SANDAKAN: A dilapidated wooden bridge at Jambatan 2 Kampung Sim Sim that collapsed before Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration has not been repaired.
DAP Tanjung Papat branch chairman Frankie Poon Ming Fung who visited the water village again this week found the affected villagers had decided tried to repair the bridge themselves after failing to get any response from either the local authorities or the Tanjung Papat State assemblyman.
According to Poon, the problem was brought to the attention of the Sandakan Municipal Council but apparently the complainants were told they had to wait until 2014 for repair as there was no more funds for this year.
“Such explanation for the delay is totally unacceptable because there should be no compromise on the safety of the affected villagers. The least they can do is to come up with temporary measures while waiting for the fund which will only be available next year,” Poon said.
The situation was dangerous for the occupants of the house so urgent attention was required in wake of the upcoming monsoon season, he added.
“This wooden bridge has collapsed since August and it’s more than four months already. The makeshift wooden bridge was built by the affected house owner.
“The incident is a minor disaster to a family in the community and yet the authorities have been unable to respond promptly to tackle the issue,” Poon pointed out.
What would happen if a more serious disaster happened to the bigger community in Sandakan, Poon questioned.
“We have seen a lot of disasters happening around us which were reported by the media. Surely by now the Sandakan Municipal Council should be prepared for any foreseeable disasters in the future,” he said.
“The bridge leads to homes. The allocation surely comes from normal budget. It should come from a disaster fund. My question is whether there is such fund provided by the Barisan Nasional Government,” Poon said.
He said it would put the villagers in imminent danger the longer the authorities took to come up with a solution to address the problem.