Minister slams allegations of SWB lacking long-term planning as ‘baseless’

Julaihi (second left) listening to a briefing on the Sibu project.

By William Isau

SIBU, June 24: Dato Sri Julaihi Narawi has described the accusation that Sibu Water Board (SWB) does not have a long-term plan to overcome frequent water supply interruptions as baseless.

The Utilities and Telecommunication Minister who did not mince his words on the matter said that those who made this allegation seemed to be ignorant of what his ministry and SWB had on their plates.


“I regret that certain parties seem to be ignorant towards the development plan of the water supply project that I often share. This baseless accusation has resulted in a bad perception among the public,” he told a press conference after the ground-breaking ceremony for the Salim Water Treatment Plant Project Upgrading today.

Julaihi said that his ministry always strives to implement all the projects that have been planned and address supply problems faced by the people.

Julaihi added that the Sarawak Water Supply and Water Grid Master Plan 2021 covered the development of water supply in Sarawak for the period from 2025 to 2070.

“This Master Plan aims to develop a water grid system that includes developing raw water sources, treatment and distribution that will connect all the main plants across Sarawak and form a continuous water grid system,” he said.

On the Sibu project, he said the RM300 million-plant upgrade would double water production capacity from 150MLD (million litres per day) to 300MLD.

He added that the Sarawak government has decided to fully finance the construction cost of the project which also involves the cost of site supervision and the cost of reclaiming the land.

“If we continue this project through federal government loan financing, it is certain that this project cannot start this year because it needs to go through a long process and procedure and this will delay the implementation of this project,” he said.

The project when completed in 2026 will meet the growing demand from Sibu Division which also covers Kanowit, Selangau, Maradong, Rassau, Machan, Nibong Tada and surrounding areas till 2036.

SWB’s current capacity is about 195MLD, comprising the Salim Plant water treatment plant capacity of 150MLD and the Bukit Lima Plant capacity of 45MLD.

Dudong assemblyman Dato Sri Tiong King Sing had last Friday slammed SWB for lacking long-term planning to resolve frequent water supply interruptions that had irked the people. — DayakDaily