Sunday, September 25

Chong: GPS’ blame game irresponsible act

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Chong Chieng Jen (seated centre) talks to the media during a press conference at the State Legislative Assembly Buidling yesterday. Seen with him are Pelawan assemblyman David Wong (left), Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon (standing) and Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong.

GABUNGAN Parti Sarawak’s constant need to play the blame game against the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government has been described as irresponsible by Chong Chieng Jen who is PH Sarawak chairman.

One such example was the issue concerning Miri Port in Kuala Baram which had, for many years, not received funding from the federal government for the purpose of constructing an alternative canal to resolve siltation in the existing canal.

Chong said the proposal to build an alternative canal was actually made in 2001 when the federal government was still ruled by Barisan Nasional (BN).

“I would like to remind (Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James) Masing and the GPS government that the Miri Port issue did not just happen today, last year or two years ago.

“This problem has existed for almost two decades, and for Masing to say that this is a problem created by the PH government is most irresponsible. He is trying to cover up the folly and mistake of the Sarawak government,” he told a press conference at the Media Room of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) yesterday.

To support his statement, the Kota Sentosa assemblyman also cited a 2001 statement by DAP secretary general Lim Kit Siang who said the Sarawak government had failed to give a satisfactory explanation to his query in Miri then as to why it had built the RM350 million Miri Port in Kuala Baram, which was as good as abandoned upon its completion as the new port was not deep enough for most vessels to navigate.

Chong said the alternative canal should have been built over the years but instead, Masing chose to blame the PH government, which had only been in office for the past 18 months.

“The problem existed more than 18 years ago so this is most irresponsible and I think he is hiding the truth.

“He is trying to cover up for the huge grave mistake of the state government, and GPS always blame the new government when the problem has already existed for years.”

Earlier, Chong asked Masing during his ministerial winding-up speech what the outcome of the said proposal was, to which he (Masing) said there were two proposals that came to the state government in the last few years.

“Please bear in mind that dredging of ports in Sarawak is under the purview of the federal government.

“We have been asking for funds from them for a long time, asking them to give us the necessary funding but until today ‘tak ada’,” he said, adding that the two proposals were private-sector driven.

He then suggested that the Stampin MP have a helping hand, and together with the Sarawak government, ask for funding from the federal government to fulfill the obligation and assist the state in regards to Miri Port.

“Please help us, since you are an MP, help us. You and I believe, PKR has an MP in Miri, if you can help us ask the federal government to fulfill what they have promised us and we will do it.”