CM: `Federal govt `buruk siku’, I don’t want to be like them’

Abang Johari addressing a point during his speech.

KUCHING, April 20: The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government will not be ‘buruk siku’, meaning taking back something that has already been given.

All promises made will be filfilled, assured Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The chief minister said two incidences of ‘buruk siku’ had affected the sub-district of Maludam, namely the proposed Batang Lupar bridge and a dilapidated school project.

“So, if the (federal) government `buruk siku’, I don’t want to be `buruk siku’. We took over the Batang Lupar bridge project and invested over RM30 million to rebuild the (SK Maludam) school,” he said at the earth-breaking ceremony for Kampung Maludam Phase 1 Village Expansion Scheme and a new Maludam mosque in Maludam town, Betong, here today.

Abang Johari taking a look at a photo of a state government project.

Elaborating on the Batang Lupar bridge project, he said, “It was agreed to be implemented on a 50-50 sharing basis, but after (the late) `Tok Nan’ passed away and following the change of government, the federal government withdrew … buruk siku. So, when the project was halted, it means there won’t be a bridge.”

Noting that the Sebuyau Triso ferry pier continued to be busy even though there were three ferries serving the people, he pointed out that Maludam town had a bright future, and the bridge would be important to link and open up the rural areas, including Maludam.

“The coastal road project will connect all the way to Bintulu and Miri, so when the bridge is completed, including Batang Lasak bridge, getting to Sibu is only a 2 1/2-hour drive from Kuching.”

On the dilapidated schools’ issue, Abang Johari said the state government was not scrambling over the project, but it needed to be done for the sake of the children. He reminded those present that education was, by right, the responsibility of the federal government.

And when Sarawak proposed the RM1 billion contra loan formula to repair dilapidated schools in Sarawak, they rejected it by giving all sort of excuses.

“So, like it or not, we had to meddle or the people and children will just have to go on waiting. I told Dato Michael Manyin (Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research) that we are sincere and our efforts are for the children.”

Abang Johari (inside the excavator) performing the earth-breaking ceremony.

GPS, Abang Johari reiterated, would continue to work hard to deliver what had been promised to the people.

“I am getting older and the ‘Datuk Patinggi’ (title) cannot be brought with me into my grave. I will retire and be replaced someday, so during this period as the leader of Sarawak, I will do my best for the people. We do our good work and God is watching.”

On development plans for Maludam, Abang Johari revealed that his administration’s aim was to build a ‘new Maludam’ within the new village expansion scheme, which would be more organised and structured using new approaches.

“As the government will cover all the costs for the village expansion scheme, including foundational works, tar roads, concrete drainage and neatly arranged houses, the costs have increased to about RM40 million.

“We want the villagers to live in a better village without erosion threats as well as with road accessibility and be equipped with essential facilties.”

After going around the town and visited the ‘shaky’ Resident Office, as the building structure has become frail with age, he approved the rebuilding of a new Resident Office.

“We will continue to provide whatever is needed to be implemented for the people of Maludam.”

Assistant Minister of Coastal Datuk Julaihi Narawi, Batang Lupar MP Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim, Lingga assemblywoman Simoi Peri and Land and Survey Department director Zaidi Mahdi were among those present. — DayakDaily