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KUCHING, Jan 4: Sarawak should not be made to shoulder the burden of maintaining federal and protocol roads in Sarawak for it is the responsibility of the federal government.
Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar highlighted this in response to Minister of Works Baru Bian, who confirmed there was no budget from the federal government for the Public Works Department (JKR) to maintain protocol roads in November and December last year.
“This should not be condoned. It’s the Ministry of Finance (MoF) responsibility to maintain all federal roads and protocol roads,” Wan Junaidi said in a statement today.
“Sarawak should not assume the responsibility, and we should not allow this minister to bully Sarawak to continue.”
Wan Junaidi pressed that Baru, as the Works Minister, should be held responsible for this state of affair.
He also expressed concern on what would happen to the Pan Borneo highway when completed and questioned if the federal government would also say there was no money to maintain it.
“If the previous BN (Barisan Nasional) government could do this, how come the supposedly smarter group with ‘sound and thunder’ in PH (Pakatan Harapan) leaders for years claim they could do better than BN in every sphere of government and shouted to the sky about how good they were now in the fixed?
“Even the small task to make available the funds for federal and protocol roads maintenance also failed.”
According to reports, the federal government had instructed JKR to cease all maintenance works, including grass cutting and drainage cleaning involving a length of some 72km of protocol roads.
Baru also disclosed that the allocation for maintenance purposes along protocol roads had been restricted to RM100 million for this year as compared to RM820 million in 2018.
However, he added that the MoF had given an assurance that additional funds would be provided to Sarawak when necessary. — DayakDaily