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KUCHING, Sept 27: Due to the completion of the Petra Jaya Hospital which has been delayed to 2024, the hospital which costs over RM600 million is unable to be utilised to relieve the stress Covid-19 is putting on hospitals in Kuching.
Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian expressed regrets and revealed that a new contractor was finally appointed in January this year, following termination of the previous contractor by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government in 2018.
“Hospital Petra Jaya (with 300 beds) will not be operational until 2024, with the projected cost increased to more than RM600 (original cost RM400 million),” said Sim in a Facebook post yesterday.
Dr Sim who is the Batu Kawah assemblyman said this in the context of governmental attempts to beef up hospital capacity in anticipation of surging numbers of Covid-19 cases due to the Delta variant.
Work on Petra Jaya Hospital Project started in May 2013 and construction was supposed to be completed by November 2016.
As of June 2018, work was only 34.5 per cent completed. The latest appeal by the contractor was for the completion date to be extended to December 2018.
However, due to gross delay, the PH government then terminated the contractor and re-tendered the project where all tender documents were open to the public in Feb 2019.
A year later in Feb 2020, Sarawak United Peoples’ Party Youth secretary-general Milton Foo urged Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chief Chong Chieng Jen to explain the delay. There was none.
After the change of federal government in March 2020, Deputy Health Minister II Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang in Aug 2020 disclosed in Parliament that the construction of Petra Jaya Hospital was at the evaluation of tender stage for contractors in response to a question from DAP’s Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.
Aaron explained that the contract to build the said hospital had to be re-tendered following termination of the contractor in Aug 2018 due to unsatisfactory work. — DayakDaily