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KUCHING, June 28: The implementation of federal development projects using the industrialised building system (IBS) needs careful consideration.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said factors such as the site suitability using the concept, locality, topography, road accessibility and transportation must be taken into account.
He said this when raising four issues in his opening address at the second meeting of the state/federal joint action committee here today. Works Minister Baru Bian jointly chaired the meeting.
Uggah said this 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,” said Uggah.
On the cancellation of projects for the state due to unsuitable sites and its fund given to other states, Uggah suggested that solutions be worked out for alternative sites to be considered.
“We hope such matter can be co-ordinated. There is no need for the projects to be cancelled and for its funds to be diverted elsewhere,” he said, citing the cancellation of the Rukun Tetangga Centre in Kampung Iboi in Samarahan by the National Unity and Integration Department, as an example.
On another related issue, Uggah suggested that land acquired by any federal department and agencies not used be given to other federal departments and 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 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 have 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 Agriculture Modernisation, Native Land and Regional Development,” he said.
On perimeter survey, Uggah said the joint committee accepted a proposal from the Land and Survey Department to use the funds of RM10.9 million for perimeter survey and survey under Section 18.
Meanwhile, he gave an assurance that the Sarawak government and all its agencies would play their roles as best as they could to ensure all federal projects be implemented within their schedules or earlier. — DayakDaily