KUCHING: The proposed flood mitigation project at Kampung Sebemban in Serian has been tendered out.
Puncak Borneo MP Willie Mongin said the project is expected to take off in August this year.
He said the status of the proposed project was revealed by Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources during question-and-answer session at the current Parliamentary sitting.
Willie had asked the minister to update the House about the project, which was approved in the 11th Malaysia Plan during the previous government.
He said the previous government then selected 10 companies to tender for the project, which was limited to not more than RM10 million, in March 2018.
However, when the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government took over the federal government after the 14th general election, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) in June decided to cancel all federal-funded projects in the country that were not yet tendered out and those that were less than 15 per cent completed.
Upon learning that the project had been cancelled, and due to its great importance to the villagers, Willie appealed to the Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources Dr A Xavier Jayakumar earlier this year to reinstate the project.
He said during the meeting, the minister had agreed to reinstate the project, but with open tender.
“Of course our critics will say this project was the effort of BN government. But it is not easy to lobby for reinstatement because we have to go through all the appeal processes, and convince the minister as well as the MoF on the importance of the project to the people.
“I am glad that this project, with a ceiling price of RM2.75 million, had been tendered out,” he said.
Sebemban is one of villages within the Puncak Borneo parliamentary constituency, that often experiences prolonged flooding during the rainy season.
The village is located by the Sadong River, and is accessible by road through Jalan Gedong or by boat from Kampung Tanah Putih.
Willie said he had also raised the issue of flood-prone areas in other parts within his constituency with the ministry, and which would be considered in the 12th Malaysia Plan.