Masing to DAP: Don’t jeopardise road projects

Tan Sri James Jemut Masing

KUCHING, June 4: Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) has been urged not to jeopardise the building of the proposed Coastal Road and Second Trunk Road as both of these projects are meant to enhance road connectivity in the rural areas for the benefit of the people.

The state government was willing to finance these two initiatives as there was a great need to connect the rural areas to the urban centres to spur economic development, said Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing in a statement today.

“These projects are the initiatives of the Sarawak government with the sole intention of accelerating development in the rural areas, especially the interior and coastal areas,” said the deputy chief minister.

“We want to speed up their construction for the benefit of the people, and we are doing it in a transparent and proper manner.”

Recently, state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate these two mega projects, claiming that the proposed Coastal Road was estimated to cost RM5 billion and the proposed Second Trunk Road RM6 billion.

Chong, who is also Stampin MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman, described the two projects as “over priced”.

“In light of the fact that the two proposed projects are now in the final stage of processing by the state Public Works Department (PWD) and that letters of award may be issued within this one to two weeks, we urge that an investigation to be carried out immediately,” Chong was quoted as saying.

Masing said he was taken aback by the allegation as the two road projects were still on the drawing board and not finalised yet.

“We have yet to finalise the details, so how can we tender them out? I don’t know where the DAP got the information that both projects have been given to two contractors. Why make such unfounded and baseless accusations?” he asked.

Masing, who is also Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation (MIDT), wondered if DAP’s intention of spreading these allegations was to stop the building of the two roads.

“Do they want to jeopardise the two projects, or delay them? Is it their intention that the building of the two roads be stopped completely?

“DAP Sarawak never shows their compassion for the rural people because most of their supporters are in the urban areas.”

Masing said MIDT welcomed the MACC to probe the matter and insisted that the outcome of the investigation be made public.

“Since they (DAP) have lodged reports with the MACC, let the MACC investigate and announce the outcome,” he said.

“In the event that the allegations are found to be baseless, I will demand Chong and (Padungan assemblyman) Wong (King Wei) to make a public apology.”

Masing said it was not right to smear other’s name for political mileage. — DayakDaily