DAP: Kapit folks fed up with water, electricity, telecoms disruptions

Paren (front) with his supporters on the campaign trail.

KAPIT, May 3: Kapit residents are becoming increasing frustrated with the frequent disruptions to their water and electricity supply and for the last two days, also telecommunications services.

Democratic Action Party (DAP) candidate for Kapit, Paren Nyawi said Kapit folks are now questioning the rationale and seriousness of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government on developing the state’s digital economy, as per Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s giant election campaign billboard in town.

Paren said all telephone and Internet telecommunication were cut off from Tuesday until yesterday morning.

“Apart from that, constant disruption of water supply all these years is also an example of BN government failure to solve the people’s problems. The people of Kapit have been crying for basic amenities such as road, electricity and water supplies for over 50 years despite (the state) being dubbed as the ‘fixed deposit’ of the BN government.

“The folks here gave BN the mandate. They have given BN candidate Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi 18 years to speak for and develop Kapit. But he has clearly failed to solve the most basic bread and butter issues. This is proven with the fact that many longhouses in Kapit have yet to get clean water supply, 24-hour electricity and road access. We also face shortage of health care and education facilities. Our Kapit hospital is so rundown and lacks proper equipment,” he said in a statement.

He said the failure to provide basic needs has proven that BN is not serious in defending the fate of Kapit folks.

He urged the state government to build more telecommunication towers so Kapit residents can be easily reached, even if they are in the longhouses.

He is also demanding for more allocations to build road access to longhouses around Batang Rajang especially from Nanga Beguang in Song-Sungai Song-Milipis-Ibau-Sungai Belawai up to Menuan and Nanga Pelagus.

Paren also said a bridge is needed at the Rajang Bantang river to facilitate motorists traveling between Kapit town and Song.

“Apart from that, roads from Nanga Banjor in Song to Ulu Sungai Katibas, Ulu Sungai Tekalit and Ulu Sungai Bangkit are very much needed; hence a huge allocation to develop this very basic facility is important,” he added.

Another issue that needs urgent attention is shortage of parking space in Kapit town.

“As our population grows, so do the number of vehicles. With shortages of proper parking facilities, Kapit folks have no choice but to park at any available space, and end up getting fines from the authorities,” Paren said.

He lamented that although the BN government had once announced a multi-storey car park in Kapit town, the promise never became reality.

Meanhile, Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) in a press statement today, apologised for an electricity outage in Kapit.

Group Chief Operating Officer Lu Yew Hung said work to restore electricity supply to major parts of Kapit continued until late yesterday following loss of supply to about 5,500 customers after excavation works by a private contractor severely damaged an underground cable located at Jalan Selirik, Kapit.

Areas affected were Kapit town, Jalan Selirik, Jalan Melekun and Jalan Ulu Sungai Kapit.

SEB will charge the contractor for all the damages incurred and will look into the possibility of taking legal action against them.

Repair works in progress by the SEB technical team.

“Sarawak Energy deployed a technical team from Sibu to repair the damaged cable. While repair works were ongoing, gensets at the Kapit power station were activated which partially restored supply to the affected areas at about 11.30 am this morning (yesterday).

“We truly regret the inconveniences caused to our customers in Kapit. Works contractors must be careful, especially when undertaking any excavation work near power facilities,” Lu said.

Kapit Power Station gen sets were activated partially restoring supply to the affected areas.

Lu added that this is not the first time excavation works have damaged underground cables despite SEB’s constant reminders that contractors must take precautionary measures before proceeding with works at locations where there are overhead and underground power lines.

“Check the cable route with us, make sure everything is safe and follow the guidelines – do not assume the location or depth of the underground cable. Taking these basic precautionary measures will avoid damaging the cables and causing power outages to our customers. This will also ensure the safety of the contractors and their workers – we do not want anybody to get needlessly hurt. At the end of the day, we want to make sure that everybody goes home safely,” he said. — DayakDaily