Council chairman schools Chong on Marris allocation

Lo Khere Chiang - file pic

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KUCHING, May 23: Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang opines that Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen is “ignorant about Marris (Malaysian Road Record Information System) allocation”.

Lo revealed that MPP maintained more than 1,500km of roads, and the cost to tar seal one kilometre of road with four-inch thick of premix is RM200,000.

“MPP only received RM27,500 per km from the federal government under Marris. How do we maintain RM1,500km of roads on RM27,500 per km efficiently?” asked Lo in a press statement today.

Lo, who is also Batu Kitang assemblyman, was responding to a statement by Chong, who said there was RM600 million under the Marris Fund for the state Public Works Department (JKR) and that MPP could use them to maintain roads under its jurisdiction.

The exact amount for 2018 is actually RM516,728,540, and it is meant for the maintenance of all state roads totalling 13,880km by JKR, said Lo. This averaged out to be RM37,228.28 per km.

“(But) to seal 1km with 4-inch thick premix costs RM200,000. How does JKR maintain all 13,880km of state roads with just RM37,228.28 per km?

“No wonder there is not enough money to repair road erosion and embankment failures along Jalan Puncak Borneo, Jalan Kampung Karu and more.

“What a laughing stock the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government must appear to everyone when Works Minister (Baru Bian) even suggested these meagre funds be used to maintain federal roads as well,” said Lo.

He pointed out that the federal government was supposed to review the road grants allocated to Sarawak once every few years, but that has not been the case.

“Prices of goods have gone up and our economy is worse than before. Barisan Nasional (BN) did not review the Marris allocation. PH not only did not review but is cutting development grants to my Haji Baki Dewan and hawker centre.

“Due to the incompetence of PH in fulfilling their election promises to restore our rights fully under MA63 (the Malaysia Agreeement 1963) and to return our oil money, MPP does not have enough development funds. The size of MPP alone is huge, bigger than the entire island state of Penang.”

“Bottomline is, where is the 20 per cent oil royalty and 50 per cent taxes to be returned to Sarawak for the development of Sarawak?” Lo asked. — DayakDaily