Thursday, October 24

7 sub-contractors demand contractor to own up

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ANGRY LOT: (From left) Thian, Chai, Boon, Chang and Diet showing the police reports lodged and the bounced cheques issued by the former main contractor.

KUCHING: Seven sub-contractors who were engaged to work on the upgrading of Jalan Biawak have been left high and dry for some 18 months now.

They hit a brick wall everywhere they go to seek answers as to why they were still not paid for the work done.

The seven are Nucifera Enterprise, Salako Enterprise, Hung Wee Transport Company, Soon Yew Transport, Yakin General Contractor and Transport, Foh Shin Fatt Construction and Transport and Mohd Hazlee Chai Abdullah.

One of the complainants, Dick Diet Bukoh, said yesterday that they had tried everything possible to get an explanation from the former main contractor, but they were always given the go-around.

“The former main contractor gave us all kinds of empty promises. Worse still, all the cheques issued to us bounced.

“Besides that, we have also lodged reports with the police and the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC), but so far no action seemed to have been taken yet. In fact, MACC told us that they were still investigating,” said Diet, who came to The Borneo Post office here with some of the affected sub-contractors – Thian Khiun Chin, Chai Kien Chu, Boon Foong Kiaw and Chang Tun Wee.

It was not the first time that the sub-contractors had approached The Borneo Post for help concerning this issue.

Diet added that they had also approached several government departments for help, but all doors were closed on them.

“We have even approached the deputy director of the Public Works Department (PWD), but we were told that the matter was not under his department’s purview.”

According to Diet, the 18.8km-long road project which cost RM29.95 million connects Lundu-Sematan Road to the Biawak Customs Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ).

“Since we had done our work, why are we not paid? Where is the money allocated to this project?”

Diet claimed that they were starring at total losses of about RM500,000, excluding payments to surveyors and suppliers.

As the problem had dragged on for far too long, he said they had decided to bring the matter to court.

“We have asked our lawyer to file the case, and the last we heard was that he is in the process of doing so.

“Our demands are that the main contractor settles all the outstanding payments and we also want the PWD director to explain why the project was delayed for so long and not constructed according to initially approved specifications.”

Diet claimed that because of the project delay the Bidayuh Selako-Lara community living around the area were very disappointed because they felt neglected and discriminated.

“They have been waiting for this road since well before the country achieved independence.”

It is understood that the project is currently under the care of the PWD after the contract with the former main contractor was terminated.