Wednesday, July 6

‘Maintenance of public amenities done according to procedures’


Abdul Karim (seated, second left) speaks at the news conference. Seen seated from left are Snowdan, Lee and Hii. – Photo by Chimon Upon

THE Sarawak government adheres to standard procedures when it comes to deciding how to carry out maintenance works on public amenities across the state.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said when a public amenity is reported to be faulty, the authorities concerned would seek professional advice before taking action.

In the case of the malfunctioning air conditioner at the Petroleum Museum in Miri, he said the problem was first referred to the Public Works Department (JKR), which advised the ministry to have it repaired.

“It is just like the air con of your car or at home. You do not just replace (it if it is down) unless you are very rich.

“If the air con experts say it cannot be repaired, then you replace. We refer (the problem) to JKR for action, JKR advised to repair,” he told a news conference at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) media centre after delivering his winding-up speech yesterday.

The issue of the malfunctioning air conditioner at the Petroleum Museum was raised by Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon earlier in the august house.

Dr Ting questioned why the ministry spent RM200,000 on fixing the air conditioner at the said museum, which after the repair remained unable to function.

Abdul Karim pointed out that the project was awarded through an open tender to a company in Kuching.

“Member of Pujut asked why a company from Kuching is doing the repair for a project in Miri. Well, a company from Kuching got it through the open tender,” he said, before adding sarcastically that Dr Ting had probably lived in Australia for so long that he was unaware of the standard procedures practised in Sarawak.

He continued by saying that he understood how Dr Ting might not know the procedures as “he had even forgotten to inform the Malaysian authorities that he had revoked his Australian citizenship.”

Abdul Karim stressed that the repair works of the air conditioner at the Petroleum Museum had been done properly and professionally.

Earlier, he said the direction of his ministry is clear, with quite a number of programmes lined up for the rest of this year and next year in terms of tourism.

“We will have Visit Sarawak Year starting next year, and there will be a lot of events this year and next year.

“We just had our Rainforest World Music Festival and soon we will have our Kuching Marathon, Borneo Fashion Week and Miss World Malaysia. It will be a very interesting one year and follow through.”

Among those present were Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan and permanent secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Hii Chang Kee.