Masing welcomes MACC in monitoring Coastal Road, Second Trunk Road projects

More than 300 local and foreign contractors attended JKR’s briefing to participate in the tender for Coastal Road and Second Trunk Road projects.

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KUCHING, August 21: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Masing says he welcomes the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) to monitor the Coastal Road and Second Trunk Road projects.

He was responding to comments made by Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How yesterday, which amongst others, questioned the cost and justification for these projects.

“I welcome the idea for YB See to alert MACC to keep watch on all ministries, departments to ensure that Sarawakians’ interests are not compromised. With more than 300 companies participating in the open tender pre-qualification briefing and being interested to participate for Coastal Highway and Second Trunk Road projects, the government and JKR under MIDT (Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Transportation) especially, has plenty to do.

“Because the quantum is big enough, this time round, there are also plenty of capable international companies and local companies to choose from. With such a big pool of bidders, my ministry and JKR can ensure fair distribution of awards to different and totally unrelated companies based on their financial and technical expertise,” said Masing in an exclusive statement to DayakDaily.

Concerning See’s suggestion to appoint an integrity officer from MACC to oversee the whole planning, designing, value assessment, tendering, appointment of consultant, contractors and consultant and implementation, Masing said he would take it seriously, but there were certain considerations to be taken into account.

“With so many financial and technical details requiring scrutiny and evaluation, (this) is one of the reasons why we have public tenders for qualified companies, which allows participation from many contractors and numerous specialised consultants. All their input will be scrutinised by the implementing agency JKR under a group of committees who are specialised in the (respective) field of job.

“The suggestion of having one officer who is certified as a management contractor consultant and at the same time is a practicing engineer and also a qualified quantity surveyor and valuer might be difficult as he/she will have to be specialists in a lot of fields.

“I wish to also point out that allowing ‘one person’ to decide and oversee the fate of a mega project might not be ideal as it will not be too transparent,” said Masing, who is also the MIDT minister. — DayakDaily