DAP man: Sungai Sarawak Integrated River Basin Devt project offer letters renegotiated, not cancelled

A composite photo of Kong (left) and Kho.

KUCHING, May 13: Letters of offer for the Sungai Sarawak Integrated River Basin Development (PLSB) project contractors were not cancelled but merely renegotiated to ensure that there is no inflated price of the project, says Michael Kong Feng Nian.

The special assistant to Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen, said it is incorrect and misleading for Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Women chief Kho Teck Wan to state that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government had withdrawn the letters of offer after the 14th General Election (GE14).

“As far as the PLSB is concerned, there was no cancellation of any letters of offer because there was no award of the project in the first place.

“Even during Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s tenure as prime minister, the then-Deputy Minister of Environment and Water (Datuk Dr Ahmad Masrizal Muhammad) had in November 2020 stated that PLSB project was ‘in the process of detailed design and tender process to start next year’.

“This shows that the PLSB project had always been stuck on the design stage and had yet to enter the procurement phase,” he said in a statement today.

Kong further said that due to the project having yet to enter the procurement stage, any change to an open tender process would not be a factor in the delay to the project.

“Anyone in the industry would know that a change in the procurement (change to open tender) would also not affect the entire project’s design.

“Thus, to blame the years of delay in implementing this project on the change to ‘open tender’ is erroneous and misguided,” he added.

He pointed out that despite this change for transparency, PH saw the urgency of the matter. Therefore within months of the change of government, the total sum of RM150 million was released to the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) Sarawak by the end of 2018.

However, since then, the money is still sitting in DID Sarawak’s accounts, waiting for the finalisation of the plans for the funds to be utilised. — DayakDaily