Dr Sim on the lookout for money, but not for himself

Dr Sim (right) revealing the list of all projects to be funded by his RTP allocation.

KUCHING, August 3: Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian has no qualms in knocking on state and federal doors to ask for money to implement flood mitigation projects in his constituency of Batu Kawah.

“Wherever I can find more money, I will look for it. It can be from federal or state,” he told reporters at the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Batu Kawah Service Centre here today.

He explained that relying on his assemblyman’s Rural Transformation Project (RTP) fund, which amounts to RM5 million per year, was not enough to develop Batu Kawah. For example, the drainage project in Batu Kawah last year was provided for by the state, not from his RTP fund.

“I always tell everybody that every assemblyman from Sarawak should fight for more funds, including from the federal, because if not other states will get that money,” he said.

He recounted that during the reign of the Barisan Nasional (BN), getting funds for infrastructure development was relatively easier when compared to now.

On a related matter, Dr Sim said starting this year, the state government was using the “rolling plan” model to approve projects. What this meant is that before the RTP funds for the following year is allocated, all paperwork, plans, drawings and engineering for projects would have to be done this year.

“By the time the (RTP) money comes in January, all paperwork and preparations have been done and the project can immediately start,” he said, adding that this would not only ensure all the funds would be used but would also ensure speedy implementation of projects.

For this year, Dr Sim revealed the list of projects that have been approved or in the midst of tendering under his RM5 million Batu Kawah RTP fund.

These include the upgrading and building of five multi-purpose halls by the state Public Works Department (JKR) and Padawan Municipal Council (MPP), reconstruction of RPR Phase 1 Batu Kawa futsal court by MPP, building of eight drainage and culvert projects to be implemented by MPP and Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) and two surau upgrading works by JKR.

Other projects included the replacement of Jalan Segubang wooden bridge and construction of new block-stone drain walls by the DID, seven road upgrading works by MPP and water-pipe upgrading works along Jalan Kim Ma by Kuching Water Board (KWB). — DayakDaily