Completion date for Sri Aman Hospital further extended

Datuk Francis Harden Hollis

KUCHING, Oct 30: Simanggang assemblyman Datuk Francis Harden Hollis said it’s unfair to blame him for the delay in the construction of Sri Aman Hospital, which has had its completion date now further extended to 2019.

The Sri Aman Hospital, a project first announced in 2011, was initially scheduled for completion in October 2016. The RM150 million 108-bed hospital was relaunched in 2015 and its new completion date was set for Oct 2018.

“The project is delayed, but they (the contractors) are catching up by increasing workers so they will complete on schedule. They had already applied for an extension which is now set for 2019,” the Assistant Minister of Community Well Being told reporters when asked for an update on the project today.

“The opposition always uses this issue to attack me, but it is not fair, because the project is not done by me; the project is done by the contractor who is selected through tender.”

Nevertheless, he said he would try his best to update the people in Sri Aman while asking Public Works Department from Kuala Lumpur to monitor the project closely and the Ministry of Health to assist to answer the so-called “hot issue”.

He stressed that the project is ongoing and currently in its second phase.

Local opposition leaders as well as local community leaders have often questioned the delay of the hospital as two ground-breaking ceremonies had been performed to mark the construction of the hospital.

The new Sri Aman hospital was one of the projects announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak back in 2011.

On another visit to Sri Aman on February 27, 2015, Najib had give assurance that the new hospital, when completed, would be equipped with modern facilities including surgery, haemodialysis and radiotherapy.

He had said that the hospital project would continue as the government had spent about RM12 million on land acquisition, clearing and filling works.

The project was in response to the request from the people of Sri Aman to replace the present hospital, which had been in use since 1959 and could no longer handle present demands.

During a surprise visit to the construction site in July this year, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was dismayed that the project was behind schedule by 218 days. He had reportedly said that no more extensions would be given to the contractor. — Dayak Daily