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KUCHING, Jan 27: Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang is demanding an apology from former Stampin MP Julian Tan.
He said it was “most irresponsible” and unbecoming for the former MP to blame him and his office for the poor performance of the 15th Mile Kuching-Serian Road, which is under the jurisdiction of the federal government.
“The advice of MPP was never sought because JKR Malaysia does not need to seek the advice of the MPP to build federal roads,” Lo said in a statement today.
Furthermore, Lo pointed out, JKR Malaysia and JKR Sarawak were much bigger departments and with more technical expertise than MPP. In addition, MPP was only responsible for state feeder roads.
He insisted that Tan had “maliciously and wrongfully accused” him of being responsible for the poor performance of the road in question.
“For that, I repeat, I expect a proper apology from Tan,” he asserted.
Lo noted that there had been a flurry of activities by former DAP lawmakers of late, and he could not help but wonder if they were making complaints to help Sarawak become a better place for all or if they were just making a lot of noise to gain cheap political mileage.
He said he was amazed at the reaction of Tan to his news publication on Jan 25, where MPP councillors and himself showed concern about the controversial road after a recent fatal accident at the roundabout.
Lo said there had been 400 accidents along that stretch of the road, with 200 of them at the roundabout. Hence, everyone should be concerned.
“I do not understand why Tan is so uptight about pinning the blame on the previous government for this road design.
“I have never said it was about the previous government or the present new government. It is never about the previous or the present new government.”
“What I said, and I repeat, is that it is about the policies of the federal government. Sarawak has been negotiating for administrative autonomy. This is one of the many administrative autonomies that should be returned to Sarawak,” said Lo.
Lo, who is also Batu Kawa assemblyman, suggested that JKR Malaysia just park their allocation with JKR Sarawak and let Sarawak engage its own local consultants to design and to manage this road.
“JKR Malaysia is too far away to be able to take care of Sarawak matters effectively. Tan, being a Sarawakian, should support me wholeheartedly on this. Together, we should demand for Sarawak’s rights and Sarawak’s administrative autonomy to be given back to Sarawak.
“In this respect, I am of the opinion that I rightly deserve a gentlemanly apology from Tan for putting the blame of the poor performance of this federal road on me and MPP.
“Tan, being a former MP, should be familiar with government procedures and he should be knowledgeable about the separate duties of JKR Malaysia and that of MPP,” said Lo.— DayakDaily