Dudong rep: SMC limits drain dredging to once a year?

Garbage is seen in a drain along Jalan Then Kung Yuk, Sibu.

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KUCHING, June 10: Dudong assemblyman Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing has expressed disappointment over the lackadaisical attitude of drain dredging contractors in Sibu.

He said due to many complaints against contractors of Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) on local drainage maintenance neglect, he had to go down to the ground at Jalan Then Kung Suk to better understand the situation. 

At a glance, he said it was obvious that the drainage maintenance contractor for this part has failed to meet quality expectations as mud, sediment, industrial waste, and garbage have accumulated in the drains.

“This is shocking and disgusting to say the least, as there are even whole sections of fallen trees lying in the drains. Are the contractors really so blind to all of these?

“What is even more outrageous and disappointing is the way complainants are kicked around to various authorities for raising the problems with the drains. Some have even said they had been warned off by the contractor involved.

“This is unacceptable as the people were simply voicing their concerns, and do not deserve to be told off. This is the first time I have ever encountered such unbearably poor service quality in all my years in politics,” said Tiong who is also Bintulu MP.

He said seeking explanations from the representatives of the SMC and the contractor had revealed an even more unreasonable condition placed by the authorities: that is to limit the frequency of dredging to only once a year. 

To him, this is an incredibly low amount of effort compared to how much work is actually needed to control the flow of water in the local drainage system for effective flood mitigation. 

He held that SMC must review the performance of the contractors, and whether they meet the people’s needs. If the contractor only carries out drainage dredging once a year, it will simply be a waste of public funds. 

“The contractor’s performance is not worth even the paper the contract is printed on if the rakyat does not benefit from their work. In this case, the people are undoubtedly suffering from the poor performance of the contractor: stench from the drains, dirty water, and all kinds of inconvenience as a result,” said Tiong in a press statement today.

Apart from reaching an understanding with the contractors, he believed that SMC should also hold dialogues with the owners of small and medium-sized factories on how to properly dispose industrial waste, garbage, and sewage from their factories. 

“As I have advised all civil servants in Sibu during the election period, it is time for you to wake up and do your work. You must feel shame for letting past complaints go unsolved.

“It is time for a new way of working with clear responsibility and dedication to serving the people of Sibu,” said Tiong, who is also the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China. — DayakDaily