KUCHING, July 3: Newly-minted Works Minister Baru Bian has pledged to give special attention to the needs of Sarawak, Sabah, Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu.
He said this was because these five states, especially Sarawak and Sabah, were in serious need of basic infrastructure, such as roads.
“I think these five states are the most backward when compared to the others. Basic infrastructure, particularly roads, which are under this ministry, is below satisfactory,” Baru said today after attending his ministry’s briefing on his first day on the job.
“Since the ministry is given the jurisdiction to handle roads and highways, we must connect the people with roads … I mean proper roads, to town and cities.
“Of course, we will cater to the needs of all states and communities, but we will pay extra attention on these five, for now,” he said.
Baru lamented that Sarawak and Sabah had been treated unfairly all these years. These states, especially Sarawak, needed long distance roads.
On the on-going projects, Baru said all of them, including the 1,089km Pan Borneo highway project, would be looked at individually to see if the contracts were awarded properly.
On dilapidated schools, Baru said this was an issue that is very close to the hearts of East Malaysians. This issue has been raised in Parliament and state assemblies many times over the years, he said.
“I was made to understand that all the dilapidated schools in West Malaysia have been taken up by this ministry to either rebuild or repair, but not for Sabah and Sarawak.
“I was also made to understand that the implementation of schools projects under this ministry was very successful in West Malaysia. So I will suggest working together with other ministries, especially the education side, on this issue,” he said.
The Selangau MP said Sabah and Sarawak needed help.
“We need to make sure that similar projects implemented in West Malaysia are also implemented in East Malaysia, right on time and whenever in need,” he said.
A total of 158 dilapidated schools in West Malaysia have been given to the ministry, while 50 in Sarawak and 37 in Sabah were given to the Education Ministry to handle. — DayakDaily