ALAF 2-day workshop aims to increase number of competent contractors, consultants in Sarawak to undertake ALAF projects

Julaihi delivering his speech during the closing ceremony of the ‘Stakeholders’ Engagement On ALAF Project Implementation’ held at BCCK here today (July 27, 2022).

By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, July 27: The Ministry of Utility and Telecommunication Sarawak in collaboration with the Sarawak Energy Berhad (Sarawak Energy) has held a two-day workshop to increase the number of competent people in Sarawak to undertake the Additional Late Applicant Fund (ALAF) projects, boost participation of new consultants and local contractors, and establish a standard contract rate for the ALAF programme.

The ALAF project was introduced in 2018 and is still being implemented as part of ‘Sarawak’s Projek Rakyat’ initiative to alleviate the financial burden on new rural homeowners who require a power connection.

The workshop was also opened to officers of some of the elected representatives whose constituencies are currently experiencing delays in ALAF projects.

There were 140 attendees from government agencies, including the State Financial Secretary’s Office (SFSO), Unit Pendaftaran Kontraktor Juruperunding (UPKJ), elected representatives, electrical consultants, contractors, Ministry representatives, and Sarawak Energy.

The workshop brings together diverse stakeholders to develop a comprehensive action plan aimed at achieving adequate electrical competent people, contractors, and consultants involved in ALAF project implementation.

In addition, it seeks to identify areas where electrical consultants and contractors can improve their performance to ensure the timely completion of the ALAF projects.

According to the Minister of Utility and Telecommunication Datuk Julaihi Narawi, there are currently over 40,000 applications for ALAF in Sarawak.

“With the growing number of applications, the registered consultants and contractors are not able to accommodate the ALAF projects.

“We currently have 20 contractors with 30 teams and 20 consultants, but this is insufficient,” he revealed in his speech today during the closing ceremony of the ‘Stakeholders’ Engagement On ALAF Project Implementation’ held at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here.

He hoped that the workshop would provide a fast-track platform for competent people to obtain competency and Authorization Certification (CAC) registration through Sarawak Energy training while maintaining safety and compliance with standard practices.

“In addition, explore contract structure and pricing that provide business sustainability in the execution of projects, including those in remote areas.

“On the other hand, prompt payment is required to support cash flow for small contractors following project completion in order for them to take on another project.

“To reduce red-tapes and shorten the duration of application and implementation, this workshop is a platform to identify areas to enhance communication between the inter-agencies involved,” Julaihi said. — DayakDaily