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By Geryl Ogilvy
KUCHING, Dec 12: Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong will continue to push the state government for details of the Darul Hana musical fountain project amid the Auditor-General’s review.
The Democratic Action Party (DAP) lawmaker said the state government must be transparent over the project and fully disclose the Schedule of Rates and Bills of Quantities pertaining to the RM31 million musical fountain.
Despite the current investigation from Jabatan Audit Negara, Yong believed the state should not “sweep the matter under the carpet” but take responsibility for the RM31 million price tag, which she deemed as “quite exorbitant”.
She opined that RM31 million could have been better used for projects that benefit the people, as opposed to benefiting certain quarters.
Yong wrote to Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip on Dec 3, requesting for design specifications of the musical fountain project.
This was after the Jepak assemblyman disclosed in the recent State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting that the government was willing to share the details.
However, a reply from the ministry did not attach a copy of the requested documents.
The letter, dated Dec 6, said, “It is in the best interest of all parties to allow Jabatan Audit Negara to undertake its audit work independently, without undue interference or pressure from any party.”
Yong described the content of the letter as “an excuse”.
“I could not see any reason why the ministry could not provide the requested documents. This goes to show what Talib said in the DUN sitting was only for show. The state government has gone against its word.
“It can be concluded that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government does not view the over-priced project (as going) smoothly. The state has been quiet from the award of tender till the completion of the project,” Yong told a press conference at DAP headquarters here today.
She argued that there was no reason for the state not to disclose the contents of the documents if the whole process had complied with standard procedures.
Meanwhile, Yong again maintained that the project was malfunctioning, where some of the water nozzles are not reacting to the music accordingly.
“Maybe there is something wrong with the fountain. That’s why the state has kept mum over the matter,” she said.
Yong raised the musical fountain project issue during the DUN sitting last month, and Talib responded by saying that the project was implemented using ‘design and build’ that complied with the standard operating procedures of Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) as well as the Local Authorities Financial Regulations 1997.
Talib said the project cost was tabled and had gone through the Special Cost Committee chaired by the State Financial Secretary. He added that the contract scope comprised two years’ maintenance cost and five years’ design guarantee. — DayakDaily