By Christopher Lidom
KUCHING, October 17: The Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen opined Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) should give full account to the public regarding the one-inch surface tarring of roads in Batu Kawa.
Chong in a press statement today, said in a pamphlet widely distributed by SUPP members in Batu Kawa area, it claims that Batu Kawa assemblyman Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian has successfully applied for RM3.3 million grant of the Project Rakyat fund for the upgrading of 33.8 kilometer of gravel roads in Batu Kawa areas to tarred surface.
He pointed, the exposure by the Pending assemblywomen Violet Yong recently which was published in all major local newspapers on Oct 11, showed that in one of the roads constructed under this project, the tar surface was only as thin as one-inch.
“Today is the sixth-day after the expose was made and yet, the SUPP Batu Kawa team is dead silent on this expose. Also, we had never come across any road surfacing specification of one inch. How long can a one-inch tar-surfaced road last?” he said.
Chong noted given SUPP claims that a specific funds has been allocated for a specific length of tar-surfacing, SUPP must also account to the people whether is there any such one-inch road tar surface specification in the books of the Public Works Department (JKR) or Padawan Municipal Council (MPP).
He also questioned how many kilometres of roads are supposed to be one-inch tarred, and why are there no coring tests conducted after the completion of the tarring work.
“The RM3.3 million grant is a public fund, and it is not private money. Therefore, every Ringgit spent must be properly accounted to the public.
“The costs of paving one-inch of tar on road and the costs of paving three-inch of tar is very different and the durability of the road of one-inch tar surface is also very different from that of a three-inch tar surface,” he said.
Chong also claimed that in the 22-months when Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition were the government, the specification for road surface-tarring was a minimum of 75 millimeter (3 inch).
According to him, upon completion of every project, before the contract price is paid to the contractor, the JKR office will conduct a coring test to confirm whether the contractor has complied with the specification.
“If the work does not comply with the specification, no payment would be made to the contractor, and the contractor would have to resurface the road to the specification.
“While SUPP leader Tan Kai could take the trouble to lodge a police report against Violet Yong on other aspects of her expose, why did Tan Kai not take the trouble to check whether the people in Batu Kawa have been short-changed with under-rated or inferior quality roads?
“As a minister and also the assemblyman for the area, Dr Sim also has a duty to carry out investigation on the expose and give a full account to the people on the above three questions,” said Chong. –DayakDaily.