MPP urges DAP Sarawak to focus on securing funding for infrastructure improvement, revising Marris

Tan showing the letter from Chong and other press materials during a press conference at MPP Headquarters on March 15, 2024.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, March 15: The Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) has urged Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak to redirect their efforts from fault-finding and seeking cheap publicity towards securing more funding for infrastructure improvement and convincing the Federal government to amend the criteria for accessing (Malaysian Road Records Information) Marris funding, which is constrained by conditions that do not benefit Sarawak.

MPP chairman Tan Kai explained that the RM1.5 million allocation from the Sarawak government is specifically earmarked for upgrading back lane drains within MPP’s jurisdiction, not for the broader development budget encompassing various projects.


“The council received funding from both Sarawak and Federal governments. However, Federal funding, especially under Marris, can only be used to carry out repairs, maintainance and replacement such as grass cutting, drains cleaning and upgrading of drains by the road side and in front of houses only.

“Marris funds cannot be used to upgrade back lane drains as it does not meet the registration criteria in the system. So it cannot be registered in the system to obtain funding for that purpose,” he told a press conference at MPP Headquarters today.

Roads and back lanes in Sarawak are not categorised as roads under Marris, unlike in Peninsular Malaysia where the back lanes are accessible by vehicles, including waste trucks.

In Sarawak, back lanes are normally three-metres in width and meant for pedestrian use, Tan elaborated.

Tan highlighted this in countering the criticisms from DAP Sarawak, including its chairman Chong Chieng Jen who is also Stampin MP and Padungan assemblyman, over drainage issues in MPP areas.

Chong has also sent in a letter to MPP yesterday (March 14) to express shock over the meagre funding from the Sarawak government, considering its substantial revenue of RM12.7 billion for 2024, which he asserted cannot be used as an excuse for not giving more allocation to MPP.

While acknowledging the insufficiency of the RM1.5 million allocation, he highlighted ongoing back lane drain upgrading efforts, with priority given to those with critical conditions, including utilising the additional funding sourced from local elected representatives under the Rural Transformation Project (RTP).

“To solve the problem, it is better and more helpful if the DAP lawmakers can take their fight to the Federal government, especially to convince them to adjust the Marris policies to enable local authorities to use the grant for back lane drains upgrading, rather than merely pointing fingers,” he said. — DayakDaily