Sunday, August 18

Use of IBS in federal devt projects needs careful consideration — Uggah

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Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah

KUCHING: The implementation of federal development projects using the industrialised building system, or IBS, requires careful consideration.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said factors such as site suitability using the concept, locality, topography,  access road accessibility and transportation, must be taken into account.

He highlighted this among four other issues in his opening address at the second meeting of the state/ federal joint action committee yesterday, jointly chaired by Works Minister Baru Bian.

This was also said in response to instructions from the Ministry of Finance which mandated the usage of IBS in development projects.

“Sarawak has no objection to using the IBS, but we hope all these factors must be considered carefully to avoid price escalation.”

On the cancellation of any project for the state due to unsuitable sites – leading to its funds to be reallocated to other states – Uggah suggested that an alternative site should be considered prior to reallocating the funds.

“We hope that such a matter can be coordinated. There is no need for the project to be cancelled and for its funds to be diverted elsewhere,” he said.

He cited the cancellation of the Rukun Tetangga Centre at Kampung Iboi in Samarahan by the National Unity and Integration Department as an example.

On the third issue, Uggah suggested that land acquired by any federal department and agencies which is not in use should be given to other federal departments, agencies, or be returned to the state.

“These are the land categorised under Non Performing Assets. They are not used or developed and are still empty and neglected.

“In the absence of such utilisation or development, the federal land commission should be consulted whether to give them to other federal departments and agencies or return them to the state,” he said.

Uggah also touched on the importance of planning and coordination between the two governments in order to avoid projects duplication.

He said the coordination should be done at the planning stage.

“This year, Sarawak is spending almost RM2 billions on power and water supply projects.

“For agricultural projects too on untitled land, the land status must be verified before any development.

“We had cases in the past where the Malaysian Palm Oil Board approved subsidy for oil palm on land with  doubtful status.  I hope the federal government will consult  us to verify.

“The verification can be done through the state one stop committee in the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development,” he said.

Meanwhile, Uggah revealed that the joint committee had accepted proposal from the Land and Survey Department to use the fund of  RM10.9 million to continue with perimeter survey and survey under Section 18.

He assured that the state government and all its  agencies would play their roles as best as they could to ensure all federal projects be implemented within their completion schedules or even earlier.

On the joint committee, he said it was a clear indication of the very close state/ federal relationship.

He  thanked Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad for coming up with it and
for appointing him as a co-chairman.