By Ling Hui
KUCHING, Aug 21: No more “honeymoon” for the Ministry of Utilities starting now, says its minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom.
He said that with Covid-19 cases in Sarawak decreasing, neither the pandemic nor the Movement Control Order (MCO) could be an excuse for the ministry not to deliver or expedite the promises made to the people.
“Our projects were supposed to start much earlier between April and May but all were delayed because of Covid-19, but in July, August and September, we must do the catch-up plan to make sure we expedite whatever needs to be done in a shorter time,” he asserted.
Rundi stated that the preparation of any manifesto at this crucial time in face with upcoming Sarawak state election must be accompanied with the checking of the previous “report card”—manifesto either in the 11th state election (PRN11) or the recent Parliamentary election.
“For the past 22 months during the change of government, we (Ministry of Utilities) were actually in a gray area in accomplishing our assignments.
“We needed help from the federal government in terms of allocation and to continue the master plan that we have, but somehow some of our projects were put on hold and most were delayed,” he explained in the Anugerah Pencapaian Cemerlang (APC) presentation ceremony at Imperial Hotel earlier today.
Now that the ministry has received an over-the-ceiling RM4 billion allocation from an initial RM2.8 billion from the state government in May this year, Rundi is positive with the following development of their master plans in water supply projects.
“In the last committee meeting, we were also looking into how to restructure and repeal the water ordinance that we have.
“We should be able to model our water supply system for Sarawak similar to what SEB (Sarawak Energy Berhad) is doing.
“We will corporatize them. We will probably look into the future of water in the business terms,” he said. —DayakDaily