Lawas Health Office rental fiasco due to red tape, poor communication

Dr Annuar speaking to reporters at the DUN Media Centre this morning.

KUCHING, July 13: Rental for the shoplot that houses the Lawas Health Office was not paid for an astounding 30 months because of bureaucracy and administrative hiccups.

Assistant Minister of Housing and Public Health Dr Annuar Rapaee told a press conference at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) complex today that the issue had now basically been resolved, but he acknowledged the whole episode had not been fair to the shoplot owner.

“So there is no more issue. As of now, we are waiting for payment to be issued to the landlord before it is all settled,” he said.

Dr Annuar said the delay in payment was because of standard procedures that had to be complied with before the lease period could be extended.

Part of the procedures was for the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) to inspect the building, but things slowed when the director-general of Lands and Mines stipulated that residential areas could not be used as an office. And in this case, the shoplot was built on land that had been assigned for residential purposes only.

“Previously, there were no such conditions. In turn, an application had to be submitted to the Land and Survey (Department) for permission to change the land use from residential to office before the contract can be signed.

“Because of all these, there were 30 months of arrears that had not been paid. But fortunately, we have received approval on June 11, 2018, to allow this residential property to be used as an office,” said Dr Annuar.

He believed the whole thing could have been settled earlier if the new set of conditions were conveyed earlier and there was good communication among those involved.

On the delay in constructing the proposed Lawas Hospital, he said tender for the project was not awarded yet due to the change in the federal government.

“All the procurements have been withheld. We do not know if it will be retendered again and other processes involved. We leave it to the federal government to decide.

“Once the project is tendered out, it should be done within 36 months, with the total ceiling cost of RM228 million,” he said.

Under the proposed plan, Dr Annuar said the hospital would be able to serve outpatients and inpatients. It would have 56 beds, divided equally between male and female patients.

It would have 20 beds at the paediatric ward and four beds at the high dependency ward. There would be diagnostic and treatment services, pharmacy, rehab unit and health education unit, catering and support service for non-medical section, training and education unit, administrative, and 17 chairs in the haemodialysis unit. — DayakDaily