Deputy Premier to follow-up on ‘sick’ Siniawan Waterfront project

Dr Sim (third left), Miro (on Dr Sim's right) discussing the Siniawan Waterfront project on site on Feb 5, 2023.

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Feb 5: The status of the ‘sick’ Siniawan Waterfront project which is scheduled to be completed by August this year, has caused concern following two extensions of time (EOTs) and a display of unsatisfactory work.

Deputy Premier of Sarawak Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian who is the Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government said he would speak to the director of Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) to follow-up on the project’s progress.

“The project is still under the existing contractor but the work is very unsatisfactory.

“I need to speak to the implementing agency (DID) because as I mentioned, even to terminate the contractors in Samarahan took us so long before we could reappoint a new one,” he told reporters after the Chap Goh Mei 2023 procession at Siniawan Heritage Town in Bau today.

He further explained that the termination process usually takes a long time since it requires scrutinisation and may involves court procedures and legal implications.

“Otherwise, you look at the Petra Jaya Hospital. (It was) terminated by Pakatan Harapan government and now (when) they appoint new contractor, the cost not only goes up a lot more but the previous contractor is suing the Malaysian government.

“Therefore, eventually that hospital is going to be a very expensive hospital but then everybody (would use it as a) reason of politicking again,” he added.

Back in 2020, the 120-metre-long Siniawan Waterfront project was awarded to Faltech Engineering Sdn Bhd and DID as the implementation agency with a ceiling cost of RM10.8 million.

Work commenced in October 2020 and was initially scheduled to be completed by April 2022.

However, the project was given EOT up until August last year before the completion date was pushed back another year to August this year.

The Siniawan Waterfront project site. Photo taken on Feb 5, 2023.

Speaking to the reporters, Serembu assemblyman Miro Simuh expressed his dissatisfaction over the delay, indicating that the project is important for the rakyat (people).

“If the contractor or the implementation agency don’t do their work, they are the ones who deprive the rakyat’s aspirations, not me. I’m not the implementation agency (and) I’m not the contractor but the people have accused me of taking the project money, saying, ‘What is this YB doing?’ (sic).

“I’ve been doing my part. If I am the contractor or the implementation agency, you can blame me but I am not, so this is the problem. The project has been delayed for about a year now but the progress on the ground is only about 52 per cent. I don’t think they can finish it by August this year,” he said.

The project, once completed, would feature an event space, watch tower, food court and other facilities. – DayakDaily