Dudong rep did not allocate RTP funding to Sibu councils for projects since 2021, Deputy Premier claims

Dr Sim Kui Hian (left) and Tiong king Sing.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Nov 28: Dudong assemblyman Dato Sri Tiong King Sing has not allocated any of his RM5 million Rural Transformation Programme (RTP) funding for Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) and Sibu Rural District Council (SRDC) to carry out the necessary upgrading infrastructure projects within the constituency, says Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian.

Dr Sim has suggested that Tiong should allocate some of his annual RTP funding to SMC and SRDC as well as request for Project Rakyat funding from the Premier for the Dudong constituency.

“From 2017 to 2020, RM3.65 million and RM5.04 million were allocated to SMC and SRDC respectively by the previous Ahli Yang Berhormat for Dudong (Datuk Tiong Thai King) under his RTP,” he said when delivering his winding up speech for the Ministry of Public Health, Housing and Local Government in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) Sitting today.

He was responding to some of the queries from Tiong in regards to funding for SMC and SRDC.

During the sitting on Nov 23, Tiong, who is also Federal Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, had raised the issue of Dudong constituents being frustrated over flash flood issues, which have yet to be resolved for over 20 years.

Dr Sim informed that that SMC and SRDC has received additional funding of RM2.77 million and RM5.469 million respectively from Malaysian Road Records Information System (Marris) and BP1 for the upgrading and repairs of roads and footpaths as well as provision of streetlighting.

Furthermore, he explained that the councils and the ministry have routinely put up requests for additional fund to the State Financial Secretary and Federal Ministry of Local Government Development (KPKT) as per normal government procedures.

“However, additional funding for council infrastructure improvement can be topped up from elected representatives’ own RTP fund for the area.

“They can also request for Premier’s Projek Rakyat and Special Project or even from Federal ministries such as Ministry of Rural and Regional Development (KKDW),” he added.

Meanwhile, Dr Sim who is also Batu Kawah assemblyman, highlighted that from 2021 to 2023, the Ministry has been allocated RM490.95 million under 12th Malaysia Plan for the implementation of various projects by 24 local authorities inclusive of 36 new projects amounting to RM35.9 million that were approved under mid-term review.

As of Oct 31, 2023, he said RM169.73 million of the approved allocation has been disbursed for 301 infrastructure projects such as roads and drainage improvements, improvement of waterfronts, upgrading of markets, provision of street lightings, traffic lights, public toilets, public libraries, town and landscape beautification and also rural facilities and amenities.

Under RTP, he said the local authorities were allocated with RM121 million in 2023 comprising of 816 projects.

All of these projects are at various stages of implementation by the various local authorities.

From 2018 to 2023, he added that the Sarawak government has approved 358 projects under Projek Rakyat with a total allocation of RM2.16 billion.

To date, 216 projects have been completed, while the remaining 142 are at various stages of implementation.

On road maintenance, Dr Sim reported that this year, a total of RM288.2 million has been approved under (Marris) to maintain council’s roads, including road furnitures, road shoulders, roadside drains and others, in the 24 local authorities’ areas.

As at Oct 31, 2023, RM228.4 million has been disbursed to the local authorities.

Additionally, KPKT has also allocated RM53.41 million in 2023 for the 26 local authorities in Sarawak to implement 305 minor public amenities, public facilities and infrastructure projects under BP1 projects. — DayakDaily