Monday, May 20

Federal govt has tackled all ‘sick’ projects in Sarawak – Baru

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Baru (centre) speaking to reporters during a press conference. He was accompanied by Abdul Razak (left) and Mohd Zaki.

KUCHING: The federal government has tackled all the ‘sick’ projects in Sarawak, said Minister of Works Baru Bian.

He said although the ‘sick’ projects were inherited problems, the Pakatan Harapan federal government wanted all of them to be resolved for the benefit of the people.

According to him, among the ‘sick’ projects in Sarawak are the proposed Sri Aman Hospital, proposed access road to Baleh Dam, proposed quarters for Immigration Post in Ba Kelalan, proposed Semuja Immigration detention depot and the Heritage Trail from Kampung Sungai Bintangor to Kuching Esplanade.

He said some of the reasons for the delay were due to the incompetency of the contractors and inaccessibility of the rural area.

“The bottom line is, we are trying to help everyone so that some of the important projects can be completed. We want to help contractors, we want to see how we can help them and what are the main problems that they are facing that had resulted in the ‘sick’ project.

“For me, as a person who knows the situation in Sarawak very well, I want all the projects that had been approved in Sarawak to be implemented with efficiency and be monitored by our friends in Sarawak,” he told a press conference after chairing the Majlis Tindakan Negeri (MTNG) Sarawak meeting here today.

Baru, who is Selangau MP and Ba Kelalan assemblyman, noted that the problems before were that these projects were directly tendered through the respective ministry and not through the Public Works Department (JKR) or Ministry of Works (KKR).

He said upon knowing the causes of the problems, the federal government had decided that all proposed federal funded projects, including in Sarawak, would be tendered through JKR or KKR.

He assured the people that unless the contractors had been proven to be incompetent, the federal government was giving every contractor of the ‘sick’ projects a second chance to get their works done.

“For those projects that are ‘sick’, what we do now is go to the ground to ask and investigate the contractors’ problems. After that we suggest to them how they should do it.

“What is important is that we move forward together with those who are facing real issues and find out their problems. Then we encourage them and help them. But if they do not want to be helped and not open to our ideas, what can you say?

“But we are very kind and positive as well so that there is no delay in the projects,” he said.

Baru explained the contractors are given a second chance because sometimes, they face problems that cannot be avoided.

He cited an example, because of inaccessibility, it is not easy to bring the industrial building system (IBS) materials to rural Sarawak.

He said federal government can understand if it is a real issue and real problem, but if the problem is really due to the carelessness, laziness, not taking things seriously and incompetency, then they will have to take the issues seriously.

Deputy Secretary General of Works Ministry (Policy and Development) Datuk Abdul Razak Jaafar and State development officer from the Federal Development Office of Sarawak Mohd Zaki Mahyudin were also present.