Tuesday, October 20

Project delays among complaints received by state govt — Uggah

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Uggah (left) hands over a RTP document to a longhouse chief while Layar assemblyman Gerald Rentap Jabu gives the thumbs-up.

KUCHING: Delays in project implementation and sub-standard workmanship by some contractors are some of complaints received by the state government on the implementation of rural transformation programme (RTP) projects, says Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.

The Deputy Chief Minister said this was why the state government recently decided to empower village security and development committees (JKKKs) to undertake RTP projects worth up to RM200,000.

“We have often heard of grouses and dissatisfaction from people on the ground. They have complained of not only the delays in completion but sub-standard workmanship from some contractors.

“Thus, the state government has given them the option of doing the work themselves or engaging a contractor of their own choice,” he said at a briefing on RTP implementation for 85 JKKKs for Betong parliamentary constituency yesterday.

He, nonetheless, assured the Class F contractors that they still have opportunities to implement some of the RTP projects, since not all JKKKs are capable of undertaking the work themselves.

He said the decision was only for non-technical RTPs costing not more than RM200,000.

“As such, there are still opportunities for F Class contractors,” he said in response to several contractors who had recently aired their concerns that the decision to  allow the JKKKs to undertake the work would affect them.

According to Uggah again, the government’s technical agencies would be involved with the work scope, specifications,  monitoring and other aspects related to the RTP projects.

“If this arrangement proves successful and practical, we  may raise the ceiling to RM300,000 after consulting the state cabinet,” he said.

Uggah thus called on the JKKKs to choose their contractors carefully if they take up such option.

“Choose those who are familiar with the situations on the ground. It is important that they have good track record as well,” he added.

The state cabinet’s decision to give leeway to JKKKs to implement RTP projects worth up to RM200,000 was announced by Uggah on June 21.

He was quoted as saying the JKKKs would be allowed to implement such project themselves through ‘gotong royong’ or by engaging a registered contractor of their choice.

He also said the decision was also to give JKKKs greater control and monitoring over the implementation of projects, especially the lesser technical ones.

Each state constituency in Sarawak is allocated RM5 million yearly under the RTP, which was introduced by previous chief minister the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem to accelerate the development of rural infrastructure in the state.