Pan Borneo Highway safety: Contractors urged to keep their promises as deadline nears

Dato Sri Tiong King Sing

KUCHING, October 11: Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing urges Pan Borneo Highway contractors to implement safety measures seriously or risk facing action.

The Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president revealed that during a meeting held on Oct 2 by the state Public Works Department (JKR) together with two Pan Borneo Highway contractors, various safety measures to protect the lives of road users was discussed.

“There was a lot of emphasis on the missing safety measures for road construction but the parties involved agreed to allow the contractors an additional 14 days from the meeting to comply with these implementing these safety measures. The contractors pledged to adhere to the requirements within the 14 days.

“Now that the deadline is approaching, these safety measures must be implemented without further delay. The contractors must honour their promises without making any more excuses or bringing up reasons not to carry out the safety measures. Otherwise, they cannot blame the authorities for taking the necessary strict actions against them,” Tiong asserted in a press statement, today.

Tiong, who is also the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to the People’s Republic of China, pointed out that he had brought up the various construction issues that were raised in the previous meeting, particularly road sections under construction without the necessary warning signs, safety lighting, pothole covers, and fixing conditions that ordinary vehicles cannot tolerate.

Many sections, he added, have diversions that are too narrow, without clear signage, including unpaved sections, and even after a month, these issues had not been addressed adequately.

“These two contractors must be aware of their responsibilities during the construction process, that is, meeting the minimal engineering safety standards, and putting road users’ safety first, instead of making these an afterthought.

“The road project’s unsatisfactory conditions threaten the lives of many road users and the daily complaints are shamefully unheeded. I seriously urge the contractors to strictly review all of the aforementioned oversights and lax in safety instead of dragging their feet further. This is purely dangerous procrastination,” he added.

Tiong noted, the contractors’ assurances during the meeting that road conditions have improved notwithstanding, the fact that many road users continue to raise complaints of many unsafe road sections reflects that much needs to be improved.

“The contractors are not meant to satisfy themselves of the road safety issues but to make the targeted improvements and enhancement based on the actual situation on the ground. They need to satisfy the problems raised by those who actually use the road because it is their safety we must place first,” he added. — DayakDaily