enclosed,” he said when contacted here yesterday.

He opined that the community in Tabuan Jaya was in need of a multipurpose hall since there was none at the moment.

“That is why I suggested to the party (SUPP) to have a community hall for people in Tabuan Jaya. I think the NGOs are still waiting for a reply from the authorities as far as the project is concerned.”

Former Kuching Resident Liew Jiu Ming, however, did not concur with Sih. Liew said his office did not receive the RM1.5 million government allocation in 2011.

“The money never came to my office. If I remember it correctly, there was some land issue involved,” he said by phone.

Liew pointed out that the grants could not have landed at either the Resident’s or District Office.

He said the State Development Office (SDO) would have received the funds had the federal government channelled it the same year when Muhyiddin announced the project.

“If the grants have been with the SDO, then the local council will most probably be the authorities dealing with the implementation of the project.

“In this case, you have to refer to MBKS,” he said, reiterating that the allocations never made it to the Resident’s Office when he was in charge.

The Borneo Post tried to contact MBKS mayor Datuk James Chan for comments but to no avail.

On April 5, 2011, Muhyiddin was in the Tabuan Jaya Commercial Centre here on a working visit in conjunction with the 10th state election.

Besides announcing the RM1.5 million project, the Umno deputy president had taken the opportunity to mingle with traders and shoppers at Wisma Wan and the commercial lots surrounding the shopping centre.

He was accompanied by State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Morshidi Abdul Ghani, Liew, Sih and community leaders during the visit.

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